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As businesses are undergoing digital transformations, IT is becoming a critical part of their business success. With consumers expecting hospitality to match the digital era with new customer experiences, it’s often one of the things that are left behind!
So whilst basic IT knowledge goes a long way in hospitality, having a dedicated IT expert is still the best solution. Most business owners are now faced with a critical decision: to choose between an IT managed service provider vs in-house IT team. How are they different? Which one is better? How safe is it to let someone else take care of your IT needs?
The choice between an IT managed service provider vs in-house IT team often boils down to the size of the company and its specific needs. Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of each option.
In-House IT Team: Pros and Cons
In-house IT staff usually handle day-to-day IT operations and requirements. Startups and small and medium businesses will often start with a single IT expert who will handle their IT needs. As they grow, however, they will also need more than one IT expert to keep track of everything.
It’s not that in-house teams are without benefits:
- They will have intimate knowledge of your operations and know your infrastructure in and out.
- They can be immediately available when you need them.
On the other hand, having a full in-house IT team is often limited to large enterprises only. A full IT team when you’re a small or middle-sized business is just not possible financially. Not only would they eat up resources but you need a place to put them day-to-day too!
The cons of in-house teams seem to be more prevalent when it comes to IT requirements of most hospitality businesses:
- The costs run high: They will be your full-time employees, meaning you will have to cover their salaries, benefits, training, NI, and other expenses.
- The emergencies increase costs even more: The cost of intervention often goes up considerably in case of emergencies that happen overnight, and you have to pay overtime.
- Team members are not bound to your company: If they decide to leave for what they think is a better opportunity, they are free to do so. When they leave, they will take all their expertise with them and you’re stuck with tech you don’t know how to run, unless you employ a team – which is even more expensive!
- In-house teams can rarely keep up with all the latest IT developments or industry trends, meaning that parts of your IT infrastructure will inadvertently become outdated. It’s their job to keep things running, not constantly innovate!
- Often limited to reactive interventions instead of proactive IT strategy development.
Is an IT managed service provider better than in-house IT teams? Let’s see what they can offer.
IT Managed Service Providers: Pros and Cons
Business owners are often wondering how is an IT managed service provider better than in-house IT teams. It seems logical that hiring a third-party provider to take care of your IT needs would be less efficient.
But this is a common misconception.
Managed service providers actually improve efficiency. They deliver higher quality services because IT is their speciality; it’s all they do. They are experts who continuously improve their knowledge by following the latest developments.
When a business hires an IT managed service provider, they will reap the following benefits:
- Paying a lower price for hiring them than you would for keeping an in-house team. Their services are available for a flat monthly rate, which makes budgeting for IT super easy. You benefit from economies of scale here, because ultimately, you won’t be the service provider’s only client – but that means they are more affordable!
- They are available around the clock and can monitor your systems at all times.
- Your operations will rarely be disrupted: Managed service providers have service level agreements (SLAs) that are legally binding. They guarantee to provide the highest possible uptime and service quality. It also means that should you move to someone else, they should provide you with all the procedures and documentation necessary to ‘hand-over’ your day-to-day.
- Managed service providers also have access to the latest technological solutions, software, and industry contact. This means that all your IT needs will be up to date as soon as there’s one available.
Of course, there are also some disadvantages of managed service providers:
- Finding the right fit for your business needs takes time. Sometimes, trial and error is the only option to find a managed service provider who has everything you need.
- Sometimes, service packages can be arranged in such a way that you might need to pay for some services you don’t really need. Still, many managed service providers will happily let you make a fully custom package.
- The biggest concern is their on-site availability. Your MSP should always be able to provide some level of physicality! Particularly for 1st line support which often involves users directly.
IT Managed Service Provider vs In-House IT Team: Who Wins?
Is an IT managed service provider better than in-house IT teams? Our verdict is a big fat YES because they can offer everything an in-house IT team does, and more! Ultimately, you pay for a ‘service’ rather than a person when it comes to an IT managed service provider and therefore you know you’re always covered!
Comparing an IT managed service provider to an in-house IT team shows that you will ultimately save more money by opting for a managed service provider.
Having up-to-date software is also a crucial point – it ensures you are well protected against cybersecurity threats and attacks that are becoming more elaborate over time. Your IT managed service provider will make sure all your security definitions are up to date, that they never expire, and that your business and customer data is secure.
IT managed service providers free up the time you would otherwise spend on the challenging tasks related to your IT. They are not just your IT support, they are the technological catalyst for your business. Working with you to develop the right strategies to