Do On-Site IT Services Still Make Sense? – Pros and Cons
For generations, business leaders have relied upon on-site service providers for virtually all of their outsourced needs. This was true of both IT solutions and a broad range of other services too.
Today’s technology has opened many doors in regards to the future of IT services, allowing for remote and virtual solutions that weren’t possible even just three or five years ago. Yet many companies and organizations still turn to on-site IT solutions as their default, largely because that’s how things have always been done. This is explained by the fact that humans are naturally reluctant to change, especially when money is on the line.
Each company and each project is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But for many — even most — circumstances, on-site IT services just don’t make sense in terms of profitability and practicality. Today’s virtual IT solutions can bring a greater convenience and higher ROI in a majority of cases.
The Cost of On-Site IT Services
Generally, on-site IT services come at a greater cost than what you can expect to see with remote IT solutions. The reason: it comes down to proximity and travel time. The time and expense of travel must be factored into the service provider’s rate, yet this is “dead time” when no actual work is performed. As a whole, on-site services are not very cost-effective.
A remote IT contractor can assist many more clients in a virtual work environment since there is no time spent commuting or traveling from client to client. This means that more of the IT specialist’s workday is spent on client projects. Subsequently, the contractor can charge a lower per-hour rate. That’s good news for the client!
The Timing of On-Site IT Services
On-site IT solutions lack the instant attention that your company would enjoy if you were to opt for remote IT services. In the case of on-site IT service providers, there may be a wait time between when the need arises and when the specialist arrives on-site. The amount of time could be hours or even days, depending on your exact need and the location of the IT specialist relative to your business location. In a fast-paced business world, a wait of even just a few hours can have a dramatically negative impact on a company’s operations.
On the other hand, remote IT services have a major advantage over on-site solutions when it comes to timing and immediacy. Many firms specializing in outsourced IT services can offer remote solutions in minutes.
Additionally, remote IT service providers are typically better equipped to respond after normal business hours. It is not uncommon for these companies to have staff standing by 24-7, available to help any time of day or night.
In the world of virtual IT solutions, location matters little. This means that the IT specialist can be located anywhere on the planet and the client can avoid after-hour surcharges if the specialist is in a location where they’re working during normal business hours. Conversely, on-site service providers are necessarily in the same region as the client, resulting in higher per-hour rates for work outside of the typical 9-to-5.
Security, Privacy and On-Site IT Services
On-site IT services can pose some problems for companies that must maintain stringent security measures or face intensive privacy requirements. Think government contractors, law firms or companies with trade secrets. Tremendous damage can arise from the disclosure of trade secrets or other private/sensitive information. Just one public reveal; one trade secret sold to a competitor — that’s all it takes to leave a business in ruins.
Even with white noise machines posted outside every office door threshold, there is potential that an on-site IT contractor could overhear sensitive information. This is an inherent and largely unavoidable risk associated with on-site service providers.
By limiting on-site personnel and opting for remote IT services instead, companies can reduce their risk and liability. In fact, this is true for more than just security- and privacy-related issues — an added bonus to be certain.
The Collaborative Capabilities of On-Site vs Virtual IT Solutions
Collaboration concerns are common amongst those who are considering virtual IT services for the first time. One may think, “If the IT expert is located in another location, it’ll be difficult to interact with them — more difficult than working with someone who’s on-site.”
But with today’s technology, there are few boundaries when it comes to collaboration and interaction. A remote IT service provider can connect to and control a user’s device with ease. All you need is an internet connection and access to a platform that facilitates a connection to your devices and/or systems. The technician or developer can discuss the project over the phone or via an app, all while making real-time modifications to software, databases, network configurations, and beyond.
With remote IT solutions being so easy and convenient, there’s really no need to opt for on-site services for most projects.
The Quality of On-Site IT Services vs. VIrtual Tech Solutions
When a company turns to on-site IT solutions, they are limited to a workforce that’s located in the immediate vicinity. If the business is situated in or adjacent to a major city, it may enjoy a diverse, high-quality pool of IT specialists. But outside of a tech hub, it can be slim pickings. This may pose a challenge, especially if you need an expert in a precise technology or a very unique niche.
If the company needs to hire an on-site IT specialist from another region, they will need to pay for travel expenses either directly or indirectly as part of the contractor’s fee. Most would agree that these funds could be better spent elsewhere.
When considering remote IT solutions, quality of service and breadth of expertise are two major advantages over on-site services. An IT firm that offers virtual tech services can employ the best of the best in any or every IT specialty. Location matters naught for remote IT service providers so there are no limitations on whom they add to their talent pool. The end result is world-class service in the exact technology that your business needs to succeed.
At RiseIT™, we specialize in IT outsourcing for small businesses. Contact us today to find out how our small business IT services can give your company a competitive edge.