The decision to outsource or keep an IT division in-house is a complex one that businesses must consider carefully. Outsourcing offers several advantages, including access to specialized skills, cost savings, and improved efficiency. However, there are also several factors to consider before making a decision, including the cost of outsourcing, the company’s needs and capabilities, and the quality of service provided by the vendor.
According to a study by The Burton Group, businesses can save up to 30% by outsourcing their IT division. This is partly due to the fact that outsourced services are often less expensive than hiring and managing staff internally. In addition, businesses can take advantage of lower hardware and software rates and reduced operating costs.
Another benefit of outsourcing is that companies can focus on their core competencies and leave the management of IT infrastructure to specialists. By outsourcing certain functions, companies can improve efficiency and reduce costs. Additionally, vendors often have more experience and resources than companies do in-house, which can lead to better service quality and fewer disruptions.
However, you might be at a point where taking your IT needs in-house is a possibility. Whether it is for privacy reasons, data security, or you’re just not happy with your current service; there are a few things you should take into consideration before making the switch.
Setting Up the Infrastructure
One of the most vital benefits of outsourcing IT is having someone else manage the hardware, software, and setup for you. This can be costly and time-consuming, especially if you don’t have in-house experience. When switching to an in-house IT department, you will need to purchase all the necessary hardware and software to support your company. Not only that, but you will need to train your staff on how to use and maintain it all.
Outsourcing companies often have access to discounts on hardware and software that they can pass on to their clients. They may also offer installation and training services to help get your business up and running quickly and efficiently.
Of course, the establishments to contain the IT infrastructure will also be critical when moving it in-house. Server room cooling systems might need to be updated or replaced and the space might need to be soundproofed. Electrical work will also need to be done to ensure there are no power surges that could damage your equipment.
Additionally, you will need to have a plan in place for what happens if something goes wrong. When you outsource IT, the vendor is typically responsible for repairs and replacements. But when you manage it in-house, that responsibility falls on you. As such, you’ll need to have a budget in place for unexpected repairs as well as a backup plan for if your systems go down.
Privacy and Security Concerns
When it comes to data privacy and security, there are a few things to consider before making the switch to an in-house IT department. One of the most important things to think about is who will have access to your data. If you are outsourcing, your data will be stored offsite and you will have limited control over who has access to it.
On the other hand, if you keep your IT needs in-house, you will have full control over who has access to your data and how it is used. You will also be able to implement security measures that meet your specific needs. If you want your data to be particularly secure, you might consider investing in biometric security systems or tokenization.
Of course, data security is not only about who has access to your data. It’s also about protecting your data from physical and cyber threats. When you outsource IT, your vendor will likely have robust security measures in place to protect your data. But when you manage IT in-house, it will be up to you to implement these measures. These strategies include things like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and data encryption. Also, be sure to read up on resources about data privacy and security.
IT Personnel and Hierarchy
When you outsource IT, you will likely have a few point of contact who are responsible for managing your account. But when you move to an in-house IT department, you will need to build a team of qualified personnel. This team will need to be able to handle the day-to-day management of your IT needs as well as any unexpected issues that might arise.
The size of your team will depend on the needs of your business. For example, a small business might only need one or two IT personnel, whereas a large enterprise might need a staff of dozens. Additionally, you will need to decide on the hierarchy of your team. Who will be in charge? Who will make decisions about new hardware and software purchases? Who will be responsible for repairs and maintenance?
You will also need to think about how your IT team will fit into the rest of your company. Will they report to the CEO? The CFO? The head of operations? How will they work with other departments, such as marketing or HR? Once you have those structured, transitioning your IT division will be seamless.
Making the Switch
Transitioning your IT needs from an outsourced vendor to an in-house department is a big decision. There are a lot of factors to consider, from the cost of setting up your own department to the privacy and security of your data. But if you take the time to plan carefully, you can make sure that the transition goes smoothly and that your business ends up better off in the long run.