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Created on 07.05.2019 | Updated on 28.09.2021

How do I set up an in-house IT department?

IT is an area that is full of surprises. This may be what makes it exciting, but it is also a strain on companies. Budget overruns are frequent, even if you want to set up your own IT department. This is why it is a good idea to weigh up the prospects and risks of having your own department within your organization.

Even having your own in-house IT team does not make you fully independent.

In this instance, an in-house IT department would be about providing first-level and second-level support within your company. This would involve you employing IT staff who are able to solve the majority of your hardware and software problems themselves. However, your company will never be fully independent as you ultimately still rely on external providers for a number of services: your computer will be HP or Apple, your Windows operating system Microsoft, and you will have Adobe Photoshop. If these experience in-depth problems, you will need assistance from specialists working for these service providers. But you do have your own in-house specialists your employees can speak to first, who will ideally be able to solve most problems themselves and very efficiently.

An in-house IT department: the opportunities

  • Your staff presumably set up the systems themselves. What this means is your company has important IT expertise, meaning there is no need to bring in an external service provider.
  • If your organization has its own IT staff, they may be able to respond quicker to some problems than an external partner.
  • If your company has already reached a certain size, the costs of having your own IT department are likely to be lower than purchasing the whole infrastructure externally.
  • With an in-house team, your organization will have more control, for instance over sensitive data if you are hosting this data in a data center on your own servers. That said, some companies now prefer cloud data storage.

An in-house IT department: the risks

  • Most responsibility will lie with your in-house IT department: if there is a problem your IT team is unable to resolve right away, you will need outside assistance, and this may take some time to arrive in some cases.
  • You need several employees with different profiles to be able to cover every service, including round-the-clock support, but also various different areas within IT itself.
  • Also consider that if your employees are ever off sick or resign, this can pose risks as well. If you are unable to replace them straight away, you will end up with gaps, which is not the case with external support.

Finding the right people

Your staff are the linchpin of your IT. What do you need to consider, and how do you find the right people? How do you find the right IT specialists if you hardly have any IT expertise yourself? You could of course advertise and recruit for IT positions yourself, or you could work with a recruiting agency that specialises in IT roles. If you decide on working with a recruiter, you will have to pay third-party costs, but you will also be able to bring them in as a specialist partner for job interviews. It might be worth hiring an external advisor in project management to help you set up your IT department, especially if you or your management lacks the necessary experience.

If you decide you broadly want to provide IT services in house, this comes with both opportunities and risks. At the end of the day, it is all about your own personal weighting and preferences. Whatever you decide, be sure not to underestimate the costs, and be a careful recruiter – whether it is your own employees or an external service provider.

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