Living in the digital age, it is no surprise that an increasing number of enterprises are looking for new ways to digitalize their systems and processes. There are often two approaches to this topic: building an in-house team or utilizing a managed IT service.
This concern is particularly prominent when it comes to more resource-intensive operations like EDI (electronic data interchange), B2B (business-to-business) applications, and cloud integration.
Despite the long debate regarding in-house vs. managed IT services out there, this article is not diving into this discussion. Rather, this article’s aim is to closely examine their features to determine which approach would be the best fit for your business.
In-house IT Management
According to Investopedia “in-house” refers to business activities performed by staff within the company instead of depending on external providers. Some examples of these business activities are financing, IT, PR, and so on.
To keep professionals in-house, there are aspects you have to compromise. Even so, there are clear advantages to doing so, too, like gaining flexibility.
In-house IT management is a good fit for your business if…
You want more control
If your business prefers to be proactive and in full control of the processes and the business data, in-house IT management might be for you.
The only “trade-off” you might need to do is to trust your employees with handling the processes, data, and any other day-to-day ad-hoc tasks well. Of course, it also partly depends on how well you train your staff and how often you give them constructive and positive feedback. A skilled staff has the ability to minimize downtime, comply with your trading partners’ regulations and standards, and deal with any other issues timely and efficiently.
Your team has the required skills
If you choose to build an in-house team, one of the biggest challenges might be finding and hiring the right professionals. However, with technologies like EDI being undoubtedly complex – there are long lists of EDI transaction codes and EDI communication protocols – it can be challenging to find a capable candidate. Even then, training and maintaining the team is a difficult task and requires some serious investment. For this reason, many companies opt for independent consultants to support the processes or give insights into more complicated workflows.
You want immediate support
Another key reason for building an in-house team is immediate support whenever any technical issue arises. The downtime due to the system crashing is reduced significantly since the problem is addressed almost immediately. You will not have to wait an hour or two, or possibly even longer for the support team to come to your premises and help you examine the problem. The downtime, in such situations, is unnecessarily prolonged and may do harm to the relationship with your clients and partners, eventually hurting the business’s bottom line – profit.
One of the biggest benefits of an in-house IT managed service is having a team always ready to support you whenever a problem arises. Thus, the waiting time is cut down significantly and you do not have to worry about being put on the waiting list if your provider is serving a large number of clients at the same time.
Full control over data
Having full control over your data is especially advantageous if your business is dealing with a large amount of data processing and transactions on a daily basis. There would also be less concern regarding data compliance or security breaching.
Understand the company workflows
An additional benefit of having an internal IT team is the fact that they have a thorough understanding of the company’s mission, goals, and strategies. It is always much easier to work with a team that understands your company’s ethics and views since it will be easier to solve the issues at hand. Also, you will not need to go over the same process of explaining over and over to the support team your company’s requirements.
Hiring, training, and maintaining an entire in-house IT team is undoubtedly expensive. Moreover, you will need to pay for the hardware, server, or any other facility that comes along with the facility that you wish to implement. Then, if your business wishes to scale up the software, it might be extra costly. Not every business has the ability to shoulder such costs.
Not enough resources or expertise
Even with an in-house team, the number of IT staff on each team might be limited. Should a problem occur, they might not be available to handle it in time. Or in other situations, your IT team might not have enough expertise to deal with the issue, causing delay and unwanted loss of business revenue.
Managed IT Services
TechTarget defines managed IT services as business tasks performed by a third-party provider.
Typically, in managed IT services customers pay a monthly fee for the service providers to deliver the service. No matter what type the managed IT service is, its concept revolves around the provider who will shoulder the burden of maintaining the hardware and keeping the service going. Also, they will take care of fixing any errors, and the maintenance, and upgrading of the service.
Managed IT services is a good fit for your business if…
You are looking to switch to a cloud strategy
An increasing number of businesses are looking to switch to cloud solutions. This trend only makes sense as businesses are paying for the services they are using – and only need to pay more if their company is growing bigger. Companies save a lot of money spent on hardware, servers, and even labor – they do not need to invest in an entire dedicated team of IT professionals, then try to maintain it. One of the key concerns of any business seeking managed IT services are the uptime SLA – it is to make sure the service is reliable and they have the integrated expertise you need.
Do keep one thing in mind: make sure you understand the integration contract. Other than being clear about your business goals and expectations, what is the support like when the service is down? Does the provider have you covered? Will there be any backup?
There are a few criteria when it comes to a good IT service provider, and make sure you have looked them up beforehand.
You have limited resources
Sometimes, it is not that your business does not have the resource, it is that your business does not have enough resources. One person surely cannot handle every aspect of the IT service. This is the reason why an outsourced team of experts is what you need – they have extensive knowledge to operate, maintain, fix the errors, and upgrade the service for you. Your in-house resource can always be the consultant and ensure the IT solution is integrated smoothly.
You want to outsource the complexity
The process of any kind of IT integration is no doubt complex. Utilizing a managed IT service allows your company to take care of the complex skill sets it takes to integrate the service into your system, onboard new partners, handle issues and monitor the system almost constantly. Gone are the days of you searching for the talents to shoulder such cumbersome tasks. Let the professionals in the field handle them – it is much faster and more efficient this way.
Instead of investing in a dedicated on-premises IT team and new hardware, and servers, it is more cost-efficient to use a service provider. By using a managed IT service, maintaining, updating, or fixing the errors is no longer your concern, so you no longer need to spend money on it. Instead, there is a monthly or yearly fee that your company needs to pay to use the services.
Have access to the newest technology and professionals
By outsourcing your IT team, you will no longer have to worry about training and equipping your staff with professional knowledge. The reason for this is that the third-party contractor will provide you with the newest technology along with experienced professionals. Most IT companies are known to hire experts with different specializations.
Have 24/7 monitoring
Outsourcing your IT services also means that you have constant monitoring and support – at least, remote support that is. You will no longer need to worry about your in-house team not having enough expertise or if they are taking a break. The third-party contractor makes sure you have a dedicated supporting IT team to handle the problems as fast as possible.
Scalability and flexibility
When a company builds in-house IT services, it can be difficult to scale up due to the cost and time it takes for such upgrades. However, when outsourcing their IT services, it is much easier to scale up as their business grows. Let’s take EDI service as an example. When your company grows, so does the number of transactions. There is no guarantee that in-house software has the ability to handle such a large volume, and you probably need to upgrade your technology. However, with third-party contractors, the only thing changing is probably the fact that you need to pay more for the larger amount of data exchanged.
Reducing workload for your staff
Many companies only have one person with the expert knowledge needed to run the IT services. By using a managed IT service, not only is the company cutting down work for their expertise, but also allowing their in-house experts to focus on more strategically important tasks.
Possible longer downtime
Even though your Managed service provider offers constant monitoring over your technology, on-site support can cause longer periods of downtime. This could be due to the time they need to take to get to your location, or the fact that they are serving many customers at once, and you have to wait in line.
This could seriously hurt your company’s productivity and relationship with your partner, or clients. To solve this problem, make sure there is some sort of backup or prior agreement regarding the downtime.
Not understanding your company
While in-house IT teams have a clear understanding of your business process, workflow, and mission, your third-party provider’s support team does not. You may have to go over this with them again, or in the worst-case scenario, suffer a negative customer experience due to the lack of quality in the service.
Less data control
Unlike your in-house IT team, there is less data control. For larger companies that deal with a large number of transactions and data exchanges each day, it can be difficult to not have full control over such data. Also, some enterprises may find it difficult to trust a third party to deal with their important data.
In-house IT services vs. managed IT services: which one is better? There really is no single correct answer, it is up to your company’s resources and expectations. However, if you decide it is managed IT services that you are searching for, let SCS Solutions be a part of your journey. We will be more than happy to help you get started. Contact SCS Solutions via https://www.scssolutions.io/, Linkedin, or Facebook.