Supplemental and outsourced IT services both fall under the umbrella of IT provision, but there are some crucial differences between the two options. Because of these differences, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for a business. Instead, each business must be served according to its current needs, understand how those needs might change in the future, and work with an IT provider to find the right solution.
If you’re currently considering supplemental vs outsourced managed IT services, becoming familiar with the two types of service can help you decide what is best for your organization.
What Are Supplemental IT Services?
Supplemental IT services augment your current IT team. These are additional services that a company might need from time to time, perhaps during a particularly busy season for your company or during an overhaul of your software and hardware upgrades. It might be helpful to bring in extra talent to help solve a specialized issue.
The members of an in-house IT team might wonder if their jobs are on the line when the company permanently outsources certain IT services, but supplemental IT members simply add to the team temporarily. Companies find that the people who can fill these short-term roles are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their fields, which reduces training time and other recruiting expenses.
What Are Outsourced IT Services?
On the other hand, some companies have moved to entirely managed IT services, one of several business functions that is commonly outsourced. Companies that provide these services are known as managed service providers, or MSPs. They typically partner with clients remotely, although there may be times when an MSP accesses a company’s physical location.
MSPs are capable of handling a variety of IT needs from security and network organization to data backup and retrieval, much of which has been made possible by modern cloud solutions. Outsourced managed IT services can also be invaluable in finding the best hardware and software solutions for businesses like yours, and they may even offer savings on those products if they purchase in bulk or partner with a manufacturer
While supplemental IT is often temporary and might patch occasional needs in a company’s system, outsourced IT actively monitors a company’s IT for a monthly fee and operates with a long-term perspective. While the client must trust the MSP a great deal to allow such access to their network, their comprehensive services provide reassurance in the event of issues arising, especially those related to cybercrime. This monitoring means clients can expect to pay a predictable monthly amount for expert managed services as long as their needs don’t drastically change.
While some may believe outsourced IT services are more expensive than supplemental IT services, this isn’t always the case. Paying a flat monthly rate instead of an hourly wage can be a perk because the IT provider has no incentive to drag out the work to increase their paycheck. Furthermore, it can become quite costly to pay for supplemental IT over the long run, especially if companies must allocate internal resources to train and integrate the additional person(s) on their teams, occasionally leading to a drop in productivity. Paying these costs in addition to maintaining an internal IT team can be overwhelming.
Thus, it can be argued that it’s more cost effective for a business to hire an MSP and completely outsource its IT needs instead. Some people also prefer MSPs for the simplicity of budgeting, even if it occasionally means paying more per month.
If a business needs an IT provider to be on site quickly, it could mean loss of time and money if the off site MSP can’t get there right away. Additionally, the terms offered by an MSP play a significant role in whether outsourcing IT is the right fit for a company. If the contract doesn’t include support for the software a company uses or that is provided by the MSP, or if the business needs additional hardware to make the MSP’s services compatible with its setup, that business may pay much more than originally expected after calculating out-of-pocket expenses. It’s important to know your company’s needs and work closely with a potential provider before signing a contract.
Supplemental vs. Outsourced Managed IT Services
Supplemental and outsourced IT may seem mutually exclusive, but that’s not necessarily the case. For example, a company might try supplemental IT services as it shrinks the internal IT department or as a stepping stone to fully managed IT services. By starting with supplemental IT services, a company can see whether—and when—outsourcing works for them.
Furthermore, an MSP might provide some supplemental services without being on-premises, so there’s room for some overlap between the two services.
With this in mind, many businesses will be better prepared to choose between supplemental vs outsourced managed IT services should the need arise. Contact AxiaTP today to better understand how outsourced managed IT services can benefit your company.