In today’s episode of “IT in Plain English,” Tammy Ven Dange answers, “Is it better to keep my IT department in-house or to outsource it?”

This is actually a tough question to answer in this short segment because it depends on a lot of different variables. One of the first variables to consider is the size of your organisation because it impacts the cost analysis. The smaller your organisation is, the more likely you should outsource this function.

The second variable is capability. Even the largest organisations with an in-house IT team will often decide to outsource some of their IT functions, such as security management or website development. The reason for this is due to the cost of hiring and continuing to train these specialised skills when you may only need them for a few hours a week.

A third variable is related to your core services. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to invest in internal IT skills for a system or infrastructure if it is not supporting a core service for your organisation. For those minor systems, it’s probably better “value for money” to hire a contractor or the vendor themselves for technical system administration.

There are actually many other variables that may impact your decision. However, as a first step, I would recommend that you first identify your core business needs and the systems/infrastructures that support them, and then map them back to the skills of your current IT team whether it be internal or external.

If they lack those skills, the next question is can they obtain them quickly and do they actually want to obtain them because it requires a time investment on their part? For this is the primary business case of either training them, hiring new people or outsourcing some or all of the work.

So, there you have it in plain English.

If you have an IT question you want answered, feel free to connect with me here on my website or on LinkedIn and send me a message. I just might answer it on this show.

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Tammy Ven Dange is a former charity CEO, Not for Profit Board Member and IT Executive. Today she helps NFPs with strategic IT and data decisions.


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