6 Reasons Chicago Businesses Are Embracing Hybrid IT Departments

Most Chicago businesses understand that strategic partnerships with IT consulting firms can produce an excellent return on investment, but some companies vary in their approaches to working with these firms. In the hybrid model, businesses retain their in-house IT departments for ongoing maintenance and other daily activities, and use IT consultants for strategic projects and staff augmentation. There are at least six ways in which this hybrid approach can work to benefit Chicago businesses.

Here Are the Top 6 Benefits of Hybridizing Your Chicago IT Department:

1. Avoid Over-Dependence on Internal Advice

Even the most highly competent and trained IT expert can have difficulties seeing that there may be new and better ways to complete old tasks. IT staff may feel that since they have a thorough and deep understanding of how their business operates, they are solely qualified to determine how to best meet those needs. However, external consultants are exposed to a wider variety of computing environments, and can offer solutions that have not occurred to in-house staff.

2. Reverse In-House Staff Turnover

Most businesses find that the turnover in IT departments may be much higher than in other departments in the organization. More often than not, the root of the problem is that IT staff members are finding their work repetitive or unrewarding. Having outside consultants weigh in on IT related decisions provides a valuable connection to the evolving world of information technology. This fosters communication between internal and external staff, and tend to increase interest in new IT projects and responsibilities.

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3. Utilize In-House Staff More Efficiently

Consider an internal IT employee who is instructed to design a solution they are not an expert in. They may have to devote a lot of time to researching the project before the actual work can begin. If the same employee was working on a team with IT consultants, their efforts can be better directed. Consultants can design specific solution structures, then delegate sub-tasks to internal staff. Hybrid IT models help businesses allocate hours to those best suited to complete particular elements of large projects.

4. Reduce Fixed Costs

Rather than hiring and retaining IT personnel with highly specialized knowledge, a company using a hybrid IT model can contract with an IT consulting firm for trained specialists on an as-needed basis. This can reduce costs in two ways, since salary is not the only expense associated with maintaining a more extensive in-house staff. Internal employees also create costs regarding employee benefits that range from health care to pensions. These costs are not a factor when working with a consultant employed by an outside IT company.

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5. Leverage Relevant Experience

Few things are more frustrating for a business than the experience of investing significant amounts of time into solving a technical problem, only to find that the solution has already been discovered. IT consultants possess vast experience and translate that to every contracted client. If another company has already developed an adequate solution for a given situation, they can suggest it. Without that external knowledge and experience, companies may go to great lengths to solve problems that could have been solved at a far less cost to employee efficiency.

6. Keep Up with the Technology Curve

Technology moves at a startlingly fast pace, but few in-house IT department workers have the luxury of being able to devote themselves to keeping up. Instead, they are faced with ‘putting out fires’. By hybridizing your IT team, there's a natural flow of information between groups. This creates a more coherent and organized IT infrastructure, and fewer gaps in the collective knowledge base. When a hybrid IT model is used on an ongoing basis, it can also serve as continuous on-the-job training for in-house employees. If you're interested in learning more about the benefits of outsourced IT support, reach out to us for a free consultation.

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