Tools, Talent, and Tech: The Benefits and Drawbacks of an in-house IT Team

The world of IT is moving at such an exponential rate that from the perspective of any business we need to set up an IT infrastructure that covers so many bases, but of course, this requires a lot of money. In-house IT teams can be invaluable for navigating so many different aspects of emergencies like data breaches and general day-to-day security, but it’s vital to understand both the benefits and the drawbacks of an in-house IT team. Let’s show you everything you need to know.

The Benefits of In-house IT Team

Deeper Business Knowledge 

If you are one of those business owners who knows very little about IT, you aren’t alone. There are so many people who would not understand various technological aspects that are the bare basics for IT experts. If you are wondering what is my IP or if a server can “live” in the cloud, you will need an in-house team. An in-house team has an excellent understanding of the business and can align the company’s goals, processes, and people with the system itself. You as a business owner need to understand the organizational components and how an IT team can make your organization thrive because they have an understanding of the technical components.

Greater Control and Security

Keeping it in-house will allow for greater control over various aspects of your data and intellectual property, resulting in fewer risks of security breaches or leaks. So many organizations can run the risk of going under because of a data breach, IT teams in-house have an understanding of the business and therefore can provide greater security.

Immediate Response Time

Because your in-house IT team is located within the business, either on-site or remotely, they can respond quickly to issues that arise and are readily available to address using needs and problems. Because so many businesses now have to operate with a 24/7 approach, you will need your IT team to conduct themselves with the same type of attitude. The hardest part of running a business is having to react promptly to particular problems. As soon as a data breach occurs, you’ve got a very short window of opportunity to react. This is why immediate response times with teams that are readily available to address the pressing problems and overarching issues can invariably make a massive difference.

Cultural Alignment 

An internal IT team is more aligned with the business itself, but also has a greater understanding of the company’s culture and is more likely to be committed to its success. This can improve the effectiveness of not just the technical details but also make for a greater understanding of business threats from the perspective of the organization’s leader while also recognizing that for any business to thrive, it needs to be culturally aligned with each member of the team being committed to delivering the best possible outcomes.

Personalized Support

An IT team in-house will understand the company’s systems infrastructure and most pertinently its employees on a more intimate nature, meaning they can provide personalized support for every aspect of the business. This can make a massive difference to the quality of the results. We can certainly be sidelined by metrics and numbers, but for any business leader who does not have adequate knowledge of IT systems, the staff can provide support that instantly makes for a more effective and efficiently run business.

The Drawbacks of an In-House IT Team


This is why many business leaders struggle to maintain their systems most effectively. Looking after a full-time IT department in-house can be very expensive. Various overhead costs like the training, salaries, benefits, and of course, the equipment itself can be more than most leaders bargain for. However, while there are various solutions that can make a massive difference here such as outsourced IT solutions, it makes sense for a company to tread that final line between getting quality versus quantity. Operating within a budget is always going to be more important than many other aspects, but we should always remember that an IT department in-house will pay for itself in the long run.

Limited Expertise

This can be a potential problem, especially if you have a small in-house team. There can be various gaps in their skill sets which is why you need to operate within an appropriate budget to not just give them what they need right now but also factor in what they think they will need in the long run. Investing in your staff’s education should be a priority, but if you don’t have an understanding of various components of the IT in your organization, you may not feel it is worth investing in. It’s important to improve communication between yourself and your IT team and encourage them to speak up about any long-running concerns that they may not be able to deal with right now.

Risk of Turnover

If key IT staff leave the company, this means they potentially take knowledge with them. This can disrupt operations and mean that your business loses institutional knowledge but it also can be a shock to the system as you’ve become overly dependent on certain individuals. Staff turnover is a very real threat when you don’t give your employees what they truly need, which is why it’s so important to encourage every employee to “share their wealth.”

Reduced Focus on Innovation

Finally, if you have an IT team in-house who are only focused on day-to-day user support, they are not focused on the big picture, and this leaves little time for strategic initiatives that could drive business growth in the long run. It can be so easy for any business to focus on giving they’re all to the things they can see that they don’t look at the bigger picture.

There are several trade-offs that can occur between the personalized support and control of an in-house team versus the expertise that can come from the outside. What is the optimal choice? It depends on your specific needs. Do you understand what you truly desire from your systems? If not, it might be time to go back to the drawing board.

Dan Smiljanić

Dan is a practitioner of project management and our resident geek. With a background in computer science, Dan is the lead product tester at Binfire. When Dan not writing code, you will probably find him cycling and hiking with friends.

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