An information technology (IT) department integrates hardware and software platforms to help a business store, transfer and protect information. Small businesses may not have the budget to maintain IT personnel on the payroll, while larger corporations may find greater IT solutions when outsourcing. However, there are both positive and negative factors when considering outsourcing IT.
Outsourcing IT work devotes a team to troubleshoot and resolve network problems and glitches. Rather than maintaining a small IT staff, outsourcing units consist of larger staffs who design, implement and troubleshoot corporate solutions every day. As a result, the quality of the work is higher when IT is outsourced, reducing system problems and downtime that can lead to corporate loss.
Confidential Information: Con
Outsourcing gives a third party complete access to your company information. Some IT outsourcing may not even be based in the United States, increasing possible exposure to information theft. Everything from company projections to interoffice confidential emails to sensitive client data is at risk of being copied and later used or sold. Such breaches can destroy a company’s finances and reputation.
Lower Costs: Pro
When IT is outsourced, burdens on human resources departments are eased. The business has lower recruiting costs, payroll costs and benefits payments to employees. Outsourcing places the burden of taxes and benefits on the contractor doing the IT work. Everything from health insurance to office space rental is reduced when a business does not maintain its own IT department.
Hidden Costs; Con
While businesses seek outsourcing to save costs and improve IT quality, they risk getting an unexpected bill resulting from hidden fees. This is a larger issue when IT operations are outsourced to other countries. A company may be billed for time not devoted to its operations, where the outsourcing company is double-billing clients. Other hidden costs, such as phone consultations, may have limits that, once met, start a per-incident fee. These fees can add up quickly, with little recourse for the company other than to find a new IT contractor.
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