Managed IT Services vs In-house IT

Updated: August 11th, 2023 Author: Liv Appleton

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What is the Best Way to Manage Your Critical IT Infrastructure?

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A strong IT infrastructure is crucial for any business. However, managing IT can be challenging, particularly as systems become more complex. One of the biggest questions that business leaders need to answer when it comes to IT solutions is whether the business should manage the solutions themselves or bring in a managed IT services provider.  There are pros and cons for both options, but the right choice depends on the size of the business and the complexity or needs of the IT system. 

We’re going to explore the features and benefits of both managed IT services and in-house IT management, to help you decide which option is best for your business.

What are Managed IT Services?

Managed IT simply involves outsourcing the management and maintenance of IT infrastructure to a specialist provider. Using Managed IT, hardware and software installations, cybersecurity, data backup and recovery, network management and ongoing support are handled by a third party.

When it comes to implementing managed IT services within your business, there are a few different options. If you already have in-house IT resource, you can utilise a provider to cover gaps or take over certain tasks within your existing in-house IT departments responsibilities. This can free up resource for more important tasks within your business or you can rely on the provider’s expertise for tasks that are out of your in-house IT team’s capabilities. 

Alternatively, you can utilise a managed IT service provider to take on all of your IT management. This is perfect for businesses where hiring an in-house IT team isn’t possible or isn’t a priority. The provider will be responsible for the management, maintenance and security of your IT estate and will take care of troubleshooting and issues that may arise, to keep operations running smoothly. 

Defining In-house IT

In-house IT management involves managing IT operations using an internal team. Having an in-house IT team provides certain advantages. One big advantage is that the team is based onsite, so is readily available for urgent assistance, or for dealing with highly sensitive data that cannot be outsourced or shared with an external partner. With the estate under the supervision of an in-house team, the business remains in total control of their business data within their IT solutions. 

However, building and maintaining an in-house IT team is costly. It requires significant investment in hiring and training IT professionals, investing in and maintaining hardware and software, and keeping up with new technological advancements.

The Pros and Cons of Managed IT Services

The Pros and Cons of Managed IT Services

Advantages of Outsourcing IT Services

Reduced IT Costs

One of the major advantages of managed IT services is cost savings. Outsourcing IT avoids high upfront costs associated with building and maintaining a team and the necessary IT infrastructure. Often, managed IT service providers offer flexible monthly pricing that can be scaled, based on the needs of the business, allowing organisations to scale IT resources quickly and at a cheaper price. We’ll take a closer look at specific cost implications later in this article.

Wider Range of Expertise

Managing IT requires a range of different skills and system expertise – whether it’s cyber security, network management or compliance. Handling IT internally means recruiting each of these roles, each with separate salaries and associated hiring and recruitment costs. Investing in a Managed IT Provider gives access to each of these roles within a single investment, giving businesses a much wider range of expertise within its IT management, without the costs. Plus, as experts in the IT industry, Managed IT Providers stay up-to-date with the latest developments and compliance requirements, and consistently invest in the latest technology, which businesses can benefit from, alongside the provider’s expertise.

Better Security

Cybersecurity is a highly sophisticated and constantly evolving sector within IT, and outsourcing can give businesses access to much better, proactive levels of security. Managed IT service providers have robust security measures in place to protect sensitive data from cyber threats. They monitor systems 24/7, detect vulnerabilities, and proactively address them before they turn into a full-scale breach. With a greater focus on data management and security, along with the increasing fines for businesses, which fall short on compliance (like those associated with GDPR), this increased security from Managed IT can be invaluable.

Perceived Drawbacks of Managed IT Services

Although Managed IT Services have numerous advantages, there are a few perceived drawbacks to consider.

Loss of control over IT

One of the main concerns for businesses is the perceived loss of control over IT operations and relying on a third-party provider for critical IT functions. However, while it does remove the hands-on management of IT, working closely with an experienced, expert managed IT services provider ensures businesses stay on top of IT issues while experiencing all the benefits.

Lower Levels of Service Customisation

As many IT Services are packaged as a set of services, there is a perceived lack of customisation and concerns that businesses will need to adapt how they work to suit the managed IT provider. However, the best managed IT providers work closely with clients to understand their current IT infrastructure to create a bespoke plan to enhance the IT function so it suits the business. This ensures businesses benefit from the outsourced management of their IT, but can continue with their business operations as normal.

Cost Implications: Managed IT Services vs Inhouse IT

Cost Implications: Managed IT Services vs Inhouse IT

Cost Analysis of Managed IT Services

From a cost perspective, Managed IT Services offer a more predictable expenditure model. A flat-rate or subscription-based pricing structure makes IT expenses more predictable, which helps with budgeting and resource management. Additionally, managed IT services remove the need for upfront hardware, software and maintenance investments as many of these will be available from the provider. IT needs can also be forecasted into business growth plans, making future investment requirements more accurate.

Financial Considerations For Inhouse IT

Where Managed IT costs are predictable, in-house IT comes with variable costs and ongoing maintenance expenses. Building and managing an internal IT department involves hiring skilled IT professionals and investing in hardware, software licences, and equipment upgrades. These upfront and recurring costs can strain the financial resources of smaller and large businesses alike.

Managed IT vs In-house: Which is Right for Your Business?

Ultimately, the decision between Managed IT Services and in-house IT depends on several factors, such as budget, the size and complexity of IT infrastructure, the need for specialised expertise, and long-term growth plans. Managed IT Services allow businesses to offload day-to-day IT tasks to experts with the experience to handle them efficiently, allowing internal teams to focus on core business activities, such as developing new products, serving customers, and driving growth. Furthermore, managed IT services providers have access to the latest technologies and best practices, ensuring companies stay up-to-date with changes to IT. They can offer proactive monitoring and maintenance, identifying and resolving issues before they become major problems that could disrupt business operations.

Another advantage of managed IT services is scalability. As companies grow, IT needs can change. With a managed IT service provider, IT infrastructure and services can easily be scaled up or down in line with business objectives and requirements, without the need for significant investments in new hardware or software.

Whether you need help upgrading your existing technology stack, need access to specific IT expertise or need consultancy services to help get the best from your IT infrastructure, our experts can help. From IT consultancy and software development to maintenance and support, Netcentrix offers a full range of managed IT services that can make your business operations more efficient, cost-effective and secure.

Get in touch with us and let’s see how we can help you use your IT investments to their full potential.

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