The Pros & Cons On In-house & Outsourced IT

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Businesses in South Africa are at a significant crossroads when considering the most effective and efficient method for IT support: is it better to keep it in-house or to outsource?” says Graeme Millar, managing director of SevenC Computing. 

“The ongoing technological revolution, the rise of digital transformation, and the unique challenges posed by South Africa’s business landscape make this decision more pivotal than ever.

The benefits and drawbacks of in-house and outsourced IT departments.

In-House IT: The Specialised Approach

Let’s begin by examining the inherent pros and cons of in-house IT departments:


  • Tailored Solutions: In-house IT departments are deeply familiar with the company’s structure, culture, and specific needs. This allows them to develop and deploy tailored IT solutions that perfectly align with the business’s objectives and ethos.
  • Immediate Access: Physical proximity means that issues can be addressed immediately. A server crash or software malfunction can be promptly attended to without the delays that might come with an external agency.
  • Dedicated Resources: With a dedicated team focusing solely on the company’s IT requirements, there’s often a deeper sense of ownership and responsibility.


  • Cost-Intensive: Hiring, training, and retaining top IT talent can be a significant expense. Moreover, companies need to invest in ongoing training to ensure their teams are updated with the latest technologies.
  • Scalability Concerns: Expanding or shrinking an in-house IT team can be time-consuming and cost-intensive, particularly in response to fluctuating business demands.
  • Potential for Skill Gaps: It’s challenging to have in-house expertise for every possible IT challenge. Over time, certain skill gaps can emerge, which may need external expertise anyway.
Outsourced IT: The Affordable, Scalable Solution

Given the unique business challenges faced by companies in South Africa – such as infrastructural issues, the need for rapid scalability in emerging markets, and the broader socio-economic landscape – outsourcing IT is emerging as a popular choice. Here’s why:


  • Cost-Efficiency: Outsourcing eliminates the costs associated with hiring and training IT staff. Businesses can also benefit from a pay-as-you-go model, only paying for the services they need.
  • Scalability: With outsourced IT, it’s easier to scale operations up or down in response to business needs. Whether you’re entering a period of rapid growth or streamlining operations, outsourced IT departments can adapt swiftly.
  • Access to a Broad Skillset: Outsourced IT providers specialise in the field of information technology. They possess a wide range of skills and can offer expertise across various IT challenges, ensuring no skill gaps.
  • 24/7 Support: Many outsourced IT providers offer round-the-clock support. This is particularly beneficial for businesses with non-traditional working hours or those looking to expand into international markets with different time zones.


  • Potential Cultural Mismatch: Outsourced agencies may not be as deeply intertwined with the company’s culture and mission, which could lead to misalignments in IT solutions.
  • Perceived Loss of Control: Outsourcing requires placing trust in external entities, and some businesses might feel they’re losing direct control over their IT operations.
  • Security Concerns: Sharing sensitive company information with external agencies might pose a perceived risk. It’s crucial to select reputable IT outsourcing providers with robust security protocols.

In summary, considering South Africa’s distinct business challenges, the scale tips in favour of outsourcing IT. The affordability, ease of scaling, and access to diverse IT expertise make it an attractive proposition. Businesses can channel the funds saved through outsourcing into core activities, driving growth and innovation.

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