The True Costs of Hiring an IT Professional
Congratulations on reaching a point in your business where hiring a full-time IT professional is under consideration! This milestone signifies your hard work and successful decision-making that have propelled your business growth. However, it’s essential to proceed with careful analysis to avoid potential pitfalls. One significant decision to make is whether to hire someone directly or engage a third-party Managed Service Provider (MSP). In this article, we will delve into the specifics of both scenarios.
The Need for an IT Professional
In the past, business and technology were seen as separate realms. Over time, this gap has narrowed, and many individuals have become tech-savvy enough to handle basic tasks. However, as your business grows, the complexity of your IT needs also increases. Delegating IT responsibilities becomes crucial, even if you possess the skills to handle them independently. Neglecting to assign IT duties can have dire consequences in our current landscape, as cyber attacks continue to rise in frequency and sophistication. Leaving an IT position vacant could potentially invite devastating attacks. For instance, attackers’ average ransom demands have skyrocketed from $522 in 2016 to about $84,000 in 2020. Regrettably, many of these attacks occur due to a lack of dedicated IT personnel.
Moreover, efficiency and cost-effectiveness are at stake. Over time, neglecting system updates can render your infrastructure outdated, impeding productivity. Adopting a reactive approach to equipment replacement, only addressing breakdowns rather than considering functional obsolescence, can lead to situations where employees are unable to work for extended periods.
The In-House Option
Suppose you decide to establish an in-house IT team by directly hiring IT professionals. One apparent advantage is the ability to carefully select qualified candidates who align with your organization’s specific requirements. However, there are additional considerations.
Similar to any other employee, hiring an IT professional entails associated costs. The average annual salary for an IT professional is approximately $60,000. However, this amount represents only the tip of the iceberg. You must also account for factors such as workspace requirements, including expensive hardware and multiple monitor setups. Additionally, network diagnostic software and industry-specific software must be factored into the equation. Since IT professionals may be on call, they require reliable phone plans for constant accessibility. If your business operates from multiple locations, providing a company car or reimbursing travel expenses may become necessary. And, of course, let’s not overlook the expense account!
Aside from the specific expenses mentioned above, remember that IT professionals are still employees. This entails the general costs associated with employing staff, including health and life insurance, vacation and sick leave, 401(k) contributions, and potential bonuses or overtime pay. Furthermore, if an IT professional leaves the company, the implicit and explicit costs associated with recruitment, training, and potential disruptions to operations can be substantial.
A Safer Alternative
In the past, hiring an IT professional directly was the primary option for most employers. However, the high costs, both known and unknown, have led companies to seek alternative solutions, such as engaging MSPs.
With an MSP, you can reap the benefits of a full-time employee without the associated drawbacks. MSPs offer consistent availability, extensive network knowledge, and a singular focus on IT, unburdened by additional day-to-day responsibilities. Whether you require assistance with routine upgrades, a complete IT infrastructure redesign, or even the complete outsourcing of your IT operations, including telephone systems, MSPs can provide tailored services to suit your needs.
Moreover, the cost agreed upon in the contract is fixed and known, unlike the unpredictable expenses associated with employing an individual. You can avoid HR-related concerns, and the responsibility lies with the MSP as a company, not an individual.
If your company recognizes the need for dedicated IT personnel but is uncertain about the best approach to take, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. We are eager to discuss your specific requirements and help guide you towards the most suitable options for your business.