In House IT Support
Everything You Wanted to Know About In House IT Support
IT downtime causes significant losses to many businesses and individuals in today’s technologically advanced world. This is why robust IT support is required to ensure efficiency and minimal outages, especially those requiring cloud services.
However, settling for in-house or outsourced technical support is daunting for many managers or business owners. It’s vital to weigh the available options to eliminate or lower IT outages and prevent additional operational costs and inefficiencies.
Frequently Asked Questions About In House IT Support
What is IT Support?
Generally, IT support is a technical support team assisting clients or a workforce on various technical issues such as computers, networks, printers, devices, and other computer systems. As we move forward and deep into the digital age, technical support expertise is no longer a preserve for tech-based companies or software architects only.
The reality of the world becoming a global village through IT connectivity creates a critical need for technical support agents or providers daily. IT is an essential feature for almost all business operations (1). While robust IT support will help your business or company avoid or lower losses associated with downtime, it is vital to decide if an in-house support team is the right fit.
What is In-House IT Support?
In-house IT support is a technical support department inside your company or business. It’s a team of IT technicians you hire and control to run the department under the set code of conduct (2). While they may provide quick solutions and protective measures to downtime problems, you still need to consider several other factors, including their pros and cons over outsourced IT support.
Pros of In-house IT Support
For some companies, in-house technical support is beneficial, and here are the most common benefits.
In-house technical support inside your organization or business guarantees you a quick response to any IT issues you may encounter. You can easily and quickly speak to a technical support supervisor or manager in person to get the problem fixed.
Predictable business Costs
An outsourced IT support may present varying costs or charges for fixing various technical problems, but with an in-house technical support team, the price is predictable. This is mainly in terms of the agreed salary when hiring. It also remains the same regardless of the problem’s magnitude or task.
Physical presence when handling the issue
While an in-house technical support team gives you fast responses to IT issues, it also guarantees physical presence to address the problem, where you can also ask questions and get a quick response. Outsourced IT support can only do this via remote setups such as nearshoring.
The team is trained based on company IT needs
Another core advantage of in-house IT support is the ability to tailor training to conform to the organization’s IT setups, network, and systems. The training mainly enhances the skills required to handle the unique technological infrastructure of your business or company. It also helps your company grow since an efficient system facilities quick turnaround.
Intimate work relationship and understanding
Since in-house technical support agents are specifically employed to focus on the IT system, they develop an intimate understanding of the company’s IT infrastructure. This also fosters a better working relationship with other departments due to frequent interaction and during team-building activities.
You set the schedule
Once you hire an in-house IT support team, you can set shared working hours for the whole department to ensure that everything runs smoothly and remains synchronized. The team is always available when needed and ready to collaborate with other departments.
The team is fully invested
Unlike outsourced IT support, where they come and go, in-house support technicians share the company’s values and goals and will ensure the systems are working to facilitate efficiency.
Cons of In-house IT Support
While an in-house IT team has its benefits, there are still some disadvantages associated with such setups. Consider the following setbacks of an in-house technical support team before making the final decision. Click for a more in-depth article focusing on the IT outsourcing pros and cons.
Higher cost compared to outsourcing or outsourced
Hiring in-house IT support agents gives you a fixed cost for salaries. However, there are other unanticipated costs, such as training your IT techs to stay updated on the latest technology. With the current rapid rate of technological advancement, the prices are much higher.
In addition to paying salaries, other unexpected costs include sick leave payments, time off, benefits, and others.
Regardless of the in-house training and intimate system knowledge, the team may still need to gain vital skills or expertise, especially when upgrading to the latest innovative technology. Also, if your company is growing, the IT support expertise is restricted to the experience of the available individuals.
Acquiring the right talent is costly
Picking a reputable outsourced IT support team is easy, but when recruiting in-house technical support, finding the right and skilled people take time and effort. It requires a considerable investment of time, money, and energy.
Annual leave coverage
Generally, in-house IT support teams are small. Therefore, your team may be adversely affected if someone is on holiday, sick, or maternity leave. If the individual’s expertise is required, the company may be forced to hire an external technician making it more costly. While you can control or schedule how your IT staff take their leave days, you can’t control sickness or other unexpected circumstances.
Is an in-house IT support team a good option for everyone?
In-house technical agents and teams may present several advantages and disadvantages. However, they may benefit some organizations more than others. For instance, large businesses or companies benefit more from in-house tech support teams because they can afford to train the technicians, ensuring they have the latest qualifications to run their systems.
On the other hand, small organizations or startup businesses may have inadequate funding to support in-house technical teams and may benefit more from outsourced IT support. Typically, every organization will require a different level of IT expertise. Hence, managers and business owners must evaluate their companies’ levels and goals to determine the right fit for their IT systems. For instance, it’s cost-effective, especially for cloud services.
Outsourced IT Support Team
An outsourced IT support team means external technicians fix technology-based or computer system issues. These are not your employees or part of your staff, but you hire them to fix IT problems in your company. They are mainly an IT organization focused on providing support services that may include software development, like most nearshore companies. To learn more about the benefits of outsourced IT support, click here!
The IT experts usually fix the problems remotely, but sometimes they may be required to come on-site, especially if it is a hardware problem. According to Researchgate (3), most software companies are beginning to see the need for outsourcing support.
How Do You Choose Between In-House IT Support and Outsourcing or outsourced?
A close look at the advantages and disadvantages of in-house and outsourced IT support systems should guide you in making a decision (4). For many startups, a close-knit team keeps the system running as it lowers costs, pushing to break even.
Such setups may find outsourcing cost-effective. On the other hand, the same close-knit team that works for a startup is unsuitable for large or more established organizations. These may require keeping some operations in-house, such as IT support, to ensure the continuous efficiency of the systems.
The most common factors to consider when choosing between in-house or outsourced IT support includes,
- Size of the organization
IT support Activities and Managed services
More people have become computer literate and can handle common and basic operations and some essential programs. Still, the deep working of most technical aspects remains a mystery to many. Also, as technology rapidly advances, most businesses and organizations need help to keep up with the required updates. These are the points where technical support agents or experts are needed.
Primarily IT support activities involve fixing issues in networks, computers, and monitoring systems. Still, most companies may require different IT support activities and services, but here are the most common.
This is one of the most popular IT support services needed. It usually comes under the software management category, enabling a business to optimize its operations digitally. Many of them also involve software development. Being that this is one of the most popular services, it’s also one of the most costly. This is an area that many companies consider hiring an offshore developer for their project.
Another vital service needed is hardware support. It usually involves visible and tangible IT infrastructure such as system printers, laptops, servers and hardware systems, workstations, routers, and more. Minor damage to these components can paralyze the whole IT system and usually require the on-site presence of the technician.
This support team also helps set up a virtual security system to secure privacy and confidentiality.
Most digitally progressive organizations have sophisticated internet connectivity and infrastructure. They include network connections and networking between digital devices like printers, cameras, tabs, and computers.
The infrastructure also requires a robust security parameter to combat internal and external threats such as cyberattacks. These are mainly common with back-end developers.
This support team activity is expected since it deals with the on-demand availability of computer data, storage, system resources, and power. Cloud services facilitate data security in most organizations through backup setup.
The service also helps with exceptional security features that keep customer or client information safe and confidential.
With the rapid growth of the IT infrastructure, security is paramount. Cyber security is a core practice that every business should adopt. In this case, a strong IT support team is crucial to prevent and ensure there is no system vulnerability or hacking threats.
Typically some organizations find it easy and valuable to have an in-house IT support team. Still, it’s vital to consider not only the IT requirements but the individual needs of other departments before making the final decision on in-house tech support. In addition, consider the pros and cons and other factors such as cost, time, expertise, control, company size, and others.
- National Center for Education Statistics, Part 6: Maintaining and Supporting Your Technology, https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2005/tech_suite/part_6.asp
- EDUCAUSE: Ethics and the IT Professional
Authors: Melissa Woo. Executive Vice President for Administration & CIO
Michigan State University
- ResearchGate, A Comparative Analysis of In-house and Outsourced Development in Software Industry,
Syed Aitzaz, University of Lahore
Dept. of Software Engineering
Dept. of Computer Engineering Bahria University
NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi
Dept. of Computer Engineering
- Meaning in Business, Risks, and Advantages, by Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/in-house.asp.