IT: To outsource or not to outsource?

Businesses choose to outsource their IT services for a variety of reasons, including accessing additional skills and expertise not held inhouse. Statista figures from 2018 identified that 46% of businesses across the globe that outsourced IT services did so to plug skills gaps. This is particularly relevant when a business needs specialist skills like Solaris or Linux, which can be hard to recruit and retain. 36% of those surveyed outsourced to save money and 35% wanted to free up resources to focus on their core business. 33% wanted to add scale to their business, 29% wanted to improve flexibility in the use of their resources and 10% did it to encourage and facilitate innovation.

As the statistics above show, outsourcing takes many forms. Some businesses bolster their existing team with additional resources and some outsource their entire IT operation, including technology and people. Depending on the business’ requirements, outsourcing can facilitate 24/7/365 cover, with stringent SLAs and no issues with staff holiday cover, sickness or transience.

Outsourcing can save businesses money in a number of ways. Businesses that outsource their infrastructure gain access to the latest technology and systems without the huge upfront investment. Costs are spread and paid on an OpEx basis rather than CapEx, which can make budgeting and future planning easier. The not insignificant HR costs associated with an in-house IT team are eliminated, NI, tax, sickness and holiday pay is the responsibility of the outsource partner.

Cybersecurity defences are stronger, with many managed service providers running security operations centres that monitor customer networks and systems continuously to predict and protect against threats.

With such compelling reasons to outsource, why do businesses keep their IT services inhouse?

For some businesses, the appeal of an inhouse IT team lies in the ability to get help from someone in person, in the moment, rather than at the end of the phone.

While some organisations appreciate the time that an inhouse team can take to focus on projects, or solutions, as they aren’t calling off hours from a monthly quota, others are aware that inhouse teams can be overworked and understaffed, constantly dealing with time-pressured “urgent” issues and never freeing up time to innovate or strategise. In addition, a common issue can arise when large amounts of critical knowledge are held by a single individual. Particularly prevalent with specialist skills around Solaris, Linux or even applications like Oracle databases, this “key man risk” is a serious flag on an operational risk register, mitigated by delegation, expanding the team, sharing responsibility with a different team, or by outsourcing.

As we have outlined the cost savings that can be achieved with outsourcing, hiring a team is expensive. Especially one that needs to incorporate a diverse range of skills and expertise to cover a range of operating systems like Windows, Solaris and Linux.

WTL has deep expertise in the world’s leading enterprise technology, including Oracle Solaris and Linux, employing some of the country’s most experienced engineers and architects to ensure that customers can take advantage of the technology, without worrying about training or skills shortages. WTL works closely with its customers to understand if and how outsourcing some of all of its IT resources can benefit their business, fitting in with existing teams where necessary. Every business is different, generating different types of data and will require different systems to meet its business needs. For some companies, especially those in a growth period, moving towards more complex systems, or approaching commercialization, outsourcing some responsibilities to a board level individual who can help drive strategies forward is the right solution

Outsourcing IT to an MSP can be a flexible, smart approach which allows a business to free up resources allowing them to focus on the important elements of growing the business.

If you are unsure whether outsourcing your technology operations is right for you, give WTL a call today.

Useful Links

Statista Global reasons to outsource 2019

Top 10 reasons to outsource

Advantages of outsourcing services

10 Benefits of working with a Managed Service Provider

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