In-house vs. Outsourced Network Services ... or can it be both?

When it comes to network services, lots of businesses take a seat on the fence to decide which field is greener, assembling an in-house team to manage their networks or to outsourcing to an IT services provider?

Each option offers its own advantages and disadvantages, but there’s a third option? What if you could enjoy the best of two … well … fields, to continue the analogy? 

Good news! You can! But before we go into that, let's discuss the advantages and disadvantages of in-house and outsourced IT.

In-house network services

With this option, your organization has its own team to handle all its needs. The team knows you and it knows your needs. Their job is to keep your company up and running, to be constantly watching your networks and to tweak your IT infrastructure to run at its optimum. They are there — literally in-house — when and where you need them.

The main challenge here is the expense. If you are a small to medium-sized company, the cost of such a team and their services can be a bit much. We’re talking, salaries, benefits, FICA and then, of course, your infrastructure’s hardware, software, maintenance and subscription costs. All of that can be overwhelming. That’s why many organizations go the outsourcing route.

Outsourced network services

With this option, as the name implies, your organization hires an outside team to support your network infrastructure. Now, what that support looks like depends on what kind of service you hire — whether that is a “break/fix IT” or a managed network services solution.

For a better breakdown on the difference between the two, click here, but simply, with a break/fix service, your IT company only shows up when you need something or when something bad happens. While this may seem like the cheapest IT services option, it's like the expression — back to the farming analogies — closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. 

With managed IT services, your IT company, using monitoring and other services, 24/7 proactively works to prevent bad things from happening to your network infrastructure and keep it running at its top efficiency. In fact, under such a program, your IT company will not only be addressing issues before you are even aware of them, depending on the extent of your service, if your network does go down, they’ll have a virtual safety net in play to have your company up and running with little to no downtime at all.

If your organization is small and not very network dependent, a break/fix solution might be the best and the least expensive option for you. But if the stability of your network infrastructure is vital to your organization’s needs, while more expensive than break/fix, a managed IT solution may save you money in downtime in the long run. 

In-house augmented by outsourced IT

Let’s say you want or already have an in-house IT team (maybe even consisting of one person), but you want some of the advantages that come with outsourced managed IT services, either just to give your company a safety net, to free up your network guy to do the other IT-related tasks or some other reason. 

Well, to borrow another expression, you can have the cake and eat it too! You can do both. 

Many managed IT services companies, like RK Black, are happy to have such an arrangement with organizations. This allows you to keep that personal IT service intrinsic with having an in-house IT team, but also the proactive action, protection and business continuity systems offered by managed IT services providers, but without the expense of a large staff, hardware, labor hours and knowledgebase you would need have the same fully in-house.


To go back to the beginning of the article, by augmenting your in-house IT team with the services of an outsourced managed IT services provider, you don’t need to sit on the fence to decide which field is greener. You get both fields with a gate in the fence between, so you can use either field when you need it.

If your new hire needs their desk computer and monitor set up and linked to the network, your in-house IT people can handle that. If your network goes down, we’ll have your data all backed up and will have you set up on a virtual network, so you so can keep on chugging.

See, you can come off the fence now and just open the gate, because both fields are yours if you want them.

About R.K. Black, Inc.

R.K. Black, Inc. is an Oklahoma City-based, family-owned leading provider of office technology solutions to small and medium-sized businesses in Oklahoma and Kansas. We specialize in everything business technology from copier, fax, printer and scanner technology to document management, onsite paper shredding services, VoIP phone systems and managed IT support to video surveillance solutions.

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