Outsourced IT Vs. Internal IT Department – What’s the Best Choice?

Mar 14, 2018IT Managed Services

Businesses today have an ever-expanding list of IT requirements, so much so that it can be difficult to tackle all of them on their own. Even small businesses and startups need enterprise-level cybersecurity, the capability to back up their data, and ongoing network support.

Many businesses would prefer to address these challenges internally, but internal IT can be costly. Finding and maintaining the right talent can be a challenge as well. There are costs and benefits to both approaches, but for many, outsourcing is the best choice.

What You Get with an Internal IT Department

With an internal IT department, you get direct control over your own employees or, in some cases, a single IT employee. That employee becomes your go-to person for technical and network issues. You’ll probably include them in any business meeting that involves software, network security, or major technology changes at your company.

Being the “IT guy” is an important role, but after your internal IT department cleans up your network, they’ll switch modes and address IT issues as needed. If your IT department is staffed with Network Engineers, they’re going to get tired of running a help desk pretty quickly.

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What’s more, your IT department is under your leadership and they know your systems inside and out, but they can’t be completely objective. They may dissuade you from investing in more efficient technology if they think it could jeopardize their jobs. They may even spend downtime building unnecessary complexities into your network, all in an effort to fill time and justify their position.

How do we know this? Because we’ve been there.

Of course, the biggest challenge with an hiring internally is the cost.

Costs of an Internal IT Department

Most organizations view their IT department as a cost center, and not without good reason. It can be difficult to draw a line between your company’s revenue and a large investment in internal IT resources. Everyone knows that network security is important, but it doesn’t always translate when you’re trying to justify the costs.

In other words, it’s always a good idea to invest in robust IT resources but keeping it all in-house may not be sustainable for your company.

According to Indeed.com, the average salary for an Information Technology Manager is about $84,000 per year. Even if you eschew hiring a manager and only bring in a single, low-level IT professional, their salary will be about $52,000 per year, according to the same source.

That’s quite a cost for a single person, and a single person may not be able to handle your IT requirements on their own. This doesn’t take benefits (add 10%-15% more), certifications, sick days, vacation time, and turnover into account, either.


When you hire a new IT person, you need to decide who is going to train them and set aside the requisite time. It could take many months or even years before they are fully capable.

Then, you must consider the risks of turnover. If that IT person leaves your company, you will have invested immeasurable hours on them only to start the process all over again. This creates a significant burden on your company in terms of both costs and productivity.

If you include the prices of the tools, equipment, and software your IT department will need to do its job, the cost multiplies even further.

Even for just a few internal IT employees, you’re potentially looking at several hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours of training every year.

IT may be a cost of doing business, but it doesn’t have to be a drain on your resources. In fact, it could help you drive growth and increase productivity. You can often get better results for less cost by outsourcing your IT needs.

What You Get with an Outsourced IT Department

When you outsource IT, you get complete control over costs. Instead of fluctuating expenditures month after month, you pay a set fee that can fit right into your expenses. You’ll save on software acquisition, overhead, and turnover as well.

Instead of dedicating valuable employee time to IT issues, your staff can focus more on business-critical tasks. If IT isn’t part of your core business model, you can think less about IT and more about your real goals. Outsourcing frees up time at your organization, minimizing risk and enabling your employees to be more productive.

You also won’t have to worry about any of your network engineers getting bored because they’ve been made to run a help desk.

One of the most understated benefits of outsourcing is that you get access to the most up-to-date technology. For example, any IT company worth your time will provide you with tools like remote monitoring and management, offsite backups, and a ticketing system. These are all things you’d have to buy yourself if you hired internally.

And finally, you get instant access to a team of IT experts who are ready to go to work. After onboarding, there’s no need for extensive training and certification. You won’t have to focus on attracting the best talent and filling in the gaps of their education.

What’s the Best Choice?

As more businesses become technology-driven, the IT skills gap will continue to grow. It will become more difficult and costly to staff an internal IT department with the best talent moving forward. More businesses are outsourcing IT than ever before, and that trend is expected to continue.

Outsourced IT is also becoming the new standard for many industries. Even organizations that have IT departments work with a vendor or an outside IT partner by outsourcing key deliverables. In most cases, outsourcing is your best choice in terms of cost and efficiency.

How Live Consulting Can Help

IT demands are getting more complex year after year. And while technology is helping small and medium-sized businesses compete, it has also expanded the need for comprehensive IT support.

Live Consulting acts as an extension of your business, providing all the IT support you need to stay competitive and keep your business secure. We offer a number of network support and security services, including proactive maintenance, help desk access, off-site backup, web security, 24/7 assistance, and much more. All of our managed services are backed by our years of industry expertise. Our services are affordable on a flat budget, for a fraction of the cost of internal IT.

Live Consulting takes a team approach to IT support. We aren’t just a service provider; we’re a partner. Our goal is to help your business harness technology, so you can cut costs, prepare for the future, adopt new technology, and become more successful.

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Nick Nyberg

Nick-Nyberg-Denver-IT-SupportNick, along with his business partner and friend Tony, founded Live Consulting in 2004. While working for large tech corporations, he found a passion for helping small business access the technology that larger corporations used. He and Tony started as a 2 man operation and grew LIVE Consulting to over 30 employees since and have recently earned a spot on the Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Businesses List. In his spare time, Nick scuba dives with his wife Leah, dominates at corn hole, and spends time with his two children.

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