In-house Vs outsourced IT team

Since IT may not be a mainstay for a given business, companies are usually in two minds about whether to look for someone who could support and manage their IT infrastructure or should they setup their own IT team. Sometimes, they have a question about whether they really need to use IT? So, before I go into the details of In-house or outsource, let me explain whether you need IT or not?
Ask two questions to yourself:

  1. Can I achieve my 5-year growth plan using the current process without using IT?
  2. Is my manual process efficient enough to provide prompt response to the customer’s queries and suggestions?

If you have a answer of “NO” to any of the questions or if you have slight doubt about a confident “YES” then the obvious answer is — yes, you do need a software. Now, it is just matter of time, and that really depends on how quickly you are able to identify that actual and / or potential loss of business or opportunity.

Now that you think that IT will be probably useful for your business. You need to find answer for following questions:

  1. Why should I invest in IT?
  2. What all IT solutions are available for a set-up like mine?
  3. Is IT an investment or expenditure for us?
  4. Can IT boost our efficiency and productivity? If yes, in which areas?
  5. How can I optimally deploy IT without spending big bucks?
  6. How do I know which solutions are the best for our set-up?
  7. How do I make my set-up as efficient as similar successful firms, which are using IT tools?
  8. How do I calculate my return-on-investments with respect to IT?

Once you have answer to all your questions. You are in the better position to know when do you want to deploy the solution. Usually, we have seen that customer starts thinking about deploying something very immediately.

Our recommendation is — take a breathe — and think again. What does IT do for you? It automates your business. It rarely does anything new. Hence, you must have a very clear business process to help the IT team in implementing an effective solution for you. For example — we had a customer, Sree Karani Cargo, we were completely impressed with the clarity of business process in their mind. It really reduces iterations between the development and deployment.

So, now the question is

  1. should you be outsourcing your IT need to someone whose main focus is IT and you continue focusing on your core strength or
  2. should you be setting up your own IT team to develop a solution for you

The answer is it depends. It is always tempting to have your own people doing everything that you need. That gives you complete control and you get a sense of complete ownership of that solution. However, remember that it is not all about developing a solution, deploying that solution and then you are all set to stay launched forever. You may come across

  1. an issue which was never identified
  2. a change in business process which needs to be incorporated
  3. some performance issue because of your increased usage

The moment, you are in such situation, you do need someone to help you. Since you may not have that need everyday, it doesn’t make sense to keep IT team permanently. In nutshell, if you think that you will always have a constant need for IT team, and you will have enough resources to manage them, it is not a bad idea to setup your own IT team.
However, if you have

  1. Infrequent needs
  2. a need which require different skill sets at different time
  3. a requirement which requires deep technical knowledge, experience and focus
  4. you can not afford to delay solutions; beyond a certain period

The answer is — yes — you should outsource your work to the experts. After all, everyone need not be expert in everything. If you have to succeed in this competitive market then collaboration and interdependence is the key mantra.

I hope this helps you in taking some effective decision about your IT need. Do keep yourself up-to-date with our progress.

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