If your business is at the point where you’re thinking about hiring a new or additional IT technician, congratulations! Having enough consistent needs to fill this role means you’ve worked hard and made good decisions that drove business growth. Our advice? Don’t stop now!
Moving forward with hiring requires a lot of analysis to avoid major consequences down the line, though. One of the biggest decisions is whether you’ll hire someone directly or use a third-party MSP (Managed Service Provider). In this article, we’ll get into the specifics of both scenarios and the realistic costs of hiring an IT technician.
WHY DO YOU NEED AN IT TECHNICIAN AT ALL?
In the past, business people and tech people were two different breeds. Over the years, the gap has gradually shrunk to the point that many people are tech-savvy enough to get by with the little things. As your business has grown, though, you likely have needed to delegate many of your previous duties, like IT – even if you feel perfectly capable of handling them yourself. After all, when do you think was the last time Jeff Bezos packaged a shipment? Your IT needs have also likely grown much more complex. If you don’t choose to delegate and expand now, you fall into a major pitfall of leaving IT duties unassigned.
In our current landscape, leaving an IT post open could be a death wish. Cyberattacks of all types are on the rise, and the amount of damage each one could impose is ballooning. For example, in 2016, the average ransomware attacker demanded $522. In 2020, that average sat around $84,000! Sadly, many of these attacks take place because of not having the right people at the wheel.
In addition, there’s the issue of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Being lax over time can make your systems out of date, making it harder for everyone to get their work done at a reasonable rate. In addition, only replacing equipment when it’s broken and not when it’s functionally obsolete can create situations where portions of or your entire workforce will be unable to do any work at all for a time.
AN IN-HOUSE SOLUTION
So, let’s say you’re on board with adding more people to your IT team, and you make the decision to hire them directly. One certain benefit is that you can look through a collection of qualified candidates and pick just the right person(s) that you want! But then the other shoe drops. Just like any other employee, before you hire someone for your IT needs, you must consider the costs.
For instance, the average price of an IT professional is $60,000 per year. Alright, so you budget out $60,000 – then you’re all set, right? Far from it! Where is this person going to work? Maybe you already have space for them, but these professionals require more expensive hardware and monitor setups. Additionally, you need to factor in the network diagnostic software plus any industry-specific software. Since they’ll generally be on call, they’ll need a phone with a good plan so you can always reach them and possibly a company car (or at least some form of vehicle reimbursement) if you have multiple locations. Don’t forget that expense account!
Besides the specific expenses mentioned above, remember that this person is still an employee, so you have all the other general costs employees have associated with them. This can include health/life insurance, vacation time, sick time, 401K, plus any bonuses or overtime pay they may rack up. And what do you do if they leave? The implicit and explicit costs can be truly staggering when you take the time to add them all up.
A SAFER OPTION
In the past, the above option was the only choice most employers had available to them. Based on the high costs (both known and unknown) associated with hiring an IT professional, it’s no surprise that companies have flocked to an alternative option: managed service providers, or MSPs.
With an MSP, you have all the benefits of a full-time employee without the downsides. They will be consistently available, knowledgeable in your network, and focused entirely on IT rather than other day job expectations. Need assistance when it’s time for regular upgrades or maintenance? Want someone to redesign your entire IT setup? Looking for someone to completely take over parts of your IT operations? These are the sorts of services you can get out of an MSP.
If your business already has an IT person but you need some extra help, partnering with an MSP is a great option. You don’t need to worry about training or managing a new person, and MSPs come with a full staff of experts in just about every technology. In-house IT can shift some of their more mundane duties like patch management and user support to the managed service provider, and work instead on projects that will improve the business. If an issue or project needs some extra help, the MSP is there. Businesses that use this co-managed, hybrid model truly get the best of all worlds, and internal IT people appreciate the extra support.
Even better, the price you sign in the MSP’s contract is the price you know you must pay month after month, unlike the many unknown costs of an employee. There are no HR issues to worry about and the work is on the shoulders of a company, not an individual. If your company is at the point where you know you need more IT personnel but are unsure about which direction you’d like to go, contact us ASAP. We would be more than happy to go over your needs and discuss the best options.