Delivering IT services to users is a necessary function to ensure the success of any company. Businesses typically have their own IT team, that they have come to rely upon with varying degrees of success. It is the responsibility of the internal IT team to keep things operational, secure, and efficient. However, navigating the requirements of the rapidly-changing IT landscape has presented quite a challenge for internal IT teams.
When problems become too difficult to manage effectively in-house, it’s time to outsource this function to a professional managed service provider to continuously monitor, maintain and manage the technology. The managed service provider can provide a team better suited to the task, and the existing IT staff can then focus their energies on growing the business.
These are the Top 10 Reasons to Outsource your IT Support Desk:
- Staffed Helpdesk Available 24/7/365
Most organizations have limited IT staff that are not available on-call, are off on holidays and weekends, or are unreachable or unavailable after normal business hours. If you cannot reach IT support outside of business hours, it equates to lost productivity.
- Automated Patch Management
Windows Update Services just doesn’t work. Most IT departments have limited visibility into what patches may cause bigger issues and/or may not interoperate well with their environment. Conversely, managed providers perform extensive regression tests against the patches, and automate the distribution to production servers with little to no IT involvement.
- Access to Vendor/Industry Best Practices
Vendors often share knowledge of the most intimate details about their products with their business partners and certified professionals. This leaves IT blind to trends and best practices, unless they are aligned with a managed provider. Certification can be invaluable to troubleshooting with failure isolation and remediation on a specific technology. That means less downtime and increased productivity.
- Service Level Assurance
Most enterprises do not have visibility into their own service delivery metrics that ensure incident response, mean time to repair, and system restore times. Managed providers draft and level set acceptable metrics to the business, and have the tools to measure their level of success in satisfying the requirement.
- Existing IT Staff can Focus on Business Needs
Leaving the general IT Operations function to a managed provider allows existing IT staff to focus on more pressing needs of the business, and/or the team’s high visibility projects.
- Reduce Labor Costs
Smaller IT teams are not as cost-effective in managing IT as their enterprise counterparts. SMB’s can level the playing field when partnering with a managed provider. A managed provider can ensure scalability for an IT team, and can scale personnel resources at a lower rate than an individual small business.
- Less Downtime
Most companies do not measure their systems availability times, but industry reporting suggests that most companies maintain below 99.9% uptime on their systems. Managed providers deliver 99.99%. The gap of that downtime is measured in days per year, not hours, and can cost a company over $250k in lost revenue per hour.
- Increased User Productivity
Improving response times, fixing the root cause of reported issues, and making sure the fix is permanent can improve the output of your team. Managed providers follow up service calls with customer satisfaction surveys to measure their successes and failures.
- Greater (Proactive) Security
Antivirus, anti-spyware, spam, encryption, patch management, intrusion detection, periodic penetration testing, centralized firewall management, application traffic validation are all technologies aimed to improve the security of a business’s data. Most companies are not adequately staffed to manage security at an effective level. Once a breach has occurred, existing IT teams are mostly reactive, whereas a managed provider is constantly monitoring and proactively remediating.
- Better Asset and Software Licensing Management
Managed providers must track and document assets in order to invoice a customer accurately and in a timely manner. They have the appropriate tools in place to perform this function in real time, thus taking the burden off the IT department. Warranties can be better leveraged to reduce CAPEX costs by unnecessarily replacing equipment that is under warranty. In the same manner, Finance departments can better manage their capital assets by being notified of disposed assets, so that it can be properly taken off the books.