Outsourcing Questions You Need Answers For- What is Your Core Competency?

By Jeff Brodie & Rob Metras

The tides are changing rapidly for organizations and their IT infrastructure. What is the best consideration for a business when it faced with rapidly changing technology and increasing security threats. Does the organization continue to build this expertise in house? Should they look to subsidize the internal expertise with an external source? Should they outsource their IT support totally? What is your core competency in your business?

When looking at an internal resource the factors that need to be budgeted into building this resource is, training costs, vacation costs, benefit costs and lost days due to illness. All of these build up to impact an organization. When you put all of your eggs in one basket, you may have a big risk.. If this resource decides to leave your organization then you are back to square one in building the resource all over again.
Consider adding an external resource to subsidize your IT staff. This organization can bring in expertise that you only pay for when you need it, and is available when you need it. You do not have to worry about illness, vacation or losing expertise when you work with a good third party provider. Good IT providers are not cheap, but they are not expensive if they are good at what they do they will save your organization their fees many times over.

Outsourcing your IT staff all together. Do not look to eliminate or necessarily save a lot of money doing this. What you will do is improve your level of services. You are looking for a partner who can fully manage and support your IT business and applications better than a single internal resource. A Good IT partner will help you manage your IT investment and plan proactively how to best serve your company. The provider should be providing service under a common label currently called Managed Service. However managed services vary broadly in definition from Event log scanning, Virus signature updating to full system management with Remote help desk and onsite support as necessary. The model goes from hands off to hands on if you will. When outsourcing your IT support you want to ensure that you understand the value of your services to your customer and the level of services that you are looking for from your vendor partner. You should not be looking at a body count, and number of hours on site, instead you should be looking at mission critical business services, reduction of service interruptions, elimination of SPAM, Spyware, Viruses and minimal downtime.

You should be looking for a Help Desk that will provide you with basic application and OS support. The help desk services should be able to remote control on demand the system that the user is calling about. The help desk should be able to tutor if necessary basic Microsoft Word, Excel and Email uses. The Help desk should be able to solve on demand issue remotely to allow an end user to continue working. The ideal of an outsource service is in fact to keep your expenses relatively similar to what your organization was initially spending on IT support and increase your service time and quality of your service. This is the real value of Outsourced IT support and managed services partners.