When to Tackle IT Challenges In-House and When to Call a Consultant

June 7

In today's digital age, businesses increasingly rely on technology to drive their operations. However, IT challenges, from network slowdowns to cybersecurity threats, can disrupt productivity and compromise data security. 

In 2021, 28% of enterprises and 20% of tech-focused small and mid-sized businesses indicated that keeping up with threats to data security is their leading technology challenge. 

Imagine a scenario where your company's network suddenly slows to a crawl just as you're preparing for a major product launch. The pressure mounts and the immediate question arises: should you address this issue with your in-house IT team or seek external help from an IT consultant?

Deciding between handling IT challenges internally or hiring a consultant involves careful consideration of various factors. This blog will help guide you through the pros and cons of each approach, helping you make the best decision for your business.

 

What's in this article?

 

Managed Vs In House

 

Factors to Consider for In-House Solutions:

Strengths of the In-House Team

1. Deep Understanding of the Company's IT Infrastructure:

Your in-house IT team has an intimate knowledge of your company's specific IT infrastructure, policies, and procedures. This familiarity can lead to quicker identification and resolution of common issues

2. Cost-Effectiveness for Routine Tasks

For everyday maintenance and smaller tasks, relying on your in-house team can be more cost-effective than hiring external help. According to Statista, global IT services spending surpassed one trillion dollars for the first time in 2019. 

3. Dedicated Focus

An in-house team is solely focused on your company's IT needs, ensuring that their efforts align with your business goals. 

 

Challenges of In-House Team

1. Limited Expertise for Complex Projects 

While your in-house team may excel at routine maintenance, they might lack the specialized skills required for complex projects like cloud migration or advanced cybersecurity measures.

2. Potential for Bias

An internal team may develop biases or become too entrenched in current practices, hindering innovation and fresh perspectives.

3. Keeping Up with Trends

The IT landscape evolves rapidly. Keeping your in-house team updated with the latest trends and technologies requires continuous training and investment.

According to Statista, 37% of respondents cited too many manual processes as being too challenging in optimizing IT spending in 2022.

Pros & Cons table of In-House vs IT Consultant infographic

 

Actionable Tips for In-House Team

1. Define Scope and Complexity 

Clearly outline the scope and complexity of the IT challenge to assess whether your in-house team has the necessary skills and resources.

2. Assess Skills and Resources

Regularly evaluate your team's skill set and ensure they have access to the necessary tools and training. 

3. Invest in Training

Continuous training and improving the skills of your IT staff can keep your team equipped to handle emerging challenges. 

 

Factors to Consider for External Consultants

Benefits of Hiring a Consultant 5 Reasons your business can benefit from an IT consultant infographic

  • Specialized Expertise

IT consultants bring deep expertise in specific IT domains such as cybersecurity, cloud migration, and data restoration. Their specialized knowledge can be invaluable for complex projects. 

  • Access to Advanced Tools

External consultants often have access to a broader range of tools and resources, which can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their solutions. 

  • Unbiased Perspective

Consultants provide an unbiased assessment of your IT environment, offering fresh perspectives and innovative solutions that in-house teams might overlook.

  • Project Management Experience

IT consultants bring strategic and extensive project management experience, ensuring that projects are completed on time and within budget. According to the SaasList, only 21% of companies have standardized project management systems in place. 

 

Challenges of Hiring a Consultant

  • Additional Costs

Hiring a consultant can be more expensive than utilizing in-house resources, particularly for long-term projects. However, the IT consulting market grew by 98 billion dollars during 2020-2024, as stated by Runn.

  • Finding the Right Fit

The process of finding and vetting a consultant who fits your specific needs can be time consuming. As of 2024, there are 496,630 enterprises in the IT consulting industry, based on IBISWorld.

  • Knowledge Transfer

After the project, there may be a need for knowledge transfer to your in-house team, which can require additional time and resources.

 

Actionable Tips for Successful Consultant Engagement 74% of SMBs have hired IT consultants inforgraphic

  • Define Project Goals

Clearly define the project goals and desired outcomes to ensure both parties are aligned.

  • Research and Shortlist

Conduct thorough research to shortlist consultants with relevant experience and a proven track record.

  • Establish Clear Communication

Maintain clear communication channels and set expectations to ensure smooth collaboration throughout the project.

 

Making the Decision

When deciding between in-house IT solutions and external IT consultants, consider the complexity of the IT challenge, the expertise required, and the resources available. A simple flowchart like the following can help visualize this decision.

In-house IT vs IT consultant Flowchart

 

Real-Life Examples

- In-House Success

A small business with a straightforward network setup successfully addressed routine IT maintenance and minor troubleshooting in-house, saving costs and leveraging the team's familiarity with their systems.

- Consultant Success

A midsized company facing a significant cybersecurity threat engaged a consultant specializing in advanced security protocols. The consultant swiftly mitigated the threat, implemented robust security measures, and provided training to the in-house team.How to Decide

 

Key Takeaways

Making an informed decision between in-house IT solutions and hiring a consultant is crucial for addressing IT challenges effectively. Consider the complexity of the issue, your team's expertise, and resource availability.

For specialized projects, external consultants can provide the necessary expertise and fresh perspectives. As stated by Runn, the IT consulting market went up by more than 30% between 2011 and 2019.


At GAM Tech, we understand the intricacies of IT challenges. Our expert IT consulting services are designed to handle complex IT projects, offering tailored solutions to meet your business needs.

Contact us today for your free IT audit to identify opportunities for improvement and to learn more about how we can support your business. 

 

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Posted by Adrian Ghira on Jun 13, 2024 2:17:55 PM

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