Not only do you get to have a coffee together and a fast response if you need someone onsite in an emergency, but they will also have local knowledge that can make a huge difference to the service they provide. For example, they are likely to be working with other businesses in your area and learnings from them could be used to drive efficiencies and savings in your company. They can also assist with any short term staffing issues, providing experienced IT professionals to work on specific projects or to meet spikes in demand.
Furthermore, using a local IT service provider presents opportunities to put in place a hybrid model, combining both remote support coupled with onsite staffing either on a permanent or ad hoc basis. It is also common to have a member of the existing in-house team TUPE transfer to the service provider, this ensures the knowledge remains and would also benefit the business from a cross training and on-going familiar onsite presence.
Of course, it is important when choosing an IT service provider to ensure that they have the right skills within their team, and the capacity to deliver the service level you require. Small local IT companies may struggle with this, but there are plenty of providers across the UK – either with just one office or a number of local offices – that have the right staffing levels to meet the demands of small and large enterprises.