IT DepartmentInformation Technology (IT) can be a sore subject for small and medium-sized businesses. Unlike enterprise operations, SMBs simply don’t have the resources to support a massive IT department, capable of quickly and efficiently tackling both the day-to-day demands of keeping the lights on, as well as pursuing more strategic, business-value-driven initiatives. In fact, for many organizations, the “IT department” may be relegated to one or two people – or even a single part-time employee. In those instances, does it still make sense to manage a dedicated, internal IT department? Should businesses instead look for external support?

Building an IT Department is Expensive

Constructing your own internal IT team may wind up costing your organization more than it can realistically afford. IT experts don’t come cheap: According to PayScale, the going rate for a systems administrator is around $60,000 a year. Meanwhile, the average network engineer’s annual salary currently sits at more than $66,000 a year. Hiring a project manager could set your business back nearly $80,000 per year. It’s no wonder that so many organizations opt to go the part-time route and have their IT guy work every other day, or only come into the office a few hours a day.

That approach leads to its own set of problems, however.

“A fully capable Jack-of-all-trades is a rare find in the IT world.”

Internal IT Teams Can’t Do Everything

If your IT department is really just one part-time employee, schedule conflicts are inevitably going to arise. Part-timers are likely holding down a separate job, and if a problem occurs during their downtime, they may not be able to fix it quickly. That means network outages could drag on for hours or even days, preventing employees from doing their work.

Even dedicated IT staff won’t have the expertise to tackle every single issue that may arise. A fully capable Jack-of-all-trades is a very rare individual to find in the IT world. Someone may be adept at diagnosing and correcting network problems, but may not be quite as proficient with tasks like access management, cyber security, and business continuity.

The fact is that IT covers a wide variety of business needs, and it’s unlikely that one individual person will have the full scope of expertise required to carry out every tech-related requirement.

Why IT Support Services Make Sense

For most SMBs out there, managing their own dedicated IT department just doesn’t make a lot of sense from a cost or value perspective. A much more sensible alternative is to work with an external party who can provide comprehensive IT support.

IT service providers can offer more expertise on a wider range of technology needs than just about any SMB IT department – and at a far lower price point. Instead of hiring dedicated professionals to handle each facet of IT demands, it often makes sense to work with a single IT support team who can do it all.

Although some business leaders may like the idea of having a dedicated IT guy on-site at all times to correct any issues that come up, IT support providers can offer the same level of on-demand service. Whether you need help diagnosing network problems or assistance optimizing IT infrastructure for maximum performance and uptime, a quality IT service provider can be there whenever needed.