Some IT services are better to keep in-house. Others, like the maintenance and monitoring of networks and servers, are better to outsource and leave in the hands of professional MSPs.
At the same time, your options when it comes to outsourcing are vast.
You can either outsource the entirety of your IT, called fully managed IT. Or, you can opt for a hybrid approach, outsourcing the IT areas you don’t have time or resources for. That’s called co-managed IT services.
But which services should you outsource, and which should you keep in-house? How do you go about thinking about this in the best possible way?
When should you outsource IT?
Outsourcing often seems like the best approach. It relieves you of a great deal of responsibility, costs less than hiring in-house experts, and gives you a team of IT experts to consult with at any time. But despite that, some services related to IT are better left in-house.
As it stands, the best approach for most businesses, large or small, is a combination of outsourcing and in-house expertise. One never excludes the other, and it’s often pointless keeping everything in-house or outsourcing all your services.
IT is an integral part of any modern business. But if an area of IT takes a lot of time and focus, is becoming too expensive, or you don’t have the IT skills in-house, then it’s time to outsource. Letting efficiency or security slip is something you don’t want to do.
Let’s explore which IT services are the best fit to keep in-house.
IT Services to Keep In-House
Which IT services should you keep in-house? Activities that are directly tied to finance, policies, and business continuity are better kept in-house. Because these activities need personalization and vast knowledge of your internal structure, they work best when done internally.
Because there’s no one-fits-all approach to writing business policies, it’s an activity that’s better kept in-house. Because privacy policies need company personalization, it’s best left to people in your organization that know your company thoroughly.
When writing your policies, consult with your IT and compliance department.
2. Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR)
Business continuity and disaster recovery should be in-house, with consultation from IT. Because it involves several departments and company-specific information, it’s best done internally. However, you can outsource some aspects of IT to an MSP. An MSP can offer you guidance on the IT aspects, like data recovery and what to do if servers fail.
But since business continuity and disaster recovery are guidelines for how your companies handle disastrous events and continue operations, you should leave most of the strategy and execution inside your company.
3. IT Budgeting
Your company knows your finances best. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your IT budgeting in-house, as the best practice is allocating a ratio or percentage of your total revenue to IT.
Organizations should do IT budgeting as a part of a bigger strategic plan. It's also key to see IT as an investment rather than a cost. And when it comes to your business investments, your financial department or CFO, together with IT, do that best internally.
However, if you have outsourced your IT, you can always get feedback from your MSP.
4. IT Department Review
IT is a major part of modern business today. And to know that your IT investments help you move towards organizational goals and visions, you should review the performance of your IT departments in-house.
The same is true if you have outsourced your IT partially or completely. Review the practices your MSP has put in place to see that they align with where you want to go.
IT Services to Outsource to an MSP
1. Server Monitoring and Management
Monitoring and managing your servers are necessary activities you need to have your infrastructure up and running. But doing it yourself is time-consuming, costly, and tedious. Outsourcing your server monitoring and management to an MSP ensures monitoring around the clock to ensure your IT infrastructure is well-maintained and updated.
Furthermore, outsourcing this IT area is cheaper than paying employees full-time salaries and benefits for routine maintenance activities. That way, both your IT personnel and yourself can focus on better things with the knowledge that your core IT infrastructure is taken care of.
See this article for a better understanding of how much managed IT services cost.
2. Network Monitoring and Management
Network management and monitoring is another vital area of your organization. Network monitoring pinpoints where network problems occur and can determine if the problem lies elsewhere. And with continuous monitoring, you can ensure network issues get fixed before they reach your users. Network monitoring and management are activities that require a great commitment and a proactive approach.
But, like the previous point of server monitoring and management, it’s a maintenance area that is both time-consuming and costly to manage yourself. MSPs monitor your network 24/7, so you don’t have to worry about it. And as soon as a potential problem is found, they have a proactive approach to fixing it before it causes any problems.
3. Backup Systems Monitoring and Management
Having backups is an essential part of a business continuity plan and disaster recovery strategy. If disaster strikes, you want to know that your backups are in working order so you can quickly retrieve important data and continue operations. However, keeping your backups in tip-top condition requires constant monitoring, updates, and maintenance.
An MSP has the proper tools, experience, and expertise to monitor and manage your backups and ensure they’re always in perfect condition. That way, you don’t have to worry about the status of your backups. Outsourcing to an MSP takes care of that for you.
4. Help Desk
Resolving IT tickets is more than a full-time job. And your main IT person probably has better things to do with their experience and knowledge. And if a Help Desk isn’t their main priority, chances are many of your user questions will be delayed.
Outsourcing your IT help desk to an MSP gives you one point of contact, the necessary expertise, and quick answers when your users need it. And because they have a proactive approach, they ensure that problems are fixed before they arise.
Cybersecurity is a large area that needs a lot of expertise. That experience and resources are often rare within organizations, making cybersecurity an ideal area for outsourcing.
MSPs work with the leading industry vendors and providers with the right experience and skills to protect your company from cyberattacks. Outsourcing is also a lot cheaper than managing cybersecurity internally.
Final advice on outsourcing or keeping IT services in-house
An important aspect to consider when pondering whether to outsource or keep IT services in-house is efficiency. For example, is it efficient for someone in your organization to handle the help desk?
It’s not only about cost. An in-house IT person gets paid a full-time salary with benefits. It’s one person, limited to their specific set of knowledge and hours they can work in a day.
When outsourcing your Help Desk to an MSP like Amoeba, that efficiency lies solely on Amoeba. It’s up to the MSP to ensure they can handle help desk requests profitably or lose money. This point might be a captain-obvious moment if you're a business manager, but it bears repeating.
On the other hand, if you’re a larger business, you may have an IT department that runs itself like an MSP, using key metrics to determine efficiencies, such as Response Time and Resolution Time. If your business is large enough to have a department that can drive its function by efficiency, then it’s probably wise to outsource that function.
Another thing to consider is the convenience factor. If you are an IT manager and outsource your RMM and cloud service management, you free up your time to focus on things you should be doing in-house, like decision-making, strategic planning, etc. Consider a request to onboard a new employee. This can distract you from your real purpose, or it can be an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and you’re done.
The best approach is hybrid
The best approach is almost always a hybrid approach for outsourcing or keeping your IT services in-house. Having the activities and areas of IT closest to your business core in-house and outsourcing your time-consuming maintenance activities taken care of by an MSP is a very efficient combination.
It’s true. The benefits of outsourcing activities that take time and cost a lot of money are huge. But there are many other advantages.
Other benefits of hiring an MSP include:
- Vast knowledge and experience in your industry
- Strategic help when you need it
- 24/7 availability
- Easy to contact
With an MSP like Amoeba, you get access to a wealth of IT expertise and knowledge that help your organization make strategic IT decisions that impact your profitability and efficiency.
Want to know more about outsourcing your IT? Contact Amoeba today.
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