If you’ve found this article, there’s a good chance you’re looking for outside help with your IT tasks. There usually comes a point for a growing business when keeping all IT processes in-house becomes too time consuming to be considered cost-effective. Even if you’ve reached the decision to outsource some IT work, you need to decide what exactly you need to outsource and how you’d like that work managed. The two most common arrangements are project-based and managed services. Both methods have their distinct advantages and disadvantages, but let’s start by analyzing your needs to see which method is a better match for your company.
Project WorkProject-based IT work is best suited when you foresee large, uneven spikes in your IT workload. Perhaps you’re onboarding a new system or technology or handing a merger that’ll see the integration of an existing client base. You don’t want to burden your regular staff with the extra hurdles that come with these spikes, but you consider this work necessary for small stretches of time. Outsourced IT Project work is a perfect choice for these kinds of scenarios. These jobs usually have a defined beginning and end point, and often involve a highly repetitive tasks that would be disruptive to your normal workflow.
Managed IT Services
If, instead, you’re looking to offload a steady rate of IT work to a third party, then managed IT services is probably the better choice for you. These partnerships are generally long-term commitments but come with a number of benefits. By offshoring work to an IT firm, you’re accessing all the expertise and knowledge of that firm.
Many IT management contracts cover support for when systems go down. That being said, the onboarding time for a IT management partner is generally longer. It takes time for an IT partner to learn your systems and vice versa. If you’re sharing sensitive data as part of your contact, efforts will need to be made to ensure the data is properly handled by the 3rd party.
Which is best?
Regardless of which path you take, it’s important to partner with an IT firm that can scale its capabilities with your needs. For example, if you see an unexpected influx in manpower needed to complete contracted work during an outsourced project, a quality IT company should have no problem shouldering the increased workload (assuming a contract renegotiation, of course).
Likewise, the benefits of a longer term partnership are numerous. As your relationship with your IT firm develops, you’ll find yourself working more closely with your IT managers to solve problems and adjust your technical strategy to take future challenge in stride