Growing businesses understand that IT is not going away any time soon, and that managing technology requires a dedicated role within the organization. At the same time, you might find your in-house staff underperforming, or that you want to find ways to leverage technology from a strategic standpoint. Underperforming IT leads to frustration and friction, ultimately slowing down productivity.
What are your IT options?
In general, there are three options when it comes to IT support for your business:
- In-House IT. You may have a perfectly good in-house IT department whom you rely on for all types of issues, and they get the job done.
- Outsourced IT. This usually comes in the form of a managed IT services provider (MSP) who handles all the IT components of your business.
- Combination. Marrying your in-house team with an outside provider.
All options have their benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to understand the available options so you can make the best decision for your business.
An In-House IT support team is having an IT department or specialist working inside your business premises. You will employ the individual or team, and you have full control over them. If you have a problem, they are responsible for fixing it.
In-house IT is often effective for organizations with a simple or small IT footprint. Having a staff member you can “pull-by-the shirt” adds immediacy to dealing with problems that arise. In general, pros include
- Quick support
- Physically see the equipment/issue
- One IT infrastructure = inside-out knowledge
- Hired to fit the company culture
- Training tailored to company IT needs
On the other hand, you can be limited by the knowledge of those staff members. What’s more, in-house staff might not respond to a threat. In general, cons include
- Higher cost
- No IT support during annual leave
- IT support only covers 9-5, not evenings or weekends
- Need to quickly replace IT employees
- One person can’t know to do everything
- High level of trust
- Resistant to change
Boosting performance for your In-House IT
If your IT department is not meeting your needs, it may be time to address the issues. There are a few ways to reset the work of an in-house IT staff:
- Do a strategy audit. Do you have a written plan for your IT? If not, now is a good chance to create a plan to get everyone on the same page about your organization’s IT.
- Reframe their role in the organization. Does your IT staff pull double duty by serving in multiple roles in your organization? Being pulled in different directions can cause IT operations to take a backseat. Consider refocusing their job description to emphasize technology.
- Upgrade equipment and skillsets. You may be able to identify a very specific skillset or equipment upgrade that’s needed to boost performance. Making that upgrade can help to show a boost in performance.
Meet with your in-house IT lead and get their insight into what they may need for additional resources.
An MSP can seem like a costly option, especially if you believe that one IT employee can serve all of your technology needs. But there are many reasons that this is untrue. A single employee cannot be on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With more positions utilizing flexible working hours, constant access to IT assistance is imperative to keep business moving. In addition, working with an MSP will give your business access to a higher level of security than you may have had before. Pros for outsourcing IT include
- Cost savings
- Fixed monthly cost
- Flexibility to scale-up
- Short notice period
- Problems fixed efficiently
- Fountain of knowledge
- 24/7 coverage
- Less chance of outages
- Economies of scale (value for money)
- Fast, agile, and efficient
Even if you have a productive conversation with your IT team, you might come to the conclusion that your in-house IT cannot keep up with the always-evolving needs associated with technology. It can simply be a lack of manpower within your in-house team and hiring another set of hands is the fix.
A Managed Service Provider is a viable option to resolve those issues. The most common challenge for Clients initially working with Anteris is that their in-house IT staff do not have the skills to resolve the technological challenges facing your business. They may lack the industry standard certifications and know-how that are becoming increasingly critical as technology systems grow. A Managed Service Provider can also give your IT function a strategic view, finding ways to further integrate technology into your operations and ultimately deliver greater value to your customers.
Even with all of the benefits outsourced IT can provide, there still are some things that can be seen as cons:
- Being tied into a long contract
- Mainly remote resolves
- Can't explain issues face to face
- Trust issues
- Additional cost for project work
Most of these cons can be avoided by working with a high-quality MSP.
A High-Quality MSP
As mentioned in the previous section, an MSP should have the resources to handle any IT problem you might encounter. But there are other qualities that should be considered:
- Industry experience. Will a potential partnership with an MSP speak to the specific challenges of your industry? Will this partnership address the specific challenges you’re grappling with, such as a geographically distributed workforce?
- Certifications. Does your target MSP have the proper certifications, such as handling healthcare information or intellectual property?
- Strategic vision. Does your target MSP have the ability to craft a strategic vision for your IT? Can they articulate the precise ways IT delivers value to your organization?
Partnering with a next-level MSP like Anteris helps solve many of the frustrations you are likely experiencing. You suddenly gain access to an entire team of IT experts with extensive industry-wide experience and expertise that would be extremely costly to your business should you hire each of these unique roles within your business. Without intentional strategy behind all your IT efforts, your business will struggle to grow. Anteris provides a team of C-level experts that can sit at the table at each of your executive planning meetings and actively speak confidently about how technology can be leveraged to achieve your vision.
A combination of the two
If you already have great in-house IT resources, you can maximize their potential by merging their efforts with outsourced IT support.
When Should You Choose?
Ultimately, you need to decide which option will best support your business. There are times where businesses must make the transition to a next-level MSP and do away with a failing in-house IT team. We get it—it is not a pleasant conversation to have with your staff. We have navigated this challenge with our Clients to help make that transition as painless as possible.
There are situations where Anteris may partner with your business and supplement your in-house team if you are not ready to make the full transition. Maybe you are concerned that having a remote MSP will not be able to adequately support your business, and an in-house team is more reliable. We have recommendations for that, too.
How Anteris can help
While in-house IT is the right call for many businesses, there are many situations where in-house IT is not the right solution, especially for a growing business. We will help you decide how to try and get more from in-house IT, or perhaps make the transition with the next level experience an MSP can provide. If you choose to work with us, we are confident you will notice a dramatic difference in our team’s ability to serve you impeccably. Schedule an appointment to learn how Anteris makes technology freeing, not frustrating.