A lot of modern companies have taken advantage of outsourcing IT services for a long time. Small startups and huge corporations apply this cooperation model to grow their businesses and bring them to the whole new level. However, outsourcing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. If you are in two minds whether you should outsource your software development and maintenance to a third-party vendor or not, this post is worth reading. The best time-tested way to make an informed decision is to debate all the advantages and disadvantages of the specific issue, isn’t it? This article will walk you through the main pros and cons of outsourcing IT services so you can determine if this solution meets all your business needs.
Okay, before we dive into the IT outsourcing pros and cons, let us have a few words about what the practice of outsourcing is in the first place.
IT outsourcing is the contraction of information technology outsourcing. To put it simply, outsourcing stands for delegating the maintenance of the company’s IT infrastructure to a specialized third-party vendor. The important thing is that the contractor can be entrusted with both handling the entire IT system (full outsourcing) and managing its individual components or services (partial outsourcing).
Basically, companies can choose what IT work they want to outsource, although ordering the full package is not a rare thing. The most commonly outsourced IT services include:
- App and web development and/or design;
- 24/7 monitoring of IT infrastructure and/or individual services;
- Providing data security services;
- Company’s software development, configuration, and updating;
- Support and implementation of data backup services;
- IT consulting, etc.
Suppose you have set up your own business. Now you can either hire an in-house team of IT specialists or delegate the work of your IT department to an external service provider at a lower cost. Sure thing, the latter sounds like a very attractive option. Let’s check if it is so by weighing the main benefits and drawbacks of IT outsourcing.
A company gets a chance to focus on core business activities while IT tasks are handled by a qualified service provider. It doesn’t matter whether you opt to outsource separate day to day tasks or the whole infrastructure of your company’s IT, either way, it means that you don’t need to spend a significant amount of resources on finding and hiring new employees or training longtime staff members.
An opportunity to save on expenses is one of the main advantages of IT outsourcing. According to the latest statistics, almost 60% of companies give their preference for outsourcing because it helps them to cut costs. With IT outsourcing, there’s no need to maintain an in-house IT department. All the work is performed by an outsourcer whose labor rates are low due to the location in the cheaper region. Also, it is a cost-effective solution for many companies because it excludes all hidden costs including paying sick-leaves, vacations, renting office spaces, and purchasing expensive hardware and software.
When the IT-related functions of your business are carried by a few in-house experts, you only rely on the level of skills, knowledge, and resources these people have. What are the odds that they are familiar with all the latest technologies and trends? However, when you choose to outsource IT tasks to a qualified provider, the resources and knowledge your company can benefit from are unlimited.
A managed service provider (MSP) is solely responsible for the competence of their employees so you can be sure that all services will be provided in accordance with the agreement.
As a rule, the establishment of convenient interaction between a contractor and a client may take some time at first. Due to this, there might be some issues with scheduling a phone call or resolving an emergency problem within your IT infrastructure. As soon as the communication channel works effectively, this con is off the table.
The loss of control is quite a predictable outcome if you concentrate too many processes in the hands of a contractor. There are cases when information technology outsourcing companies have to take up responsibilities and make decisions as fast as it is possible.
You have to be careful and picky when it comes to choosing an outsourced IT provider because the wrong choice may cost you the security of your company’s data. A trustworthy vendor always checks SLAs for data security and compliance with ITIL.
In conclusion, we’d like to point out that the objective advantages of IT outsourcing outweigh the likely disadvantages. And if you take a closer look, it becomes obvious that all possible risks are somehow connected either with the carelessness of a customer or the bad faith of a service vendor. That being said, in order to protect yourself from unscrupulous vendors, follow these simple rules:
- Map out a clear business strategy;
- Estimate the profitability of IT outsourcing for your business;
- Don’t entrust a vendor with too many processes;
- Read testimonials and cooperate only with reliable vendors.
Hope we have given you a satisfactory answer to the question, “What are the pros and cons of outsourcing IT services?”.
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