Nick Glimsdahl of EasyIT outlines when it's right to hire or outsource IT specialists.

By Nick Glimsdahl

Today, many business leaders are asking, "Should we hire someone or should we outsource?"

IT outsourcing is a viable option for companies of all sizes; however, outsourcing a significant portion or all IT needs is most popular for small to medium size businesses. This article seeks to answer the questions, "When should you consider outsourcing?" and "When should you considering hiring?"

To begin, you need to understand and ask questions about the following:

Your needs – What does your company strategically need? What is your budget?

Your ultimate goal – Is your goal to have part-time support, full-time support, or 24x7 support?

The outcome of your options – What do you want the result to be?

When should you consider outsourcing?

Why is outsourcing a significant portion or all IT needs most popular for small to medium size businesses. Let's take a closer look-it may help you with your consideration.

Many small IT departments focus on reactive, rather than proactive, support because of time constraints and competing priorities.

Many small to medium size businesses cannot afford to provide their IT professionals with continuing education due to budget and resource constraints.

Retention of IT talent can be a struggle, possibly losing talent to competitors and larger companies that have better benefits to offer.

Often, when compared to a new hire, outsourcing provides a viable, less expensive option for 24/7/365 proactive and reactive IT support.

Many small business leaders do not have the technical expertise to understand the inner-workings of an IT department, to staff it, to review and truly assess the work done and to plan for the company's technical future. Do you consider yourself a Chief Technology Officer along with your current day job? Could you draft the IT Department 2016 Strategy and the tactics to implement that strategy? Do you know the risk and compliance issues that face your company?

In the absence of a Chief Information Officer, levels of IT leadership and several teams of IT architects and technicians, it can be difficult to challenge the status quo, find gaps, and identify needs. This gap is where a different perspective can shine light.

When should you consider hiring someone?

Hiring internally can generate positive results, and it can be the most appropriate option in some situations. A few of these are:

You need an individual to be physically on-site when you have an industry specific software, so that professionals can best leverage that software for the business.

Your IT shop is self-sustaining and can afford to lose a team member.

You have the resources and capacity to hire, train and retain your IT employees.

Whatever route you go:

Whether you outsource IT or hire internally, you still need to have your IT managed. This management process requires trust, and either option can either be rewarding or very frustrating.That is where relationships come in. In either situation, you want to feel confident that you will receive great value, clear and effective communication and ethical behavior.

This decision is a business decision, not an IT decision. Take the time to think through your business needs and determine the correct strategy to meet your short-term and long-term goals.

Nick Glimsdahl is a business solutions specialist at Dublin-based EasyIT, which specializes in IT outsourcing, co-sourcing, help desk and assessment and audit services.