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IT Director: In-House or Outsourced?

April 5, 2022 Rebecca Expert advice

Employing a full-time IT director who can make sure your IT systems and processes are fit for purpose has never been more important, but it’s also an expensive undertaking. That’s when an outsourced, independent IT director service can be a huge help. But how do you know when it’s the right time to seek an experienced IT director’s expertise and what are the benefits of using an outsourced provider vs. recruiting in-house?   

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Is your current IT arrangement stifling your growth?

What worked for your business two or three years ago might not work for you as you expand and grow. You’re likely to find that the expertise of one in-house IT staff member is simply not enough, or that they do not have the strategic knowledge to help you expand and grow.

Here are a few common signs that your current IT arrangement is holding you back:

You’re holding onto legacy software that is hampering your business’s performance and exposing you to cybersecurity risks.
You rely on increasingly complex systems and workarounds that force you to make concessions and take extra steps to achieve results.
There’s a disconnect between your IT infrastructure planning decisions and your business goals.
You shy away from introducing new software that can support rapid business growth and pay significant costs for software licensing and support.
Your management and employees lack the knowledge to make well-informed and strategic IT decisions.

The benefits of an in-house IT director

Although having a full-time IT director is an expensive way to fill your skills gap, it does provide several benefits. 

An in-house IT director will get to know how your business operates and understand your infrastructure inside-out. They’ll also know how your team use your IT systems so they can identify opportunities for improvement through tech and software development. As you grow, they’ll also be able to recruit and bring in fresh faces and new ideas to help you achieve your specific goals.

The downsides of an in-house IT director

The most obvious downside of hiring an in-house IT director is the expense. If you run a small business then you may not have the budget to hire a full-time or even a part-time IT director, with the associated recruitment costs, salary and benefits all to consider. There’s also the requirement for regular training to keep the IT director up to date on all the new tools and systems that can optimise the business. There may also be some knowledge gaps, with even the best in-house IT directors having areas they are inexperienced in.  

The advantages of an outsourced IT director

An undoubted benefit to your business is the ability to have C-suite skills on tap without the hefty salary requirements of an experienced IT director. You can choose to hire someone for a few hours or days every quarter to solve a particular problem, evaluate a new supplier, or work out how to optimise a business process. 

Outsourced IT directors will also have experience of what works well for other growing businesses in a variety of sectors. They will have solved all sorts of different problems and challenges, from short-term projects to long-term strategy development, and that can give them a broader spectrum of knowledge than an in-house IT director might typically possess.

Due to the varied nature of the role, they’ll also have up-to-date knowledge of many of the new innovations and ideas in the industry. Because of this, they’ll be able to provide strategic insights and mentoring to your in-house employees. 

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Expert assistance with every IT challenge

An outsourced IT director can help you with many of the IT challenges you face. That includes:

Service optimisation
Support to help ensure all your internal and external IT services run as smoothly as possible.
Supplier support
Help choosing and working with third-party providers.
Cyber security
Implementing strategies to protect your data, systems and people from cyber security threats.
Cloud services
Helping you enjoy the benefits of cloud computing by managing your migration to the cloud and handling everything from backups and archiving to cost reviews and application management.
Risk and disaster management
Using their expertise to safeguard your business continuity and plan for disaster recovery.
Data management
Reviewing your existing processes and implementing changes so you can make the most of your data.
All of the advice and practical assistance you need to comply with regulatory and legislative requirements.
Strategy and planning
Developing and implementing appropriate IT strategies to help your business achieve its goals.

What’s best for you? 

Whether an in-house or outsourced IT director is right for you depends on the size of your business and your particular needs. If your business is reliant on tech and you have multiple devices, remote systems or operate in the tech industry, you will likely benefit from the skills of an in-house or outsourced IT director. If you run a smaller business and need expertise to solve particular problems that you don’t have in-house, the flexibility of an outsourced IT director could be an excellent fit.   

Get a flexible IT resource to suit your needs

Give us a call on 01473 599020 or email  to find out whether we can act as a sounding board to you or your current IT Director, or provide more comprehensive support to help you overcome your IT challenges. 

March 23, 2022 By Richard
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