Five ways IT outsourcing can help combat social housing skills shortages.

The shortage of high-level talent in the social housing sector is well documented – with 71% of employers expecting to face recruitment difficulties over the coming year, a third having already experienced a scarcity of projects and change management skills, and half increasingly struggling to find candidates with senior leadership qualities.

But with sector activity continuing apace during economic downturn – as people depend on affordable housing solutions – coupled with nearing government targets to tackle the under-supply of properties, the need for skilled talent has never been so great.

Outsourcing IT services is certainly not a new concept, but it’s one that is often overlooked when finding ways to combat such recruitment challenges. 

Here, our operations director and social housing specialist, John Blackburn, explores how re-allocating the help desk function in particular, can deliver significant financial, operational, social, and environmental benefits.

  1. It opens the door to a greater talent pool

Whilst managed services providers (MSPs) aren’t immune to the skills shortages facing the social housing sector, they remain an excellent way to access a rich and diverse pool of knowledge and expertise.

As specialist organisations with a wide network of industry connections, they’ll often onboard professionals who are both experienced and highly skilled in their role – and don’t require dedicated training. It’s because of this that MSPs can be engaged at short notice, to bring an immediate solution to an urgent project need.

  1. A greater quality of service 

Boasting experience and expertise in a variety of sectors, MSPs are able to tap into intelligence from different customer projects to offer first contact resolution and facilitate a higher quality end-user experience.

With the ability to enter service level agreements (SLAs) with outsourced IT companies, IT teams working within housing associations can also reap the benefits of improved performance. Not only is it easier to turn the dials up when compared with internal teams, but it’s also easier to measure and feedback on process, due to greater oversight.

  1. It frees time and resource for in-house staff

There’s a common misconception that MSPs act as a direct replacement for your internal teams. The reality is, the two can easily work together effectively.

By outsourcing your help desk function, your managerial and human resources teams won’t need to add handling an IT department to their list. A third-party partner will take care of everything – and often around the clock – leaving your organisation free to focus on the strategic and tactical future of its tech estate.

It’s important to remember that growth doesn’t always come from more business – often, it’s about having more time to concentrate and look at the bigger picture.

  1. A one-stop shop to streamline operations and reduce costs

With in-house IT help desks requiring multiple, full-time salaries, added operational costs, and ongoing training budget, MSPs bring significant financial benefits to your organisation, too.

Offering the ability to scale up and down as required, organisations can pay for the specific IT services they need, when they need them – with the guarantee that the resources will be readily available. Plus, the MSP will take care of the full project – from technology integration and transition to long-term end-user support – to remove unnecessary headaches and help retain in-house talent.

  1. Meeting the needs of the modern workplace

In recent years, we’ve witnessed a dramatic shift to more flexible, hybrid, and digitally-focused ways of working. And as a result, there’s an ongoing need to keep pace with the wants and needs of today’s employees. To do so, organisations must be able to offer innovative solutions that are user-friendly and efficient, whilst keeping a sharp eye on finances.

With vast expertise in services – spanning cloud consultancy, security-first SD-WANs, IT environment audits, transformation services, and more – MSPs can offer valuable infrastructure and support to help you compete in the talent market and attract skilled workers.

Our team at Central has a collective 250 years’ experience within the technology industry – so not only can we provide the know-how, but cost-effectiveness and a professional service to boot.

We make it our mission to be seen as an extension of our clients’ IT teams, so if you need our help short-term to solve a problem in the long-term, let’s talk.

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Central Networks are a strategic technology partner. Excellent technology is a given, customer service, trust and long-term relationships are what drive our business. We support CEOs, Heads of IT, IT technicians and transformation directors to ensure technology provides an edge to their organisations.

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