What’s the Difference Between In-House IT & an Outsourced Partner?

Team meeting over a video call

As a business manager, juggling your organization’s technology requirements with your other tasks can often hinder your growth and give you less time to pursue crucial opportunities. Having a reliable technology partner can make a huge difference when making critical business decisions that will affect the overall bottom line!

Choosing what type of technology to implement includes answering questions like:

  • Will this software make my business processes more efficient?
  • Can it reduce my costs and positively drive my revenue?
  • Is implementing this technology worth the investment?

When choosing new technology, it’s also important to ask yourself questions such as:

  • How do I protect the corporate infrastructure?
  • How do I protect my critical data?
  • How do I provide technical support to my staff so they remain productive?

Answering these questions helps you choose what technology to integrate with your business. Still, they bring you to the ultimate decision of choosing in-house IT vs. an outsourced partner and figuring out what is the best option to handle your network infrastructure.

Making the right choice is critical, especially regarding security. Many companies will face a growing number of cyber threats every year. The measurable cost of a data breach rose from $3.86 million to $4.24 million in 2021. And that number is not going down anytime soon!

To help you in making your decision, we explored these following factors to show you see the difference between an in-house IT department and an outsourced IT partner:

  • Security
  • Availability
  • Cost
  • Scalability

In-House IT vs. Outsourced Managed Services Provider

Managing your IT in-house means handling all your network infrastructure, troubleshooting, implementation and training yourself. You need to hire staff and build teams to cover your network’s essential areas, from equipment to user education. Not to mention, providing support and security is a 24/7/365 job, which is a big challenge for an in-house staff.

In-house IT management requires considerable costs for monitoring and keeping track of all tasks, including principal and auxiliary functions. In addition, handling every job can result in diverting your attention to completing subsidiary functions.

Outsourcing your IT needs to a managed services provider (MSP) involves trusting experts to deliver efficiently on your technical support functions. An excellent third-party service provider offers a cost-efficient solution to manage your infrastructure and support you with essential technology so you can expand your business into new markets.


Keeping your business’s records safe helps ensure your customer trust and loyalty. Cybercriminals employ several tactics to steal your data or sneak ransomware into your systems, which can result in huge expenses. According to a 2021 report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach to small businesses with fewer than 500 employees is $2.98 million.

Hiring an in-house cybersecurity expert would involve recruitment procedure, training and retention. Depending on your business’s size, you may need to hire more staff to ensure that your IT team can cover your network’s functionality and security – which requires eyes-on-screens 24/7/365.

Outsourced MSPs implement intensive security protocols from your infrastructure’s top to bottom levels. From training your staff on recognizing and handling cyber attacks like phishing emails better to routine checks for testing your firewall strength, MSPs implement vital strategies to prevent breaches.

Typically, in-house IT takes more of a responsive approach to attacks, responding after the breach has occurred. Outsourced partners stay up to date with cybersecurity best practices to implement a proactive approach by frequently checking for firewall loopholes and updating the system’s security.

MSP professionals are fully dedicated to protecting your sensitive information. They are well-versed in all the latest tools and techniques necessary to protect confidential information, both in storage and at rest.

Your in-house IT team can be in charge of your network’s functionality while an MSP provides security measures and system upgrades.


In-house IT teams provide on-site availability to handle tasks immediately as they occur. However, they can be unavailable during non-working hours, sick leaves or holidays. You can make different members of the IT team work at various times to maximize availability.

Outsourced partners can provide 24/7 IT support with scheduled on-site visits to ensure your business’s infrastructure is running correctly. MSPs also have the skills and experience to resolve sophisticated client queries.

By outsourcing your IT needs, you can schedule system upgrades after the end of the work day to avoid interrupting your business processes. Onboarding a partner is faster than the hiring process involved in recruiting an IT staff.

For in-house IT vs. outsourced MSP, outsourcing is beneficial because outsourced partners always have a team of professionals that can handle tasks immediately. So you can begin working on more projects with your outsourced partner as your in-house team has less workload and more time to deal with critical assignments better.


The cost of having an in-house IT team involves the usual salary framework with which you pay each employee for their working hours. However, it also has some expenses from hiring, training and employee retention. The average employer spends about $4,000 and 24 days to hire a new employee.

With outsourced partners, you pay for the services they render, and there are payment models or packages, including:

  • Per-device: Involves a fixed cost for each device the outsourced partner manages.
  • Per-user: Pricing is based on the number of users supported.
  • A la carte: Custom pricing by paying for only the services and monitoring you choose.
  • Fixed-fee: Value-based pricing is a flat monthly fee for all-inclusive services.

Besides money, the cost of recruiting new hires for your in-house IT team includes time spent looking for the right fit. Outsourcing to MSPs helps you ramp up IT projects more rapidly, as you’re working with a full team of highly qualified and trained professionals dedicated to your project.


Partnering with an outsourced MSP helps you implement new technology regardless of your business’s scale. You can quickly increase or decrease your IT deliverables to handle your organization’s requirements at any time.

Scaling your in-house IT team faces challenges and expenses, including hiring, firing or replacing team members. Outsourced partners provide versatility to work on new IT projects within your business and prevent your in-house from getting overwhelmed with urgent tasks.

You can outsource technical research to MSPs to make critical business decisions, like adding more IT resources to your company infrastructure for your support operations.