As IT expands its role in directing business development through technology, enterprises are finding that it often makes sense to outsource some of their IT tasks. This is particularly true in the case of multi-location businesses, which may particularly benefit from outsourcing that removes the need for in-house IT professionals to travel to sites for management, troubleshooting or upgrades.
An outsourced help desk is often one of the first areas that multi-location businesses consider outsourcing. If you’re thinking about making this transition, it’s a good idea to thoroughly consider how both in-house and outsourced help desk choices can impact your business. Take a look at some of the key areas of the decision, and how each option affects that aspect of the business:
You’re likely to see an expansion of remote and mobile employees that often work outside the typical nine-to-five workday. Even employees that typically work within your office may be experimenting with flexible work hours. Many enterprises find that offering flexibility in the schedule is a key differentiator when attracting the best talent. As a result, the help desk needs to match these varied and unpredictable hours. Adapting your in-house help desk to match employee work schedules hours can be costly.
For multi-location businesses, you may also have people working in different time zones and require an approach that accommodates those needs.
An outsourced help desk provides the availability necessary to support mobile employees and multi-location businesses. Technical staff is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
If you’re a smaller enterprise, you may be under the impression that outsourcing IT tasks is something more beneficial and geared to larger businesses. The advantages may be more pronounced in a small company because they solve availability issues. If you have only one or two people handling IT for your organization, sick leave and vacation time can present difficulties that are easily solved by an outsourced help desk.
With an in-house help desk, you’re shouldering all the burden of keeping technicians trained on every infrastructure element and software application. You may also struggle to retain highly-trained staff because the mundane nature of help desk work makes turnover an issue.
One of the advantages of an in-house help desk is that your staff will be trained exactly according to your preferences and systems. The help desk tends to be an entry-level IT position, so it also helps you identify employees that are particularly hard-working or demonstrate potential for advancement in your organization.
An outsourced help desk gives you access to a large pool of highly-trained technicians that have specialized tools at their disposal for diagnosing and remedying challenges with devices, applications, and network connections. They may not be trained to your exact specifications, but you also aren’t responsible for that training in terms of cost or time.
When you access an outsourced help desk, you’ll receive a predictable, consistent invoice each month. There will be no surprises from large, unexpected costs and you’ll no longer have to purchase the tools necessary to equip a help desk. The provider will also handle training.
The most significant cost relief from outsourcing your help desk is the reduction of IT staff payroll expenses. You’ll also save on travel costs, because your IT personnel won’t be traveling to your sites to walk an employee through resolving a problem.
As mentioned earlier in this article, help desks also tend to have a high rate of turnover, which can be costly to your organization. An outsourced help desk removes this concern and cost.
Your IT professionals are no longer just responsible for keeping the lights on. They’re integral to the execution of key business objectives, providing the strategy for taking advantage of new opportunities to disrupt processes and introduce innovation. From cloud solutions to fleets of time-saving and convenient devices, IT is moving to the center of the conversation in the board room.
An outsourced help desk is just one way enterprises are refocusing their IT teams to execute these strategies more efficiently. Rather than spend time trying to figure out why a branch office is getting an error message, for instance, they can create strategies for outpacing competitors with a new, cloud-based customer interface.
How Do You Decide?
The advantages to an outsourced help desk far outweigh the concerns for multi-location businesses, but if your organization is reluctant, you can adopt a hybrid approach. It’s often helpful to try outsourcing your help desk on systems and applications that are standardized, keeping custom solutions on an in-house help desk. Technologies that rely on input from many people in your office or that are highly sensitive may also be best held in-house initially.
As your enterprise becomes more comfortable with an outsourced help desk, you may be able to switch all tasks to your provider eventually. Interested in more information on how outsourced help desk services can help your multi-location business? Contact us at SinglePoint Global and take a look at this free ebook.