Guest author: Bob Chapp, Service Desk Director

In a world where an inability to access the internet means a complete halt in productivity, it is essential for businesses to have access to IT support. The question that most businesses are asking themselves is not whether they need IT support – but whether they should invest in building an in-house help desk or outsource the service.

1. Reduced cost
The cost for building and maintaining an in-house help desk is on the rise. The most overt costs related to in-house IT support are those associated with hiring additional staff. Not only do businesses foot the bill for help desk employees’ salary and benefit packages, they’re also responsible for keeping their knowledge of new technology up-to-date. As BYOD trends increase, so does the need for additional IT support.

There are also less apparent costs to consider – costs that may be impossible to predict. When employees do not receive sufficient support from an in-house help desk (due to lack of knowledge, excessive wait times, etc.), they may resort to finding their own solutions, by researching online or asking coworkers for advice, leading to decreased productivity.

2. Increased availability
It is difficult to keep an in-house help desk staffed during non-business hours. Unless you’re willing to offer exemplary pay, or hire additional support staff for evening and weekend hours, it will be difficult to get in touch with a help desk employee after 6 p.m.

When IT support is outsourced, employees often have access to the help desk 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The quicker an issue is resolved, the quicker productivity returns to normal.

3. Widened breadth of knowledge
Today’s users are seeking support for more than just their desktop computers. Many employees use multiple devices to effectively complete their job responsibilities, and therefore often need access to a variety of support.

It can be difficult, and expensive, to ensure in-house help desk staff have the ability to support hardware and software, security programs, mobile devices, tablets, storage and cloud services.

Outsourced help desks are typically staffed with knowledgeable engineers who are capable of answering questions and providing solutions on countless topics and devices.

Does your business outsource IT support? Has it had a significant impact on cost or productivity?