Numerous companies are beginning to utilize Outsourced IT Support, but the fact of the matter is very few people know what it is and how it can help their company. We have leaned on a seasoned franchise owners to help us uncover the answers that surround the questions about Outsourced IT Support and why your company may wish to consider this option.
According to a survey completed by CompTIA 62% of the organizations surveyed planned to make greater investments in Outsourced IT Services (managed services) over the next two years.
Q: What is Outsourced IT Support?
A: Removing the frustration of ensuring your computer, network, and server is functional while ensuring you or your own staff is performing the roles they were hired for and are experts. By allowing an organization that has the expertise and ability to properly support your computers, you can forget about technology equipment except as vehicle to help you in achieving a profit.
Q: How should you evaluate if Outsourced IT Support will be beneficial?
A: If you are spending over an hour a week dealing with laptop or computer issues, if anyone automatically associate technology with various “descriptive adjectives”, if you have more than 3 employees/systems or your needs extend past just one computer, you need an outsourced IT support crew.
Q: What products/services does an Outsourced IT Support model implement as well as support?
A: Anything and everything in the IT world that’s needed to allow you to focus on your organization objectives.
Q: Does this Outsourced IT Support model work better for certain corporations and industries than others?
A: Without a doubt.
Q: What questions should you ask when assessing an Outsourced IT Support provider?
- What is the service guarantee?
- What is included as service?
- Are added maintenance items charged or included in the monthly service?
- Does the provider work proactively or reactively?
- What is the expected response time?
- What is the expertise and skill level of the provider? (Can the support networks as well as servers, etc).
- Can the provider show a listing of clients?
- Can the service provider actually fix things or is it just smoke and mirrors? (try them on a project basis first).
Q: What business indicators can suggest that an organization should consider Outsourced IT Support?
A: An Outsourced IT Support provider needs to be used if:
- The primary machine(s) for the business are not recoverable or properly backed up
- Minor issues linger over time (account details, email, install of Line of business applications and updates).
- If the Infrastructure has not updated or evaluated for over 30 days.
- If anyone person in the company spends more than 5 hours a week on IT issues.
Q: What benefits do your customers find moving to an Outsourced IT Service Model?
A: Less stress, more cost effective, single source of contact to solve issues among multiple vendors, proactive solutions regarding equipment and computer software, reduced time researching problems, difficulties, solutions, accountable historical data such as tickets and reports, reduced worry on moving to various platforms.
Q: Is there a cost savings when moving to an Outsourced IT Support Model?
A: Initially, no. After the first two or three months, the savings begin to appear. The start of agreement may be costly while the IT infrastructure is base lined and brought up to date. Afterwards, the ROI expands because systems demonstrate improved efficiency and reduced down time. As the IT Infrastructure recedes on the “front burner” of issues, the IT Infrastructure produces better return on investment by processing properly and allowing the business to focus on the primary company objectives.
Q: I understand this can be this a proactive method to IT Support rather than reactive, can you explain how that is helpful?
A: By finding issues before they impact the organization, any down time can either become eliminated or moved to non-productive hours (after hours). For example: if a hard drive is failing and swapped out during off hours, the computer is not offline from use and system / data is saved. If the hard drive announces its failure during the day, the organization down time of not having that machine as well the potentially lost files or programs can certainly linger and impact the company for days or weeks (or longer). Presume the accounting laptop or computer is failing: if it is repaired and operating without impacting the organization, it makes money. But if that fails and accounting data is lost for the year (or longer), the impact is felt for a year; especially during tax season.
Q: What should your Outsourced IT support provider actually provide and be the client to establish trust?
A: Honesty: If the provider makes an error, they should admit it and have a plan to resolve the error. Experience & skill: Not measured in years, but in work performance. Responsiveness: The provider needs to respond quickly and work to eliminate the problem quickly.
Q: Once the decision is made to move to an Outsourced IT Support Model what’s the process to convert a business?
- A provider should perform site survey and consult EVERY users for their technology pain points.
- The service provider should detail the transition method, the milestones, and offer regular status updates around progress.
- The client should anticipate a flurry of activity for the first few weeks as systems are base lined (hopefully after hours).
- The client needs to have control of the items being worked on with the service provider. For example the service provider, as well as client, should agree on the resolution plan and timeline before the work begins.