Finding the right Linux IT support for your systems can be a challenge. The open source and functional advantages of Linux have traditionally made this system a value-added, ‘go-to’ type solution for many small to mid-size enterprises, but larger organisations utilise Linux for its IT performance as well.
However, the current tech talent shortage is changing that dynamic, and Linux IT support experts are hard to find.
Linux professionals are in high demand, and as such, are naturally demanding higher salaries. Large corporations, who can afford their services, are able to court and woo talented IT personnel because they operate with larger IT budgets. Yet, this creates a difficult situation for SMBs who can’t afford to offer the same perks, but who still need the same IT performance and support.
So the question becomes:
Should we engage in creative IT solutions in-house, or outsource our IT staff?
Small businesses operate within very tight budgets. Profit margins are typically very slim to account for increasing competition, and heavy investments in CRM (customer relationship management) and other application software is usually chosen for its ability to offer substantial ROI. But, Linux systems and its distribution packages cover a vast amount of open and closed source software and business applications, and finding one person, who is an expert in all the different areas is nearly impossible.
However, by weighing the pros and cons, you can determine whether an in-house solution or outsourcing your Linux IT management makes the most sense for your particular business model.
Creative In-house Solutions
1. Many SMB’s will partner with a ‘sister’ business in an attempt to lower IT costs.
Pro: You and your partner split the costs.
Con: You and your partner share the resource.
This is not really an ideal situation. Although the costs are reduced, your Linux experts can’t be everywhere at the same time, which means that your business might still experience crippling down-times.
2. Contract Hires
Pro: Set rates, and you only incur costs when you need service.
Con: Sporadic availability, high cost.
Again, this is not the best condition. Not only are you at the mercy of someone else’s schedule, the high service fees may end up costing you more than a full-time employee.
By outsourcing your IT to a professional support provider, one who can offer Linux expertise and cloud-based solutions; you actually get the best of both worlds. In-house solutions still require maintenance and upkeep on hardware, and as your business needs grow, so does the cost of your infrastructure
Having a team of experts who understand Linux will allow you to make much better use of your current systems, and, in the longer term, at a much lower cost than when you have to manage and support an on-premises infrastructure yourself.