Onsite vs Remote IT Support: Which is Better?

onsite information technology management vs remote it support

With the fast-paced world of technology constantly changing, it can be hard to keep up. Everything seems to be online these days. Even technical support is offered remotely now.

Keeping up with the good, the bad, and the ugly of switching industries to an online platform can be tough.

If you want to learn about the ups and the downs of onsite IT support and remote IT support, keep reading. We'll help you decide whether online technical support is a good thing for you or if you should stick to the traditional IT guy.


Onsite IT Support

This traditional way of receiving technical help is still the most popular, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Having onsite IT support can be as easy as hiring one staff member to oversee your technical operations.

Let's look into the benefits and the drawbacks of having onsite IT personnel.


The Pros

Things get done quickly. 

Having someone who is qualified to answer any IT questions onsite is by the far the fastest way to get a problem solved.

The onsite IT guy would be your go-to guy for any immediate problems that your company has. The quick response could save your company from large issues like Wi-Fi interference or website shutdowns.

You know their salary. 

Whether you hire them as an employee or sign on a contract worker, you know how much that IT professional is being paid.

When you're paying someone to help you online, there could be costs that are covered up or not shared directly with you.

These benefits seem great, but you should keep in mind that there are some not-so-good things to consider when looking at hiring onsite IT help.


The Cons

You may still have unexpected costs. 

Unfortunately, even if you know your employee's salary, there may still be costs associated with having onsite IT help that can catch you off guard.

Sometimes you have to buy completely new equipment or upgrade old equipment without any notice. It may also be a financial hassle for your company to devote to paying for a full-time IT position when one truly isn't needed every day.

One person can't know everything. 

Hiring one IT professional - or even having a team of IT professionals - limits the amount of expertise that you're allowing into the technical problem.

Many people in the technical world specialize in one or a few matters. Having access to the correct specialization may be difficult if you're only afforded one person or a small team.

It is also important to note that, because many businesses can only afford to hire one professional, they are left with a hole in the IT department if that person is not there. If the one designated IT hiree needs a sick day or has a family emergency, the entire company has foregone technical help for the duration of his or her absence.


Remote IT Support

Online, or remote, IT support is becoming the more popular option as time progresses. There are individuals that offer IT support online as well as large companies that offer this help.

However, just like onsite IT support, there are both pros and cons to consider for you and your company's needs.


The Pros

It is far more cost-effective. 

When you hire an online IT professional, you don't have to worry about training costs, education bills, or other certification finances. The online professional is already certified and set up to assist your company.

You also don't have to worry about supplying an in-house office or other workplace amenities for the employee, because they are working remotely.

You should also note that some remote IT support personnel only have you pay for however often their services are utilized. If you find that your company is overpaying for a yearly salary of an IT employee you're barely using, you may want to consider taking the online shift.

You can get help at any time. 

Remote IT professionals typically offer help around the clock. There are people who are standing by at all hours of the day ready to help you with your IT problems no matter what they are.

Having an in-house IT employee is helpful for the eight hours of the standard workday, but there isn't help beyond this. Even if you call them, you may not be able to reach them or they may not want to work off the clock.

You could hire several IT personnel to cover your company around the clock, but this seems like it would only bounce you back to the cost-effectiveness issue we previously discussed.


The Cons

With the pros of online IT support comes the cons as well.

There will be less in-person collaboration. 

If you employ an offsite IT person, they will not be your company's personal employee. They will not know what's happening with your company and what your website even is.

This barrier in personnel may mean more explanation by your staff to catch them up to speed on what's happening and what needs fixing.

However, there are managed IT services that make getting around this problem easy. They offer a remote support team that is better acquainted with your company and its needs.

There may be a language barrier. 

We're not talking about a language barrier like an American understanding French. We're talking about understanding and explaining computer language.

Your technology specialist will be working remotely over the computer, so they will not be able to be at your location looking at exactly what you're looking at. With something that can be as complicated as technology, you could see why this would be a problem.

Your employees may have trouble explaining the problem just as well as the IT employee may have trouble understanding the problem.


Your Choice for IT Management

Now that we're gone through the major ups and the major downs of both onsite IT support and remote IT support, it's time for you to make the decision on information technology management for your company.

For more remote IT support and business information technology help, check out the rest of our company website. Visit the Tech section of the Bootstrap Business Blog for more articles on remote IT support, information technology management advice, software tips, technological equipment insights, and much more.

Bootstrap Business Blog Newest Posts From Mike Schiemer, Partners, & Blog Outreach Services