Before we dive into comparing in-house vs outsource, it is important to note that knowing your project is key. The type, scope, and timeframe of your project will determine which of the two resource options your company will benefit the most.
First things first, let us look at the difference between in-house and outsource IT services.
In-house IT team implies you are in charge of hiring IT specialists and forming a team of individually selected office-based professionals. If you struggle delegating and like to be in control of all aspects of your company work this option is definitely for you.
Outsource IT team means you rely on an independent IT service provider that can provide either a team of one kind of professionals, for instance, developers, or a team of combined specialists from developers to Project Managers that will ensure running a full project cycle.
Both options have pros and cons, so let us focus on the key elements that will help you choose the right type of IT model for your company.
In-House IT Services. Pros.
Dedicated Team. You have a carefully selected team of professionals to suit your project needs, who have good understanding of the company mission. You can grow experts within the team, provide talent development and gain employee loyalty.
Control. Staying in control of what your team does is easier when they are around. If this is your thing, in-house model is for you.
Time. In-house team provides a better flexibility when it comes to immediate start of the project or issue resolving, ensuring seamless workflow.
Confidentiality. Staying in control of confidential and sensitive information is easier when you do not have to provide access to your servers for external users.
In-House IT Services. Cons.
High Costs. Having a team on a payroll is a costly thing. If a project is on hold, you will still need to keep paying your team, unless you opt for outsourcing your own team and become a temporary service provider for someone else. Office rent, IT equipment and software are other things that add to it.
Time. Finding the right professional may take time and additional expenses for headhunting services and an attractive employment offer.
Staff Absences. Sick leaves and absences mean you will need to find a temporary replacement to ensure the project continues. This may also incur additional expenses.
Outsource IT Services. Pros.
Costs Efficiency. Substantial savings on salaries is one of the biggest benefits for outsource. All you need to do is agree on the hourly rate per project. No additional expenses for office rent, IT equipment and software.
Talent Selection. With thousands IT professionals all over the world you can have quick access to talents, who match your project objectives. Outsource team is easy to upsize or downsize depending on how you project develops without compromising on quality.
Time. Finding the right team / specialist to outsource is much quicker than hiring an in-house team.
Delegation. You can delegate IT tasks to a dedicated team of professionals while focusing on tasks that are more important.
Outsource IT Services. Cons.
Hard to Choose. With endless variety of IT companies on the market, it may become a tricky task to find the right one that will provide good quality work. The last thing you want is to fix issues after you finish working with an outsource team.
Less Control. You will get less control over IT projects and less face-to-face interaction with the team. If this becomes a challenge, you may want to think about outsourcing a project manager to keep things under control and provide you with regular updates on how the project progresses.
Communication. Working with a team from different time zones can cause difficulties in communicating and resolving issues in timely manner.
Commitment. Some outsource providers may be reluctant to commit to a long term project.
As you can see, both models have advantages and disadvantages. It is not a rare thing that companies go for a hybrid model, applying two approaches based on the project needs.