Is your organization considering giving another company control of its entire IT help desk? This would include the technology side of providing IT support and the people and processes involved.
Outsourcing your help desk might seem scary, but it's been a viable IT support sourcing option for nearly two decades. It is a proven alternative - with certain restrictions - to businesses that maintain their own in-house IT help desk.
When you outsource your help desk, there are a few things you need to consider - from the costs of outsourcing to how it might affect day-to-day operations. Let's explore the benefits of IT help desk outsourcing.
People may believe that help desk outsourcing is only about saving money and improving the bottom line. Moving a help desk to an outside provider can save you money, especially compared to "doing it yourself."
Because outsourcers operate at scale, they may be able to pay suppliers less because of it. Better deals are achieved with IT help desk tool providers, for example. Alternatively, there will undoubtedly be savings across the costs of providing IT equipment, third-party services, and IT support.
There will also be savings on personnel. To begin with, your company may not have exclusive access to the support staff employed by the outsourced help desk provider, with help desk agents handling the concerns and requests of numerous clients. Second, work will be off-shored to lower-cost countries to minimize labor expenses - ideally without affecting service quality.
The additional benefit for the customer of having a fixed-price contract is that they will always know what IT support will cost each month. That said, there may be slight changes in costs due to an increase or decrease in service levels.
There are many more benefits if you outsource your help desk. These include the following:
An always-available help desk An in-house help desk might not be able to afford 24×7 availability. However, outsourcing your help desk allows you to take advantage of shared resources during nonstandard hours so that the IT help desk can still operate outside of business hours.
Best practices To be successful and stand out, Help Desk Outsourcing companies need to focus on best practices that will not only set them apart based on quality but also help save costs.
Access to numerous capabilities By outsourcing your company's IT help desk, you not only free up your own staff to fulfill other responsibilities, but you also gain access to various additional capabilities that can further improve your organization's efficiency. These could include IT support activities like asset management or problem management that are outside of the scope of your current operation.
Additional technical information and abilities Simply put, some professions and technological skills may be hard to justify cost-wise or are simply too difficult to recruit and retain in a competitive market. An outsourced help desk provider with the scale to attract individuals with scarce talents through both higher pay rates as well as the wide range of job opportunities and learning can do so thanks to the ability to "charge" their employees to various customer accounts.
SLAs (service level agreements) SLAs are often included when you outsource your help desk. These agreements state the company's expectations regarding service levels, which can be measured on a transactional basis. For example, if an in-house help desk team struggles to resolve tickets and provision services quickly, there are likely no agreed-upon targets for different ticket types. Outsourcing provides such targets along with monthly reporting that evaluates the outsourced company's success in meeting those standards.
Improved services from a language standpoint If you're situated in the United States, for example, and you need to communicate with staff members in foreign countries who speak English as a first language, or if your organization is global and must deal with language differences across national boundaries, the use of automated translation tools becomes increasingly important. In addition, there's a third option that encourages people to utilize self-service so the technology can interpret the interactions. Also, similar to the availability mentioned above perk, an outsourced help desk provider can offer multilingual support at a reduced rate - possibly through a shared-staff model.
Benchmarking capabilities One of the benefits of an outsourced help desk is that they routinely measure and check their performance against other industry standards. In fact, the Service Level Agreement (SLA) will have specific targets in line with metrics such as how quickly the first person contacted resolves the issue, Priority 1 resolution times, and average call-waiting times.
Help-desk technologies Maintain a well-trained, experienced help desk staff with the latest equipment and software. Help desk solutions – a help desk outsourcing provider must provide the optimum mix of quality and cost and invest in technology to lower their total cost of operations. This will include various IT support technologies such as self-service capabilities, knowledge management, chat, remote control, system management, monitoring tools, and sophisticated telephony systems. As with any other business opportunity, the objective is to create a smart organizational structure that allows for as much labor-saving automation as possible. The outsourcing service may also employ artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning solutions such as automated ticket classification and chatbots.
Pay-as-you-go model There are different types of outsourcing contracts available, from the "all you can eat" model to the tiered-usage (or "pay as you go") model. The latter is usually more cost-effective since you only pay for what you use. Obviously, which type of contract will be best for a particular company depends on its existing in-house help desk situation.
The answer to that depends on your company's needs and demands. "How important is IT to our company?" and "Can we afford to risk obtaining a below-par level of IT support, as well as the impact it would have on business operations?" are two questions you should ask yourself and your coworkers. Followed by: "Is Business Operations Important?"
If you feel that the IT help desk outsourcing will end up costing your company more operationally than it saves in pure IT costs, outsourcing services might not be right for you.