Maybe you envision an outsourced help desk as a way to reduce costs and introduce new levels of innovation and vision-casting among your IT team. It’s a streamlined efficiency dream, in which your department no longer has budgetary constraints and all end-users glide smoothly from one application to another without any upgrade delays or patching failures.
Your view of an outsourced help desk may not be so rosy — and it often isn’t in the minds of the entry-level IT staff. Maybe you had a less-than-stellar experience with managed IT services in the past, and you fear the potential poor service, extensive layoffs that lead to disillusionment and disengagement on your team, and droves of dissatisfied end users.
While each of these views may be extreme, they are grounded in concerns that every enterprise must have when pursuing the right managed IT services provider relationship.
The Benefits of Choosing an Outsourced Help Desk
Outsourcing an area of IT to a specialized provider is cost-effective. While you won’t want to base your provider decision on cost alone, saving money often drives an outsourcing decision. Not only is there an immediate reduction in costs, but outsourcing also frees up IT professionals to work on creative, more demanding projects that directly impact business objectives. An outsourced provider that specializes in help desk functions should be able to handle related tasks quickly and more cost-effectively.
Those services are expanding, as enterprises are more widely employing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs, along with supporting increasingly mobile teams and virtual desktops. The services have become more complex, which may amplify the need for an outsourced help desk.
The Need to Exercise Caution
While there are numerous benefits in outsourced help desk services, businesses should exercise caution to ensure that their needs are being met. There’s some concern that, despite talk of freeing up IT professionals to pursue more in-depth projects, some businesses may perceive a move to outsourcing as an example of "brain drain." The loss of experienced IT staff members is a hidden cost to outsourcing, and at the same time, the help desk is an entry-level proving ground for many IT teams. As new recruits come in, the organization identifies high-performing employees that are then promoted into more influential roles.
The impact is not as visible outside of IT, but the effects are eventually felt as the organization’s agility and innovation are impacted by the loss of emerging IT leaders in the enterprise.
Keeping IT Involved
It's crucial to ensure your existing IT is a part of the decision to move to an outsourced help desk. While the pursuit of managed IT services is often initiated by executives, IT professionals can help stakeholders be more aware of hidden costs or pitfalls that could negatively impact expected cost savings. From the factors that will slow a learning curve to potential language barriers if an off-shore provider is selected, IT can help promote a smooth transition.
Some key considerations and questions should be included in the evaluation of a help desk provider:
How Does the Provider Handle Break/Fix Service? Just because the provider says they handle break/fix support does not mean that they are the ones doing the actual tasks. They may partner with a third-party, and if you are outside of a specific service area for that provider, they may not include this service at all.
What Are the Contract Terms and Is There an Escape Plan? If a partnership with an outsourced help desk isn’t working out, you need a way to change direction. Evaluate each potential provider’s termination fees and trial periods to help determine the right choice.
Carefully Evaluate the Service Level Agreement (SLA). There’s no point in moving forward with a managed IT services provider if its SLA doesn’t support your business objectives.
Ask About Turnover Rate. You need to know what level of experience and expertise is staffing the help desk and be aware of any issues with retention.
Examine the Level of Sophistication Their Help Desk Tools Offer. The ability to quickly and effectively diagnose and remedy your end-users’ problems is a key consideration when choosing a managed services provider. A helpful first step is to make sure the tools are more sophisticated than those your end-users have available for self-help.
Evaluate Their Level of Experience in Your Specific Industry. They may not have serviced a direct competitor, but they should have some experience at a company within your industry and with a similar size and scope to your organization.
Looking for Clear Answers to These Outsourced IT Considerations?
At SinglePoint Global, you can leave the heavy help desk lifting to us so you can focus on your core business objectives. Our solution offers services that transform your business's IT, so that maintenance and monitoring aren’t slowing you down. Here are just some of the features you’ll enjoy with our outsourced help desk:
- Unlimited 24x7x365 support
- Real-time monitoring of your environment
- Proactive notification
- Antivirus and malware protection
- Cloud file sharing
- Asset and patch management
- Desktop backup
- On-site escalation support
To learn more about how we support your business objectives by handling your outsourced help desk, contact us at SinglePoint Global.