To stay competitive in a small business, it is imperative to have the most up-to-date technology and an in-house information technology (IT) department that can handle unforeseen problems. If your small business does not have a dedicated IT staff, you may be considering outsourcing your information technology services. There are pros and cons to this decision.
The Pros of Outsourcing Information Technology
Outsourced information technology professionals do not add permanent overhead costs to your business because their services are contracted on a project or hourly basis rather than salaried. You will only pay for what you need when you need them so there will be no waste of resources or time if one of your employees needs temporary help with his or her computer while waiting for repairs on their desktop PC. Additionally, if you have an immediate project that needs to be done, a temporary IT contractor can come in and get it completed quickly. This will allow your business to operate at a high level without having a permanent full-time staff member dedicated to information technology.
Another pros is being able to pick from a large pool of resources when the need arises for additional expertise. Because there are so many talented IT professionals out there looking for work, you will easily find someone who has specialized knowledge or skills that will match up perfectly with your company’s needs. The benefits of outsourcing this way include access to quality employees faster and at less cost than if you had tried to hire them as regular employees. In addition, bringing on outside help could broaden the scope of your IT department if you don’t already have resources covering certain areas like mobile device management, cloud computing, or virtualization.
The Cons of Outsourcing Information Technology
When your company outsources information technology services to an outside firm, there is always a risk that they may not be able to complete the project in a timely manner because they specialize in other types of work. Or worse yet, when projects are delayed or incomplete it will reflect poorly on your small business when they are blamed for something that happened beyond their control. This becomes even more problematic with large projects that need special attention and expertise.
Another con is lack of ownership by employees who outsource their work rather than doing it in-house where they feel responsible for the quality of the work. If your employees outsource their IT services, the outside worker doesn’t have the vested interest in putting forth his or her best effort because they are not employed by your small business.
When you outsource information technology services, you give up day-to-day control over what is happening with your company’s data and systems. This can create problems if there is a security breach or some other issue that could have been prevented with closer monitoring of outsourced resources.
Before making any decisions regarding outsourcing information technology services for your small business, weigh all pros and cons carefully to ensure it will be beneficial rather than harmful to your company. Your IT staff must work together as a whole unit to make sure everyone has everything he or she needs to do their jobs effectively and efficiently so your small business runs at peak performance. Outsourcing information technology services may not be right for you, but it is certainly worth exploring the pros and cons to find out what will work best for your small business.