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Outsourcing IT Support (When, Why and How)

Are you considering investing in outsourced IT support?

Why would companies choose to outsource their IT support services?

The blog below contains the discussion held by the Portal Technologies team about the many benefits of outsourcing systems management.

 

Outsourcing IT Support Services

An outsourced IT provider is on the front line of the industry, meaning they get all the latest news and updates so that they can help your business take advantage of new advances and trends in real-time. Better productivity. If you distribute IT tasks between existing staff, it might feel like you’re saving money. However, this is not always the case.

 

Benefits of Outsourcing IT Support Services

For smaller businesses, outsourcing IT support may be the only sensible option. For larger organisations employing both desk based and mobile staff, the decision may be less clear.

An outsourced IT support implies that any IT problems will get fixed externally. This mean that a partner company will look after all your systems and will mostly fix any emerging issues remotely. One benefit that immediately becomes apparent with outsourcing your IT support is the cost. In most cases, you will be charged monthly and be provided with a breakdown of what services you are getting. You will not have to worry about hiring or managing this team, as well as all the costs that come with it. These companies are usually specialised in IT meaning they will have more tools, resources, talent and experience in dealing with the issues you may be facing.

In-house IT support refers to your IT department located inside your business. It also implies that you will have to hire the people necessary to run this department and that you will have full control over them and their actions. There are several benefits to building your IT support team. For starters, an in-house IT support can provide you with quick backing when it’s most needed. Likewise, such a group will also have a more intimate knowledge of your IT infrastructure, giving the opportunity to fix problems quicker.

 

Cost Advantages

The most visible benefit relates to the cost savings that outsourcing brings about. You can get your job done at a lower cost and at better quality as well.

Increased Efficiency

When you outsource your business, the company will most likely have years of experience in business practices and expertise in delivering complex outsourcing projects. This means they can do the job better with their knowledge and understanding of the domain. This leads to an increase in productivity and efficiency in the process thereby contributing to the bottom-line of your company.

Focus on more core areas

Outsourcing your business processes would free your energies and enable you to focus on building your brand, invest in research and development and move on to providing higher value-added services.

Faster and better services

Make your service offerings better with high quality deliverables and decrease the lead time it takes for your product to reach the marketplace. Meaning you would be faster in getting your ideas converted into products and better at delivering the value-added proposition.

 

Disadvantages of Outsourcing IT Support Services?

A downside of outsourced support is that if there is a hardware problem it will not be resolved immediately as the IT support team will not always be on-site. This is due to the outsourcing company potentially being in a different area not near by your company.

As you might expect, when you farm work out to external agencies or freelancers, you’re losing control of how those tasks are being monitored and performed. So long as you know and trust who you’ve hired, that shouldn’t be a huge issue.

 

Which types of IT Services can be outsourced?

Networking and Infrastructure

Managed Service Providers offer a range of support options that can help your company handle Wide Area Networks and Local Area Networks along with other aspects of a computing system. Different IT support services provide different packages with some including:

Onsite infrastructure setup: Setting up software and hardware at your companies headquarters.

Mobile networking: Allowing your team to connect via wireless devices from any location.

Managed cloud infrastructure: Making it possible for colleagues to attend meetings and collaborate on projects on cloud-based company software portals.

Remotely managed print services: Allowing authorised personnel to print out documents on the company network from any location.

Managed storage backup: Making it possible for staff to upload information and update assignments from anywhere with the protection of the remote backup.

 

Security Management

A managed IT provider can make your company’s computer system safer with a range of security management and risk prevention services, including the following:

Anti-malware software: Installing software programs onto your company’s computer system to keep your network protected from viruses

Patching and maintenance: Keeping up with the latest software updates to ensure no hackers or viruses ever bypass your company’s security protocols and infect your system

Application compatibility: Making sure all the hardware components and software programs that comprise your company’s network are fully integrated and compatible with one another

 

Communication Services

A managed services company will offer support in the following categories as part of an IT communications package.

Data: Allowing staff to send and share information on computers, laptops and mobile devices from any location, local or afar

Voice: Letting colleagues speak to one another, both one-on-one and in multi-party conversations, from various locations on PCs and smartphones

Video: Making it possible for your company to hold conferences where staff members can attend from literally anywhere with an Internet or Wi-Fi connection

 

Things to consider when outsourcing IT support services

Expenses – Hiring a contractor means lesser fixed costs and getting the work done by an expert without having to pay fixed monthly expenses. Obviously, contractors are a benefit in not having to commit yourself to long-term resources. At times the contractual services for some specific job can turn out to be exorbitantly expensive, especially when there are few players in the field.

Account management – Some but not all companies offer an account management service as part of ongoing managed support. This can be extremely beneficial to your long-term IT goals.

Location – It is easier to manage a workforce that is geographically close. If the IT support company you outsource to is miles away, your business will incur time and transportation costs, as well as the loss of income caused by greater delays.

A 24/7 service – It’s worth ensuring that you can receive support all week round to ensure optimum productivity.

Guaranteed response time – The time that a IT support company will respond in will vary depending on the kind of service that you are paying for. Companies paying for ongoing managed support are almost always guaranteed faster responses than pay-as-you-go customers.