Matthew Ashe
Matthew Ashe Executive Head: Data Centres

Should you keep your IT in-house, or should you outsource it?

people using tablets

This question plagues many CIOs.

Here’s a great example of the difference between the two:

Think of the difference between internal and external IT as being a little like the difference between buying your own house or opting to rent. As a homeowner, it’s your job is to take care of things. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone, you’re accountable for the maintenance of the property. It’s your responsibility to fit the bill to fix things or to make any improvements to the place.

It’s the same if you choose to manage your IT needs and infrastructure. You’re responsible for purchasing the required equipment and hiring the right people with the necessary expertise to keep things up and running.

When renting a place, you don’t have to make a sizable investment up front or handle the maintenance or pay for upgrades. You simply pay a monthly fee and should anything go wrong, your landlord will take care of it. The beauty of outsourcing your IT is similar. Someone else will ensure that everything is running smoothly – from security and compliance to IT understanding and support.

While managing all your IT needs internally may sound like a burden, especially when compared with the freedom and flexibility of outsourcing, it remains important to review your situation before you make a decision. Remember, you can also opt to use a combination of the two. This is called Hybrid IT.

The best of both worlds – unpacking Hybrid IT

Hybrid IT combines internal and external services to transform the role of IT. It’s about leveraging the skills and infrastructure you have in-house and then using outside resources to fill the gaps.

When considering a hybrid model, you should ask yourself these two questions:

“What can’t I do without?”

Look at all the elements of your IT architecture – everything from emails to electronic payments. Asking this question can help determine which processes are business critical and which are not. If you’re an ecommerce company, for example, chances are your business can’t function if your website is offline. Similarly, if you run a bank, any disruptions to your digital payment offerings would be catastrophic.

Once you’ve identified these things, you also need to ask:

“Do I have the necessary skills and infrastructure in place to handle things on my own?”

So now that you know what you can’t do without, you need to assess if you have the expertise and technology in place to ensure that these business processes are secure, well maintained and never disrupted. Answering these two questions will help you to identify which essential business processes you should outsource, i.e. leave it in the capable hands of the professionals, and which you can handle yourself.

Each business is unique with different needs and requirements. You need to tailor your IT, be it internal or external, to meet your unique requirements. If data centre outsourcing is something you’ve been thinking about, why not get in touch with one of our experts to find out how Internet Solutions’ data centre offerings can help you successfully meet your IT needs. For more information on choosing a data centre for your business, take a look at our guide.