Can a Co-managed IT Solution Help Your Business?
Many businesses in the Washington DC area are embroiled in a debate over the pros and cons of utilizing in-house IT staff support versus outsourcing IT to professional service providers. Some businesses believe that using in-house staff is the preferred option because that is how it has been done in the past and they are comfortable in maintaining the status quo. Others argue that the outsourcing alternative can bring cost efficiencies and technical consistencies. There is no reason any more that local businesses must debate this matter at length. The ideal solution doesn’t have to be one way or the other. A new trend is evolving amongst local businesses that incorporate the best of both worlds (i.e. the use of in-house IT staff as well as outsourcing the IT function to a professional service provider) into a “co-managed” cost effective, technical efficient IT environment. A brief review of the in-house versus outsourcing alternatives will demonstrate why the “hybrid” solution is gaining momentum.
In-house IT Staff
Some companies prefer the comfort of having IT staff members on-site at all times, despite consistently increasing costs of employee benefits and associated overhead expenses. They believe that in this way, staff can complete tasks in a timely manner while enhancing the workplace culture. Those advocating this approach assert that an in-house staff always has the company’s best interests in mind and will work diligently to further the goals of the organization, even though the cost of this approach may, at times, be higher than outsourcing.
Outsourced IT Provider
Those advocating the outsourcing approach, recognize the benefits inherent in receiving enterprise-class IT services on a fixed budget without the burden of hiring, maintaining, and training IT professionals especially those required to perform complex IT security and data backup functions. Outsourced services benefit businesses by enabling them to remotely perform day-to-day IT tasks off-site or on-site as the need dictates. With an outsourced IT provider, the worry about your staff going on vacation or calling in sick is gone because no matter what, you have a staff of IT professionals at your disposal.
Co-managed IT staff (Both outsourced IT and in-house IT)
The best of both of these two worlds, however, is also available to organizations. Known as “co-managed IT services,” businesses are now employing their own in-house staff while supplementing that staff with the help of an outsourced IT service provider. The two most common situations where this is desirable are when you have a small IT staff that cannot complete “mundane” daily tasks such as backup and normal troubleshooting while also focusing on larger IT objectives of the organization. The other most common situation is when your organization would prefer to have an in-house staff that handles the troubleshooting in person with employees while relying on outsourced IT professionals to provide the guidance in shaping your IT infrastructure and achieving business goals. This type of staff also allows for a company to have an in-house staff without worrying about what happens when the staff member is sick or on vacation. The daily IT tasks are completed as usual, without interruption.
For years, it has been assumed that businesses had to choose between an in-house staff approach or an outsourced IT solution, but that is no longer the case. Every organization is different, with a unique vision and goals, and it’s important for management to understand that by opting for the hybrid solution, they can have their cake and eat it too.