There are many reasons why a business, large or small, might consider outsourcing their IT support. Chief among them is efficiency. Of course, there are other benefits that come along with outsourcing, such as an improved focus on core competencies, higher productivity, cost control, access to a bigger and better talent pool as well as improved monitoring and maintenance of the IT infrastructure. Often times, small businesses do not have the resources and capacity to maintain an in-house IT team and so outsourcing is their only option. However, in totality, efficiency is at the heart of the decision on whether to outsource or not.
Some businesses make the mistake of hopping onto the IT outsourcing train without having much thought about its consequences. Don’t be one of these businesses. Here are some factors to consider to ensure flawless and seamless integration of your managed IT service provider in London and the UK into your workflow, and your organisation in general.
Outsourcing IT services may cause you to lose all the intellectual capital invested in a project. It also means that you may never build an internal team of professionals to advance the work started by the IT services provider thereby no inhouse skills transfer.
With that said, for businesses that lack the time or expertise to handle particular IT projects, outsourcing can be beneficial for corporate agility. Therefore, before you outsource IT services, weigh its pros and cons against your short-term and long-term vision of the business.
Governance and Operational Control
The conventional narrative against outsourcing your IT function is that you end up losing your operational control. However, it all depends on your preference as an organisation. Some companies have no problem handing over control of the non-core functions such as IT support and IT help desk. Others, on the other hand, prefer to full control of all their business functions.
Therefore, the ball is entirely in your court. Assess how much control you would like to maintain over your IT support function then develop a framework to guide your outsourcing agreement with your provider. This will stipulate the roles, expectations and responsibilities of all parties involved as well as help define a smooth business relationship with the outsourcing company.
Confidentiality and Security
It is natural that your outsourcing company will gain access to company information and customer data. As a matter of fact, some of this information and data will be private and sensitive. While accessing this information might be part of their work, it is important to have a grip and agree on what information they can access.
Therefore, assess and make a determination on the type and amount of information the provider will need to fulfil their function effectively. Moreover, seek to understand the measures your outsourcing company has in place to guarantee the security and confidentiality of your customer data and company information.
Communication and Collaboration
Communication and collaboration are at the core of any successful outsourcing engagement. A lot of factors can hinder effective communication and collaboration such as operating in different time zones, different work culture, language or background among other communication barriers. However, these barriers can be overcome. Top providers train their staff and managers in multi-cultural sensitivities and language to facilitate seamless business relationships globally.
With that said, it is important to establish crucial guidelines of engagement and to put all agreements in writing. You should also take minutes of all meetings held to give you a reference if there is anything you need to clarify or double-check.
Quality of Work
Outsourcing can result in improved IT function for your business. However, it is imperative that you outsource to a provider with adequate expertise and experience. Before settling on one provider, find out if the staff have the right knowledge, skills and expertise. The IT professionals in the team should also be certified to offer these services in your area and have some experience.
It is also recommended to hire a provider that can offer full IT support services including data backup and recovery services. This will negate the need to hire another provider in case a problem arises that is outside the scope of your current provider.
Break Fix Model or Managed Services Model?
These are the two models of outsourcing your IT function. Break-fix model is ideal for businesses that prefer to call for technical support on a need basis. The downside is that the provider charges per hour and thereby might prove to be expensive for most SMEs. Managed Services Model is ideal for businesses that prefer to have 24/7 access to IT support. This model is relatively cheaper since providers bill monthly and cover all issues arising regardless of frequency.
Therefore, evaluate your position and need for IT support so you do not end up spending more than you can afford or is economically feasible.
Are You Ready to Outsource Your IT Function?
Although outsourcing is associated with some few challenges, it is conclusively clear that SMEs stand to gain improved efficiency and productivity from it. It is no wonder then that more businesses are looking to outsource their IT function. The key is in assessing your short and long-term goals and developing a framework to guide your engagement.
Do you feel that you are ready to reap the benefits of employing managed IT support providers? At AdEPT, we specialise in providing businesses with all the tools and technologies they need to achieve and fulfil their potential. Contact us today to learn more about our services.