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Should You Hire Internal IT Staff Or Outsource To A Managed IT Services Provider?

Opting for a managed service provider (MSP) over an in-house IT specialist offers unique benefits and can cater to your organization’s varying needs. Whether it’s responding to technical issues or simply maintaining day-to-day operations, choosing between an MSP and an internal team member requires careful consideration. An MSP presents an opportunity for depth and continuity, especially when you encounter scenarios such as employee vacations or unforeseen departures. Although an in-house specialist like Alice may provide immediate, hands-on assistance, an MSP is designed to offer consistent and diversified support, ensuring there is always someone available to address your concerns, regardless of individual availability.

One prevalent concern is cost comparison and tool accessibility. On the surface, an internal IT staff might seem like a cost-saving solution, but hidden expenses such as software tools and the challenges of recruiting and retaining skilled personnel can add up. In contrast, MSPs come equipped with a full suite of tools and technologies, which are included in their service costs. This comprehensive package not only aids in network security and document management but also in maintaining a predictable budget for IT support. Should an instance arise where your IT staff decides to seek new opportunities, the process of finding and training a replacement can disrupt workflow and incur significant costs. Managed service providers aim to eliminate such disruptions by offering a team of experts whose collective knowledge and resources keep your operations running smoothly.

Key Takeaways

  • MSPs provide consistent support and a broad pool of expertise, mitigating the impact of internal staff unavailability.
  • Including a suite of cybersecurity and network management tools, MSPs offer a more predictable IT budget.
  • Transitioning from in-house IT staff to an MSP can reduce operational disruptions and recruitment costs.

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Considerations for Engaging a Managed Services Provider

When assessing the value of managed IT services versus in-house personnel management of your company’s network, there are several key aspects to consider. Here’s an exploration of those factors:

Availability and Response Time: While internal IT staff may offer the quickest physical response to issues within the office, their availability is limited by office hours and vacation times. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) like my company may not be as immediately hands-on, but they guarantee more comprehensive coverage, ensuring support even when your dedicated staff member is unavailable.

  • Internal IT may swiftly troubleshoot minor issues in person.
  • MSPs offer broader support, covering after-hours and off-site assistance.

In-depth Knowledge versus Continuity: Internal IT professionals, like your dedicated Alice, may intimately understand the nuances of your network, swiftly responding without extensive research. However, should such an individual depart, their invaluable knowledge often goes with them, leaving a significant knowledge gap. MSPs mitigate this risk through meticulous documentation that ensures continued service, irrespective of personnel changes.

  • Internal IT staff retention can be short-lived, leading to potential knowledge loss.
  • MSPs document extensively, ensuring knowledge persists for consistent service.

Cost Considerations: Examining pure labor costs may initially suggest that employing an internal IT specialist is more cost-effective. However, MSPs incorporate the cost of sophisticated tools and cybersecurity measures into their service, which must be separately accounted for with internal IT.

  • An internal IT person may result in apparent savings but does not include tools or software.
  • MSPs deliver an integrated service package, combining labor with necessary tools.

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Service Availability and Timeliness of Support

When opting for an in-house IT specialist, your go-to example is often someone like Alice, who’s right there in your office, ready to tackle issues like a malfunctioning monitor immediately. Indeed, no external provider can surpass the response time Alice offers in walking down the corridor to address such concerns on the spot.

Yet, consider the times when Alice is not present – evenings, weekends, or vacations. It’s during these periods that a Managed Service Provider (MSP) demonstrates its strengths:

  • On-Call Support: When you contact an MSP like CCS, a dispatcher is available to allocate the right personnel to swiftly handle your technical problems.
  • Team Depth: MSPs operate with a team approach, ensuring someone is always available to assist you, regardless of individual staff absence or vacations.

Your network’s intimate details often lie with Alice, who has memorized the specific configurations and user preferences. This inside knowledge allows for quick action without the need to research. But what happens if Alice moves on? The turnover could leave a substantial knowledge gap.

In contrast, an MSP brings:

  • Detailed Documentation: Just as medical records are meticulously kept for patients, MSPs document every aspect of your network. This means that any technician from the MSP can pick up where another left off, ensuring continuity and efficiency.

The financial aspect is also an important consideration. Employing someone like Alice can lead to a predictable cost as long as tasks don’t step outside the regular remit or require unforeseen projects. Conversely, although MSPs might appear costlier at first glance, they include comprehensive services and tools:

  • Comprehensive Solutions: An MSP provides not just expertise but also essential cybersecurity and network management tools that would otherwise be an additional cost on top of Alice’s salary.
  • Consolidated Expenses: With a managed service, you pay for both the technical support and the tools in one package, potentially offering greater value and cost predictability.

Understanding Your Network Management Choices

When managing your network, choosing between an in-house IT professional or a Managed Service Provider (MSP) entails considering various factors, such as responsiveness, depth of knowledge, continuity, and cost efficiency.


  • In-house IT staff, such as Alice in your office, can offer instant solutions due to physical proximity, handling issues like swapping monitors rapidly.
  • MSPs, while not on-site, come with a team ready to troubleshoot remotely and dispatch someone when necessary, ensuring support even during off-hours or vacations.

Depth of Knowledge:

  • An in-house specialist like Alice has a detailed understanding of your network, from preferred settings to specific configurations.
  • With an MSP, documentation is thorough, meaning any team member can assist and maintain your network without hiccups, even if a technician is unavailable.

Cost Efficiency:

  • At first glance, the salary of an internal IT employee like Alice might seem low; however, additional costs for tools and software necessary for cybersecurity and network management can add up.
  • MSPs typically bundle these costs with their services, making them a comprehensive solution even if the initial price seems higher, and eliminating concerns about hiring and training new staff if your IT employee leaves.

Consequences of Departing IT Staff

When managing a company’s network, the discussion often turns to whether to hire internally or partner with a Managed Service Provider (MSP). While both choices have advantages, let’s explore what happens when your internal IT specialist, let’s call them Alice, is away from the office.

Firstly, consider the response times. Alice is stationed in-house, so if an issue arises, she’s readily available to address it, like replacing monitors or rebooting systems. Yet, her availability is not round-the-clock; evenings and weekends are typical off-hours, and when Alice is on vacation, there’s a gap in support. That’s where MSPs like us, CCS, stand out. We offer a team approach, which, while not physically in your building, provides depth and continuity of service. Anytime you reach out, a dispatcher connects you with available technicians, ensuring issues get addressed promptly, no matter where I or any staff member may be.

Alice’s knowledge of your network is undoubtedly in-depth. Her memorization of specifics, from IP addresses to personalized settings, ensures a swift response when troubleshooting. However, this bespoke knowledge can pose risks when Alice eventually moves on. The information turnover can create a void. MSPs mitigate this risk by maintaining thorough documentation accessible to all technicians—like a physician’s approach to medical records—fostering seamless transitions between IT personnel.

Lastly, let’s tackle the financial aspect. Employing an Alice seems straightforward in terms of costs, which may appear lower at first glance compared to hiring an MSP. Yet, there’s more to consider than Alice’s salary. Tools, software, and cybersecurity measures all add to the overhead. By contrast, an MSP combines labor with a comprehensive suite of tools. This integration often makes MSPs a more economically sound choice, especially when considering recruitment costs and tool expenditures if and when Alice departs.

Evaluating Managed Service Providers vs. In-House IT Staff Costs

When deciding between an in-house IT specialist and contracting a Managed Service Provider (MSP), you need to examine the various aspects affecting operational efficiency and financial impact.

Firstly, consider response times. An in-house professional, such as Alice, provides immediate assistance, as she’s directly available on-site for tasks like troubleshooting or setting up new equipment. Yet, this benefit might be limited during her off-hours or vacation time. In contrast, while an MSP may not be physically present in your office, they offer the advantage of a team ready to address your issues at any time.

Another factor to contemplate is familiarity with your network. Internal IT staff typically has intimate knowledge of your unique requirements and can tailor solutions quickly. However, should this individual leave the company, your organization risks losing this critical knowledge. In comparison, MSPs maintain detailed documentation of your systems, ensuring that your operations continue smoothly, even if a particular technician is unavailable.

Finally, let’s compare the financial aspects. Assume you’re paying Alice, an in-house IT staff, an annual wage of $60,000. Adding a 30% overhead for benefits, her cost to the company rises to approximately $80,000 yearly, not including additional investments in software and tools necessary for network security and management, which can double the expense.

In contrast, collaborating with an MSP may initially seem more costly, but this includes not just labor but also a suite of necessary tools. Cybersecurity applications, helpdesk software, documentation platforms, and licenses for software suites like Microsoft Office are bundled into the service fee. Moreover, turnover costs are mitigated with MSPs, as finding and training replacement IT personnel can be an expensive and challenging process.

Considerations for Tools and Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

When managing your company’s network, you can choose between recruiting an internal IT expert or partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Each option comes with distinctive advantages.

An internal IT professional, always on-site, offers swift, hands-on solutions to immediate issues. They carry a deep understanding of your specific network environment, including nuances like personalized settings and device preferences.

On the other hand, while MSPs may not provide on-the-spot physical interventions, they have the breadth of staff to ensure continuity of service. MSPs maintain detailed documentation akin to a medical record to facilitate issue resolution carried out by any of their technicians. This ensures that even if an MSP technician is unavailable, your network management can persist without interruption.

When it comes to costs, consider the full spectrum of expenses. If you hire an internal IT professional, you might face labor costs plus additional expenses for tools and software required for network security and management. Alternatively, MSPs offer bundled services that include labor and these essential tools, providing a comprehensive solution that could be more cost-effective in the long term.

To help illustrate the points:

  • Immediate Response: Internal IT can offer hands-on support quickly, whereas an MSP provides a breadth of resources for continuous support.
  • Network Familiarity: Internal IT has intimate knowledge of your network, but MSPs ensure this knowledge is documented and accessible, mitigating the risk of staff turnover.
  • Financial Consideration: Weigh the cost of an internal IT’s salary and tool expenses against the bundled cost of an MSP’s services and tools.

Obstacles in Substituting In-House IT Professionals

When evaluating the swap from in-house IT support to an external service provider, several pivotal concerns arise. One being availability and response times.

For instance, your on-site technician, Alice, can address issues swiftly due to proximity. During regular working hours, Alice’s immediate physical presence allows for rapid troubleshooting, such as rebooting devices or solving minor issues on the fly. However, problems can occur outside of work hours or when Alice is on vacation, leading to potential service gaps.

This is where external IT support, or Managed Service Providers (MSPs), have their strengths.

Although MSPs might not be physically present to handle a task instantaneously, they offer a broader scope of availability. For example, your service provider operates with a team ready for dispatch, ensuring support continuity, even when their staff take personal time off or are on holiday. So, while an in-house IT staff member provides speed within office hours, an MSP offers comprehensive coverage that mitigates the risk of downtime during off-hours or absences.

Understanding the nuances of your network system is another concern. Like Alice, who knows every detail from IP addresses to the CEO’s desktop preferences, in-house IT staff develop intimate knowledge of your business’s unique needs. This intimate knowledge promotes efficiency and reduces time spent researching solutions.

Conversely, when Alice eventually leaves—a fact underscored by the industry’s average tenure of just a few years—her departure can leave a void that’s tough to fill.

MSPs tackle this issue through meticulous documentation and a systematic approach to knowledge-sharing. This ensures that any technician who works on your network can access vital information, offering a level of resilience and continuity in service.

Cost considerations are also significant. Hiring an internal IT specialist like Alice incurs her salary and additional burdens from benefits and tools necessary for her to perform her job.

This may seem straightforward until you consider the additional expenses of cybersecurity and network management software. These extras can double the seemingly fixed costs of an in-house employee.

While appearing more expensive up front, MSPs bundle their services with the necessary tools and software, creating a more comprehensive and often cost-effective solution when all factors are considered, including the turnover costs and the resources required to recruit replacements.

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