Can Outsourced IT and Internal IT Work Together?
Outsourced IT and Internal IT provision is often posited as an either/or choice. On the contrary, says Grant McGregor, the relationship can be a highly successful collaboration.
The perceived need to have someone “on the ground” is one of the most compelling arguments for maintaining an internal IT resource.
There is no doubting that having an internal IT manager based on site offers businesses significant advantages, not least in terms of the comprehensive understanding of the business requirements that such a role brings to the table.
A Jack of All Trades?
However, given the expense of employing qualified IT staff, this internal resource can suffer from the need to be a “jack of all trades”.
Having the necessary expert knowledge of networking, cloud, business applications, cyber security, help desk management and staff training is a big ask of any individual – no matter how talented or dedicated.
Furthermore, this challenge is getting more difficult by the day.
As the pace of change in systems, networking, cyber security and so many other facets of technology and the way we deploy it within our businesses continues to evolve at an exponential rate, your internal IT manager requires a considerable investment in continued professional development and training to keep their skills and knowledge up to date.
The budget for this might be hard enough to manage, but consider the hard-pressed and already overstretched IT Manager – how can they find the time to undertake the training required?
Time-stretched internal resources don’t only pose problems in terms of training and development. It also raises difficult questions around timely support, specialist projects, knowledge management and succession planning.
The Master of One Important Trade
By contrast, delivering efficient support and augmenting with internal IT projects is the bread and butter of a specialist IT services outsourcing company. As well as minimising problems of succession planning and knowledge management, an outsource partner will also give you access to a plethora of diverse talent – so you have access to expert help in all technical areas.
For cyber security assurance, you can access the expert knowledge of consultants whose business is the stay ahead of the market and the cyber attackers.
Rather than researching multiple providers in multiple technology sets, you can be directed to best-of-breed solutions (and usually at much better rates than you could negotiate internally).
In all of these ways and more, an outsourced IT provider can support your organisation at the right level in the right areas. Better still, you can flex up and down the services as required; so you’re not bearing any unnecessary cost for this expert help on an ongoing basis.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of augmenting your internal IT resource with expert, outsourced help is the way it frees your internal resource to concentrate on the most important task of all: the clear strategic planning that really drives business improvement and growth.
Working Together in Partnership
It can be hard being an IT manager in a small or medium-sized business, especially one that is growing rapidly or that doesn’t have the funds to invest in a permanent IT team of the right size.
This high-value employee can often find that they are spending far more of their time than they would like on troubleshooting or responding to helpdesk requests. This type of activity is a waste of a valuable resource.
Far better to let an outsourced IT services partner to pick up this grunt work and enable your internal IT manager to spend time developing strategy and value-add activities. Your IT partner can then provide the necessary support and expertise to assist your Internal IT on major project work where and when required.
A Successful Collaboration
For the best results, internal and external IT need to work together closely. Taking time to build a long-term relationship will ensure that knowledge is shared in both directions, enhancing services over time. This is what makes a hybrid model so successful and why it tends to be our customers’ favoured approach.
It’s also what makes it so important to choose the right partner.
For more information about any of the topics discussed in this article, including working in partnership with an outsourced IT services provider, please get in touch with Grant McGregor’s friendly and helpful team on 0808 164 4142.