In-house Or Managed Services? Exploring The Pros & Cons

Ross MacKenzie

In today’s digital transformation era when IT forms a critical part of any business success, the decision on whether to put all your IT needs in the hands of in-house personnel or opt for a managed service provider (MSP) is a crucial part of a company’s competitive strategy.

For management, the decision can seem like a minefield but in fact MSP benefits are consistently outweighing those of in-house resources.

Success these days is in part due to the adoption of best practices, which also means having the right staff and IT systems in place. A lack of solid IT systems can leave businesses exposed to slow response times and the knock-on impact on customer engagement, costly emergencies and seemingly endless workflow challenges.

Time sensitivity, expertise and costs are critical factors in deciding whether to opt for in-house IT support or to outsource.

Businesses, particularly SMBs and SMEs, usually start with in-house support but may find that this becomes costly in terms of finance, HR resourcing and reputation as the business grows. As technology moves at a breathtaking pace and is ever more central to employee performance and customer engagement, in-house resources can be stretched to breaking point.

Sure, there are benefits to the in-house solution – not least because your own people will have a deep understanding of your culture, day-to-day requirements, products and services and customer base. Better still in-house staff are on-hand when things go wrong – or are they? Limited resources can’t be there all the time, leaving you exposed to costly downtime.

As businesses grow, limited in-house resources often find themselves ‘fire-fighting’ rather than planning the best use of technology to aid competitiveness and further growth – leaving you having to recruit more support with all the costs involved in additional people. Outsourcing can lower your expenses and you can be assured of round-the-clock support and have the peace of mind of knowing that the solution is now available in subscription format, making it easier to budget and to access expertise which will also keep you abreast of the latest IT trends and opportunities. You’re also free of the nagging doubt about what happens if key IT personnel decide to leave – taking their knowledge with them and leaving you exposed!

And don’t forget that outsourced staff can never become complacent – they constantly need to prove themselves to keep your business – it’s in their interest to keep you happy, all the time, and that means providing 24-hour expert support and keeping you up-to-date with all the latest tech developments that can improve your business potential!


Today, digital innovation is disrupting how every industry operates. It is accelerating activities, processes and competencies faster than ever – and no successful business can afford to lag behind. To remain relevant, and competitive, businesses need to: be more engaged with customers; empower their employees, which can often mean freedom to work remotely and flexibly and with their own devices; continual refinement of products/services using digital content in promotion, targeting and back-up servicing and to streamline business procedures to optimize results.

All these aims can be achieved through a digital transformation strategy importantly utilizing cloud-based services which will help secure your data, aid business process integration and optimize your operations. You will be able to access deeper insights through intelligent reporting and analytics leaving you better prepared for the future.

Take, for instance, the bundled Cobweb Complete SMB which integrates best-of-breed solutions, including Office 365, Skype for Business as well as cloud applications capable of engaging customers, empowering employees, optimizing operations and transforming products. These services are robust, scalable and sufficiently flexible to meet the needs of any business, big or small, making your business safe and more productive while simultaneously lowering costs.

Better yet, with simple, monthly subscription pricing you can avoid large upfront costs for new software and servers and move IT costs from a capital to an operating expense. With the Cobweb Complete SMB monthly subscription, you know exactly how much you’ll spend each month and plan accordingly.

Cobweb CompleteSMB provides an enhanced Office 365 experience which includes:

The Mimecast S1 Security Suite: which safeguards a business community with comprehensive protection from the latest email-borne threats and provides access to the following add-on options.

Mimecast Enterprise Information:delivering secure, perpetual storage and policy management for compliance and employee productivity.

Mailbox Continuity: keeps email flowing and archives accessible even if the primary system goes down

Large File Send: safely sends and receives files up to 2GB without impacting email performance

Secure Messaging: shares confidential and sensitive information safely and securely.

The Exclaimer Signature Manager: For Office 365 (Exclaimer Cloud) which lets companies on Office 365 to centrally design and manage email signatures for any user sending email from any device. It includes an intuitive signature editor with a dynamic drag-and-drop editor. You no longer need to worry about editing tricky HTML or relying on a designer to create your corporate signature for you.

Acronis Backup Cloud: an easy-to-use, offsite organizational level cloud back-up storage allowing each business to store 1TB of data (expandable) from multiple users and devices onto the cloud from a single account.

Symantec EndPoint Protection: provides complete end user protection including antivirus, data security for your PCs, Macs, Servers and mobile devices.

Knows your business inside out Can be overwhelmed with work flow, particularly in start-up or growth modes. Cost effective - no visas, gratuities, subscription-based services, reduction in real estate to house on-premise servers, reduced power consumption. Client's staff need to gain cloud familiarity while the managing team needs full understanding of client applications to plan appropriate managed services offering.
Knows your people and can respond to personalities Has the 'keys to the Kingdom' which is risky if they leave and when on vacation/sickness Round-the-clock expert support Client needs to become comfortable with business operations working in the cloud.
  Limited learning opportunities meaning you could miss out on new tech trends and benefits. Real time and ongoing exposure to new tech trends.  
    Continual upgrades and access to enterprise grade products  
     Frees in-house resource to focus on business intelligence, analytics and digital transformation  
     Better focused use of resources  
     Move IT investment from CAPEX to OPEX  
    Proven Expertise on-hand  
    Add-on capabilities as business grows  
    Frees you up to focus on application modernisation once cloud migration is complete  
     Robust Secure backup  

And there’s more! The Cobweb CompleteSMB service includes a host of other tools as part of your subscription package to help you get the most out of your IT applications. Our migration and on-boarding services include:

  • > Pre-deployment Health Check: an organization-wide assessment to define your readiness for migration. It rules out any nasty surprises and ensures that every employee’s IT infrastructure is up-to-date prior to Office 365 deployment guaranteeing smooth migration and minimal interruption.

  • > Mimecast: Mimecast account set-up including baseline and best practices policies and customer-tailored policies for your organization.

  • > Ongoing support: Customers receive ongoing support, applications training and service fine tuning when required.

  • > Keeping You On Point: Cobweb deploys and manages Office 365 for you. It handles automatic updates and new features and provides you with a regular monthly update delivering insights on upcoming features and services and tips on how to take advantage of them.

  • > Personalized For You: Cobweb Complete SMB supports all phases of your cloud service adoption ad usage. You can scale your managed service as your business grows and mix-and-match Office 365 plans across the company so that you don’t waste money on providing services where they might not be needed. Cobweb’s cloud experts have helped more than 6,000 businesses move to the cloud and respond to needs on a personally tailored level.

Find out more about Cobweb Complete SMB and our managed services

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