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What you really need to know about outsourcing your IT support

What you really need to know about outsourcing your IT support

No matter the size or scope of your business, IT is an integral part of your day-to-day operations. And for many, there’s a mounting pressure not only to use world-class digital tech, but to provide exceptional internal support and services alongside it.

Outsourcing is often a sure-fire solution to minimise this burden, offering reliable assistance that boasts a whole host of efficiencies – including access to skill and competency, reduced costs and, although often overlooked, improved morale and productivity throughout your teams.

So, what does outsourcing really mean?

Outsourcing, in relation to IT, is a business practice that involves hiring an external third party to effectively deliver IT-enabled business process, manage infrastructure and provide unrivalled support services. It sounds simple – and that’s because it is (if you’ve done your research)!

What do I need to look out for?

Should outsourcing be a viable option for your business, it’s not just as straight-forward as jumping at the first experts you come into contact with – it’s about finding a match that’s perfect for you.

Most business owners don’t realise that it’s no longer an all-or-nothing choice – there’s an entire continuum of options available to suit the needs of their organisation. And to harness the true power of outsourcing, it’s important that you consider all these options analytically.

Here are some key pointers to get you started…

  • There are different levels of support: Although some of these do overlap, there are general distinctions of first, second and third-line support when it comes to IT. At the most basic level, first-line support providers usually have a general knowledge of digital tech, and aim to deal with any requests using standard fixes before escalating the issue to second-line support. Second-line support providers usually have a more specific, technical skillset and try to establish a solution remotely, utilising conversation rather than generic script. With third-line support, you’ll be in the hands of a provider with extensive training, knowledge and experience, offering on-site visits and guaranteed fixes.
  • Outsource strategically: You don’t necessarily have to outsource every single aspect of your IT support. By determining how each process creates value for customers, you can strategically pick and choose what to execute externally and what to focus on in-house – for example, by analysing any risks that might occur by outsourcing a specific task.
  • Look for a provider that will be a true extension of your team: The best IT support providers will align with your company values and perspective. It’s always a good idea to visit any sites connected to your potential outsourcing support, and to put names to the faces you’re in discussion with. You should be confident that your agency partner will integrate seamlessly into your team, and that they will speak openly and freely as any member of your internal team would – in the best interests of your business and its wider objectives. 
  • Avoid heavy jargon users: Any organisation which relies too heavily on jargon and technical language to promote their expertise should be a huge red flag. If you really understand something difficult, you can make it sounds simple – intimidation and scaremongering tactics are completely unnecessary.
  • Develop a real human connection: At Central, we’re keen on the idea that customers are more than just a ticket. They should have the opportunity to speak to real people – rather than unresponsible, unreliable, automated systems – and feel that their requirements are truly understood.
  • Trust is everything: Once you’ve outsourced the perfect IT partner, steer clear of micromanagement. Remember that you chose them for a reason – trust their expertise and let them showcase their full potential. Like any effective relationship, it’s important that your new hire feels like a fully-fledged member of the team.

Bottom line: choose your outsourced IT partner wisely

Outsourcing your IT support requirements can significantly reduce business costs, free up company time, improve productivity, and bring a whole new host of unique problem-solving expertise. But, to truly hone its power, be aware that you need to do plenty of background research – choosing a reputable partner with an extensive portfolio of experience and a similar set of values to your business is crucial. Nevertheless, the results are nothing short of rewarding when you find the right fit.

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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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