Growing businesses face a choice regarding IT support. They can either utilize internal resources to start an in-house IT department or they can outsource for IT support. Depending on the resources your business has, whether that is internal expertise or a budget that allows for outsourcing, one solution for your technology needs may make more sense than the other. Let’s look at the costs and tradeoffs of each approach.
What It Takes To Start An In-House IT Department
The salary of an IT professional starts around $45K (or $57K with benefits). That’s a monthly cost of $4,750. If the company has 40 workstations and 3 servers, that salary would be approximately allocated as follows:
- 3 servers @$250 ea = $750/month
- 40 workstations @ $100 ea = $4000/month
- TOTAL: $4750/month
The expenses associated with an in-house IT department don’t end there, however. To run the department effectively, you should anticipate additional costs that include:
- tools and spare parts
- service manuals and IT training
- network/management software
If you are considering starting your own in-house IT department, you will definitely want to keep in mind the slow accumulation of costs to ensure you are budgeting correctly.
When To Start An In-House IT Department
It is most common to begin weighing the decision of starting an in-house IT department when your business is in a stage of growth. Often, business owners believe that bringing the expenses in house will offer long-term savings as the company expands. Here’s what we recommend you keep in mind: how much equipment will your business need an internal IT team to manage? What types of equipment and, thus, expertise will you need from an in-house team? How quickly will your business expand and is growth of an in-house IT department part of the long-term budget plan?
Companies often discover that their budget will allow them to create an in-house IT department with just one person, but that doesn’t enable them to reach the critical mass necessary for justifying an internal IT department. The technology is too complex – hooking up PCs requires a different skill set than installing firewalls, troubleshooting networks, or fixing printer connectivity. Meeting the needs of a growing organization often requires multiple IT staff to manage both the workload and have the expertise that fits within the companies budget.
Is Outsourced IT The Solution?
A recent survey of small and mid-sized businesses found that 46% of them outsource their IT service. Monthly prices for outsourced IT services typically range from $50-$150 per workstation and $100-$400 per server, although this is often billed hourly rather than per station. It is very common to see maintaining switches and firewalls as an additional charge.
An important benefit of outsourced IT services is that some of the support can be managed remotely. You gain the benefit of on-site support, remote support, and access to a help desk that can accommodate your needs. Access to a help desk provides your employees a tremendous convenience. Also, it efficiently allocates financial resources – you don’t want your highly-paid professionals spending hours figuring out IT issues like network connectivity or getting the printer to work. Your employees – even if they are technical experts – are likely not employed to spend their time and energy working on those things. If they were, you wouldn’t need to outsource your IT. Most businesses only need a few help desk hours here and there. A monthly help desk service agreement gives you the flexibility to purchase the right number of monthly hours.
In-House IT Versus Outsourced IT
The bottom line is that, for companies with 100 or less workstations, an internal IT department is rarely cost-effective. If your business is considering the pros and cons of an in-house IT department versus outsourced support, contact Analytics Computers today to learn which solution makes the most sense for your business.