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Karen Cohen

By: Karen Cohen on November 26, 2022

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Should I Work With A Non-Local IT Provider? Advantages & Disadvantages

IT Support

If you are reading this article, you are likely considering hiring an external IT support provider. You may be considering multiple options and wondering about the advantages and disadvantages of working with a regional or national IT provider

In this article, we explore this question in depth because it’s a question that business leaders face every day and one that we are asked regularly

I work for Kelser Corporation, a managed IT provider. You might think we have a stake in this conversation, but the truth is that we are committed to providing the unbiased information business leaders like you need to make the best technology for your organization. 

While we are confident in our comprehensive managed IT solution, we know that it isn’t the right answer for every organization and we’re okay with that. We are committed to providing the information business leaders like you need to make the best IT decision for your business whether we work together or not

We publish articles like these to provide honest information you can use to confidently make informed IT decisions.  

In this article, I’ll spell out the benefits and disadvantages of working with non-local IT providers. It’s important to have all of the facts before you make this important decision.

Related article: How Do I Choose The Right IT Provider? (Criteria You Can Use)

What Are The Advantages Of Working With A Regional Or National IT Provider?

Here are some of the advantages of working with a regional or national IT provider:

  • Resources

Regional or national providers typically have access to more resources. 


Due to their size and volume of business, non-local providers often have more employees than local providers. 


Certain non-local providers may have the resources necessary to have multiple technical experts on staff at once.  


Along with a larger employee base, non-local IT providers can typically afford to pay the premium salary that IT experts with a comprehensive skill set and multiple years of experience expect. 

Regional or national IT providers also may offer experts who can help plan and execute projects, develop strategic IT plans and budgets, and provide advice on cybersecurity policies, planning, and response

  • Vendor Partnerships

    Regional and national providers offer a variety of vendor relationships, resulting in options for your organization in terms of equipment choices. 

  • Off-Hours Service Coverage 

Regional and national IT providers provide after-hours service. But, how they approach it varies

Some have a dedicated support organization, while others hire outside organizations to respond to all, or emergency, service calls. Make sure you know where the support is located and any affiliated additional charges for after-hours and emergency service. 

Time zones and language barriers can cause time-consuming, frustrating, and expensive issues, especially in a highly technical field like IT.

  • Response & Resolution Time 

Regional or national IT providers may offer quick response time. But don’t assume that is the case. 

Find out what the service level agreement or SLA lists for response and resolution times. Ask them how often they resolve issues within their SLA. And, don’t take their word for it, talk to some current customers and see what their experience has been.

  • Longevity

Regional or national IT support providers may have longevity in their favor due to the quick effect economic factors can have on smaller businesses. 

  • Cost

Based on the number of customers regional and national IT support providers onboard daily, they may be able to offer volume discounts for their customers.  

What Are The Disadvantages Of Working With A Regional Or National IT Support Provider? 

There are always two sides to every story, so let’s explore some of the disadvantages of working with a non-local IT support provider.

  • Inconsistent Quality Of Service

I mention this disadvantage first because it is one that our customers often cite when switching from a regional or national IT provider to a local one. As with many large organizations, customers often can feel that their service requests fall into a black hole.

  • Impersonal  

Due to the sheer size of these organizations, the personal touch often gets lost. Rather than taking the time to get to know your business and your goals, regional and national IT support providers often try the one-size-fits-all approach, resulting in smaller organizations paying more for services they might not need. 

  • Rigid

Because they deal with a multitude of organizations, they may not be able to offer you the flexibility and customization that a local provider can. 

  • Limited Availability For In-Person, On-Site Service

You may find that a regional or national IT support provider will come on-site, but that service may come with additional fees. This also will likely mean you see different people each time you call for service, leading to inconsistency in resolving issues due to a lack of familiarity with your infrastructure. 

  • Lack Of Strategic Guidance

Regional and national IT support providers may assign a virtual chief information officer (vCIO) to work with your organization, but chances are that each vCIO will support a high volume of clients meaning that they may not have the time to fully understand your business and goals

Related article: Align Your IT And Business Strategy: Why It Matters, How To Do It

  • Remote Testing

    The most effective way to carry out vulnerability and penetration testing is with regularly scheduled on-site testing. Make sure the provider offers this service to ensure that you have the results you need to plug any gaps that exist.
  • Large-Scale Training

With regional and national IT support organizations, training is typically remote, self-directed, or with a large group of people from a variety of organizations. While remote and self-directed training is often adequate to cover the basics, there is no substitute for customized, in-person training.  

Being physically present onsite with your staff allows the trainer to offer targeted education that pertains specifically to your organization and your needs. It allows for a more interactive experience with the opportunity for users to ask questions and for trainers to pivot training in response to pertinent issues. 

Is A Non-Local IT Provider Right For You? 

Although nobody can tell you the best solution for your organization, after reading this article, you are well on your way to making an informed decision

You now understand the pros and cons of working with a regional or national IT provider.

You know that the benefits include resources, vendor partnerships, off-hours service coverage, response & resolution time, longevity, and cost. 

Among the disadvantages are inconsistent quality of service, impersonal, rigid, limited availability for in-person, on-site service, lack of strategic guidance, remote testing, and large-scale training. 

Related article: Align Your IT And Business Strategy: Why It Matters, How To Do It

Based on the information you’ve read, you have all of the information you need to decide if a non-local IT provider would be a good fit for your organization. While some providers may say that they offer the best solution for you, you are best suited to make the IT decision that is right for your organization. 

Reading articles like this one ensures that you make an educated choice based on honest information.

Read this article to learn the advantages and disadvantages of working with a local IT provider

Whether you are considering working with a local or non-local IT support provider, we encourage you to check out several options to make sure you find the best fit for you. Here are the best questions to ask when evaluating IT providers.

And, local or not, there are two basic models for IT support. Read this article for an honest comparison of break/fix and managed IT solutions. Each option offers pros and cons, depending on your needs. 

About Karen Cohen

Karen brings unending curiosity to her role as Kelser's Content Manager. If you have a question, she wants to know the answer.

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