Hire internal IT or outsource?

IT Support
Nate Work

Hire internal IT or outsource?

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Nate Work
February 8, 2022

As the owner of a managed services provider (MSP,) I’ve witnessed many small business owners weigh this question.

“Do I hire a technician to service my company’s IT support needs, or outsource to an MSP?”

Their decision is often driven by two desires:

  1. to reduce expenses and
  2. to have the exclusive attention of their IT technician.

I mean, who doesn’t want good, fast, and cheap? Years ago, a client as he was firing us really put a bow on it:

“I’m going to save money by hiring a full-time IT guy and we’ll have his full attention!”

Let’s break it down…

Expense reduction

Let’s use this client’s 20-person headcount and a per-user fee of $200/month to make the math clean. In this case, this MSP’s monthly fee works out to $4,000/month or $48,000/year.

In the DC area, you’re not getting a technician with more than a few weeks of experience for less than $60,000/year, let alone under $48,000. And that’s to say nothing of the additional expenses for a full-time staff member, including:

  • health insurance
  • unemployment insurance
  • management of the technician
  • IT certifications and continuing education

I’m going to ignore those expenses because I don’t know how much they cost and they would only work in favor of my argument. 😀

Now you have a $60,000 technician with no tools, so add another $750 per month for the software they’ll need to manage, monitor, and secure your network, and now your costs are $69,000/year plus the cost of the four items above that I ignored. And that’s to say nothing of the downsides of relying on one person.

About the downsides…

Exclusive attention

I get the idea - your internal IT person isn’t servicing other clients, unlike techs at an MSP, so your technician is free to respond to your team’s support requests at a moment’s notice! 🙌

But does your IT person take lunch? Vacations? Get sick? Injured? Quit?

Hiring an MSP gives you a team of techs who are always more available than any single person and have a broader range of skills than you can get from any single tech (certainly broader than someone who can command only $60,000/year.)

And, for $48,000/year an MSP brings all of the tools they need to field support requests, monitor, secure, and manage your network, including:

  • support request ticketing portal
  • computer security products
  • network monitoring
  • software deployment and patch management
  • warranty monitoring
  • documentation portal
  • password management

As for that client who fired us, they hired an internal IT guy, who lasted a few months then they hired another MSP. 👀

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Hire internal IT or outsource?

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