Is it better to hire an in-house IT support team or call it out each time you need help? Every small business and entrepreneur faces this question. However, there’s no definitive answer since both options have benefits and drawbacks.
Although there’s no blanket answer, here are some guidelines to help figure out what’s best for your company.
Does your team work remotely without a central office?
If you have a remote team and don’t have an office, remote IT support is a great option. Without an office full of equipment to maintain, the only issues you and your team will run into will be with your personal computers. Most of the issues you’ll face can be resolved by troubleshooting over the phone, or by granting remote access to an IT specialist over the internet.
Do you have on-site servers?
When you have on-site servers, it’s a good idea to have someone close by who can help you with issues that can’t be handled remotely. That person might be someone you keep on regular payroll, or someone you keep on-call. Either way, it’s critical to have access to in-person IT support because some situations can’t be handled remotely.
For example, hardware failures, server problems, and issues with network switches are all best handled by an on-site technician. Invisionkc.com explains that when you’re experiencing hardware or server problems, you need to be able to boot up and log in to the computer. While a remote reboot is possible under normal circumstances, hardware failure can make that impossible.
If your business can’t afford to keep a full-time IT support person on payroll, outsource your support needs to a local reputable business. It’s like having your own support team, but you only have to pay them when you need work done.
Would your company fall apart after a cyber attack?
A whopping 60% of small businesses fold within 6 months of falling victim to a cyber attack. If your business can’t survive the loss of data, or if you would go bankrupt paying the fines for data breach violations, you need an in-house IT team. Your IT team will do more than just fix problems – they’ll create an IT security policy for you and your team to follow to protect your sensitive data. Having an IT security policy will also determine who can access different levels of your company network, making it harder for employees to wander around your network and access unauthorized data.
Having an in-house IT support team works as a preventive measure as well. Instead of only calling support when you have a breakdown, you’ll have a team actively fielding and responding to threats and patching vulnerabilities as you go. The right in-house IT support team can prevent all kinds of problems including:
- Cyber attacks
- Hardware failure that gives warnings
- Data breaches that result from preventable mistakes
What kind of IT support is best for your business?
If you’re not settled into an office yet, you probably don’t have to maintain equipment beyond your laptop or desktop computer. If that’s the case, you may never need anything more than remote IT support.
If you run a business from an office, and run your own servers and networking equipment, you need someone in-house or someone from an outside company you can call when you need them. If you can’t keep someone on payroll, you can always outsource your IT needs to a local, reputable company. Outsourcing IT gives you access to a team with a wide variety of skills, which will be a blessing if you’re facing a problem your in-house tech team can’t solve.
The best solution is to use both remote and in-house support. There’s no reason to have someone run down to the office to fix a problem that can be done remotely. However, if you ever have a major catastrophe like hard drive failure, you’ll be thankful for in-house support.