Business consultants love talking about the value triangle. It goes something like this: when businesses procure a product or service, they want it to be high quality, they want it to be fast and they want it to be cheap. MBA lecturers typically put these three parameters at the three points of a triangle and say that a supplier can position itself such that is delivers two, but it will be at the expense of the third. Intuitively, it makes sense:
- Cheap and fast means poor quality
- Cheap and good means you have to wait
- Fast and goodwill are not cheap
The value triangle can be used in other areas of business too, however, such as project management, buildings and infrastructure, and even staffing strategy.
However, there is one measure that businesses are rapidly adopting that tears the MBA texts apart.
By outsourcing their IT support function to a third party supplier like the one on this website, businesses derive reduced costs, faster service, and higher quality. That must be worth a more detailed look.
An in-house IT team is an expensive thing to have. It’s not just the salaries, there are also endless training courses to try and keep the knowledge base relevant. Then there is the hardware and software to think about, not to mention the space it all uses.
When you outsource to an external provider, you no longer have to think about salaries, bonuses, holiday pay, contributions, recruitment costs, HR support – the list goes on.
Typically, the provider will also be able to take care of your IT architecture and infrastructure needs. Even if you take the most expensive bells-and-whistles package available, the chances are that you will still be saving some serious money.
All those training courses can only go so far. The problem with internal IT teams is just that they are internal, and only see the IT infrastructure from the narrow perspective of your business.
Nobody is doing down the noble race of in-house IT support staff, but there is no way that they can hold the expertise and accumulated experience of an IT expert who works for a specialist provider and deals with a range of organizations.
The other point with the third-party company is that unlike your business, theirs is one that eats, sleeps and breathes IT.
They will constantly be at the cutting edge of technology and will keep their staff updated on new innovations and trends – because that is how they create their competitive advantage.
This is the one aspect that some businesses find hard to come to terms with. They argue that nothing can be faster or more efficient than your very own IT guy, right there within shouting distance.
Surely a telephone helpdesk or online chat support can’t compete there.
In fact, it can and it does. If businesses still operated from Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM, maybe the in-house guy would still win this race. But in this age of flexible hours and remote working, 24/7 support 365 days a year is vital.
And unless you are intending to invite the IT guy around for Christmas, that’s simply not going to happen when you keep it in-house.