Do IT Unicorns Exist? Challenges With Hiring IT In-House
Businesses today have a continually increasing list of IT requirements, allowing them to keep up with the latest trends and stay ahead of the competition. In some cases, IT is becoming increasingly difficult for these companies to handle on their own, increasing the challenges of hiring IT in-house. Even small companies and startups today need enterprise-level security, the capability to safely back their data, as well as ongoing support to ensure that everything will run smoothly.
That said, many would like to address these challenges internally. Nevertheless, an in-house IT department can be costly. What's more, finding and maintaining these IT unicorns can be a challenge in and of itself. Below, we'll be addressing some of the challenges associated with hiring IT in-house.
The Challenges of an In-House IT Department
Having an internal IT department isn't all negative. First of all, you will have direct control over your employees or employee working in IT. They will be the go-to person for any technical or network issues that may arise. Nevertheless, it can become somewhat tricky for companies to draw a definite line between their revenue and a substantial investment in internal IT resources. In other words, it's always wise to invest in comprehensive IT resources and personnel, but it's not always advisable or sustainable to have everything in-house.
Salaries, Benefits, Holidays, and Sick Leave
One issue to take into account when deciding to hire in-house are the costs associated with wages and benefits. According to Indeed.com, the average salary of an IT Manager is around $82,000 per year, while an IT Technician's salary is close to $74,000. That's quite a cost for a single person, and the chances are that one person won't be able to handle all of your IT requirements. What's more, these costs don't take into account benefits, certifications, turnover and onboarding rates, sick days, or vacation time, among others.
And while on the topic of vacations and sick days, if you have a limited number of IT staff members, it can make things quite difficult when one or more are not at work. This is even more problematic when there's only one member in the IT department. What happens if your systems go down? Who will address any issues that may arise when they're not there? Trying to fix the problem while they're gone can make it even worse.
Training and Turnover
Another thing that you will need to take into account after hiring a new IT person is training. Who will do the training and set aside the required time? It can take months before they will be fully acquainted with your systems, during which time your operations will not be at full capacity.
Also, you should take into consideration the risk of turnover. If your IT employee decides to leave your company, you will have invested countless hours into their development only to restart the process over again. This will create a significant burden on your company, its productivity, and its resources.
The Almost Inevitable Skill Gap
As businesses become more and more technology-driven, the IT skills gap will only continue to grow. It will become harder and harder to find an IT unicorn capable of handling everything an organization needs, even if it's just a startup. As such, more and more businesses are beginning to outsource part of their IT needs because most IT employees' skills will not be able to cover the entire spectrum of the business’s needs.
Pros & Cons of In-House and Outsourced IT Support
There are many issues to consider when choosing between in-house and outsourced IT support. It is important to mention that the overwhelming majority of companies today have some sort of IT support requirement, and these requirements are integral from the smooth and seamless running of day-to-day operations.
It's not enough to think about the overall IT requirements of the company but also the individual needs of every department within the organization. It is fairly evident that most businesses require some dedicated IT support, but the main issue is in regards to whether to build an in-house team or go for an outsourced option.
Below, we'll provide a short rundown of pros and cons of each option, be it an in-house or an outsourced IT support department.
In-House IT Support
In-house IT support refers to your IT department located inside your business. It also implies that you will have to hire the people necessary to run this department and that you will have full control over them and their actions.
There are several benefits to building your IT support team. For starters, an in-house IT support can provide you with quick backing when it's most needed. Likewise, such a group will also have a more intimate knowledge of your IT infrastructure, giving the opportunity to fix problems quicker. Finally, you can pick and choose the members of this team to best fit within your company culture.
On the downside, however, it can take a lot of time before you put together the right team. The costs of forming and maintaining such a group should also not be underestimated, taking into account the cost of hiring, employment, benefits, downtime, ineffectiveness, or turnover. There is also the issue of working hours and how off-hours IT problems will be handled when nobody is there, etc.
Outsourced IT Support
An outsourced IT support implies that any IT problems will get fixed externally. In other words, a partner company will look after all of your systems and will mostly fix any emerging issues remotely.
One benefit that immediately becomes apparent with outsourcing your IT support is the cost. In most cases, you will be charged monthly and provided with a breakdown of what services you are getting. You will not have to worry about hiring or managing this team, as well as all the costs that come with it.
It's also important to mention that these outsourcing companies specialize in IT support, meaning that they usually have more tools, resources, talent, and experience in dealing with these sorts of issues. In most cases, you will also have access to 24/7 support, so that any problems that may arise during your off-hours will be handled. And in addition to around-the-clock support, you will also have similar monitoring that decreases the chance of outages happening in the first place.
The disadvantages of an outsourced IT support team mostly depend on the company you partner up with. These include issues such as the terms and conditions of the contract as well as any unexpected costs located in the fine print. Another downside is that they are not on-site, meaning that if there's a hardware problem, the issue will not be resolved immediately. However, many MSPs such as Managed Solution offer on-site support and can proactively visit to ensure there are no issues or be readily available if and when one arises.
The decision of whether you should go for an in-house or an outsourced IT support team ultimately boils down the individual needs of your company. An in-house team will be more intimate with your system, but they will cost you much more and could limit the skill sets equired.
An outsourced IT support team, on the other hand, will be far less expensive, have more expertise and flexibility and will provide you with 24/7 support. If you do decide on the latter, we strongly suggest that you carefully read the entire contract, the services you will receive, and make sure that they align with your needs.