3 Important Business Benefits of IT Support Outsourcing
The Head of IT is under pressure as never before. He or she is being asked to do more as the corporate business and ICT strategies are revised to meet the full effects of digital migration and changes in the business operating landscape. At the same time, money pressures mean that new and innovative techniques are needed to stretch an inadequate budget to meet these new demands.
What can be done? One technique is to focus on your core business. If you are a small business, you have much broader issues than spending time on ICT issues. IT Support Outsourcing is one way to assist with this.
Many business benefits flow from IT Support Outsourcing. Some are financial, and some operational. The major benefits include:
Better cost management
Support is one of those bottomless pits where no matter how much money you put into it, you could always spend more. Because the cost will depend on what is needed, when it is needed and the resources required, estimating the support budget is an art in itself.
It is further complicated by the ICT strategy being adjusted as the financial year moves on. Changes to the corporate business strategy often require new software and features and functions added to existing systems. A good example is upgrades and changes to the network security environment if an online shop is added to the corporate website. New threats mean new preventative measures.
The budget line for support, therefore, tends to be either too little, which will lead to significant problems later in the financial year or too much, depriving other areas of financial support.
Employing a service supplier to provide IT Support Outsourcing services at a known cost can go a long way towards removing uncertainty and possibly release funds currently tied up in the support budget for other purposes. At the very least it can add clarity to the annual budget request.
Other cost benefits include :
- A support contract based on consumption means that you can contain costs by only paying for what you use rather than by paying a fixed overall cost.
- Reduced training costs. It is the responsibility of the service provider to keep their staff up to date and trained.
Release internal resources for more productive tasks
An ICT department has, among others, two basic functions, support, and development. There is always a backlog of change and development requests. ICT staff that could address the backlog are instead attending to support requests.
Use staff from an IT outsourcing organisation to provide front-line support. They will replace internal resources that could then potentially be used to reduce that backlog. Internal, and possibly external clients are pleased to see their issues being addressed, and the profile of the ICT department is improved.
A more complete IT solution
The work pressures on your staff mean that most probably, they are trained in and use a limited number of tools in their daily work. You are therefore missing out on innovations that could improve your efficiencies. If your staff is faced with a completely new problem that they have not met before, then solving it will take longer, potentially leading to business problems with extended downtime.
Outsourcing support to an organisation with a broad range of experience in different environments generally means that problems are fixed more quickly and reduce downtime.
You can also use that experience to pick their brains to help with the development of your ICT strategy to ensure that it is coherent, sensible and workable.
A good example is that of Disaster Recovery. All prudent IT Heads have a disaster recovery plan in their desk drawer. You will certainly need external support to recover from a disaster, and involving your outsourced support partner will bring the benefits of their experience with your and other environments. They will be able to advise on the technologies needed in the plan and where to source them, as well as the practical aspects of the recovery plan.
Outsourcing routine ICT support is a valuable option for business, particularly small business. It helps to improve the quality and speed of support and provides opportunities for cost management. The bottom line, it reduces stress and offers peace of mind.