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How to Outsource IT Support Services the Right Way
Today, technology is in a rapid state of evolution. As a result, businesses are always looking for ways to leverage that technology to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and empower employees to work smarter. This shared pursuit has led to the rise of outsourced IT support services, a strategic approach that creates alignment and allows companies to focus on their core competencies while leaving the complexities of IT to experts.
If you’re considering outsourcing your IT support services, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions and succeed in a partnership with a reliable IT provider.
Why Outsourcing IT Support Might Be Your Best Decision Ever
Outsourcing IT support services isn’t merely a trend—it’s a strategic move that can yield substantial benefits for your business. With the ever-rising costs of doing business, it’s no surprise that reducing spend is the primary driver of business outsourcing. And for many IT executives, the staggering shortage in IT talent has created a significant barrier to technology adoption and innovation. For these reasons, modern IT teams are turning to outsourced IT support services as a viable solution.
By collaborating with a reliable managed IT services provider, you can gain access to a specialized team of experts without the hassle and cost of maintaining an in-house IT department. This means you can allocate resources more efficiently, reduce operational downtime, and enhance business continuity.
“Outsourcing IT support enables businesses to harness cutting-edge solutions and expertise that might otherwise be out of reach. The true benefit is leveraging the collective knowledge and experience of professionals who specialize in managing complex IT environments.” – Florin Soltan, Product Manager at Acronym.
How to Hire the Right IT Support Company
While outsourcing IT support services offers numerous advantages, it’s essential to approach the selection process with diligence and care. Not all providers are created equal; a wrong choice can lead to frustration and setbacks. To avoid such pitfalls, consider the following factors:
- Expertise and Experience — Look for a provider with a proven track record in delivering IT solutions across various industries. Review case studies, client testimonials, and industry certifications to gauge their credibility.
- Customization — Your business is unique, and your IT needs will reflect that. A reputable provider will offer tailored solutions that align with your goals and challenges—not an out-of-the-box approach.
- Scalability — As your business grows, so will your IT requirements. Partner with a provider who can accommodate your evolving needs and adapt their services accordingly.
- Security Measures — Data breaches and cyber threats are prevalent concerns. Ensure your managed IT provider has robust security protocols to safeguard sensitive information.
- 24/7 Support — Technical issues can arise at any time. Opt for a provider that offers round-the-clock support to minimize downtime.
Choose the Right Model: Managed Services vs. Break-and-Fix
There are generally two models for outsourced IT services – managed services and break & fix models.
With a break-and-fix model, the business only calls their external IT support to fix problems with their network. The incentive for the IT service provider is to bill as many hours as possible and to fix only what is broken. Under the break-and-fix model, an unstable network heavily relying on their IT service provider to provide band-aid solutions can drive up costs for the business. Under this model, the business and the IT service provider are not aligned.
Under a managed services model, the incentive is to build a solid, well-running and secure network to reduce the number of problems and outages. This creates alignment between the IT service provider and the business, resulting in a stable, secure network with predictable costs (flat monthly rate).
The managed services model of IT support creates alignment around the following:
- The stability and security of the network.
- Cost certainty with flat fees month-to-month.
- Expectations around response times.
What Do Outsourced IT Support Services Cover and Not Cover?
A managed services provider (MSP) operates like an extension of your IT team. A great MSP will go beyond day-to-day technical support and act as a strategic contributor to your business, actively identifying areas to improve processes.
Your MSP will look through a holistic lens to map your entire IT landscape, staying ahead of technology trends, opportunities, and threats. This involves actively monitoring and maintaining your organization’s devices, digital assets, applications, and infrastructure – both in the cloud and on-premises – to guarantee optimal uptime and network security.
However, it’s important to note that not all IT services are covered by outsourcing providers. Specialized tasks such as software development, highly specialized professional services, and maintenance of industry-specific applications may fall outside the scope of your typical outsourced IT support services.
Commonly Outsourced IT Services
Managed IT services encompass a wide range of offerings designed to simplify the complexities of technology management. These services typically include:
- IT Systems Management & Maintenance — Full-service managed IT keeps track of your entire IT ecosystem across physical locations and remote offices, ensuring all devices and applications are proactively maintained, patched and secured for minimal downtime.
- IT Security — With an ever-evolving threat landscape, managed services providers typically layer IT security solutions throughout their offerings. This ensures your broad IT environment is monitored and threats are proactively remediated to reduce risk.
- Help Desk Support — IT support is a 24/7 critical service that provides end-users with hands-on assistance for issues ranging from minor technical inquiries to system-wide outages. Consider this your everyday technology lifeline.
- Network Management — Network management involves monitoring, optimizing, and securing your network infrastructure for optimal performance that keeps your company’s communications running smoothly.
Common IT Outsourcing Questions
The optimal time to consider outsourced IT services is when your business faces IT challenges that hinder productivity or growth. These challenges could include recurring technical issues, insufficient resources to manage IT internally, or a desire to leverage advanced technologies for competitive advantage.
According to Soltan, “It’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ businesses will come under attack from hackers. It’s best not to wait until a major issue occurs to have the right IT partner in place. When you’re proactively aligned with a managed services provider who knows your business, they can make strategic recommendations and respond to issues promptly.”
Should you create an in-house IT support team or hire a third party?
The decision between in-house IT support and outsourcing depends on various factors. In-house teams provide direct control but require substantial recruitment, training, and ongoing management investments. Outsourcing offers access to specialized expertise without the overheads associated with an internal team.
What are the pros and cons of outsourcing IT support services?
|Access to specialized expertise — Tap into professionals who stay up to date on the latest technologies, training, and IT developments at a fraction of the cost of hiring them in-house.
|Lack of Control — Some teams experience a perceived loss of control over processes as a managed IT provider implements changes.
|Cost savings — Outsourced IT support services are cost-effective compared to maintaining an in-house IT team, eliminating the need to hire specialized, high-ticket talent as full-time employees. It’s also possible that the proactive maintenance and monitoring of IT systems and security can save you from unexpected costs, such as those associated with a data breach.
|Quality Assurance — The quality of service provided depends entirely on the outsourced IT support services partner.
|Scalability — Easily accommodate fluctuations in demand as your business needs change over time.
|Change Management — Shifting processes and adapting to new ways of work may disrupt existing workflows.
|24/7 Support — Gain round-the-clock access to expertise to address technical issues immediately.
|Contracts — Most managed IT services providers will implement a contract with a minimum term length.
|Technology Advancement — Get an outside perspective on ways you can implement new and innovative technologies to streamline business operations.
|Communication — Internal resources still need to be deployed to work collaboratively with the managed IT partner, ensuring alignment between both parties.
|Focus on Core Business — By outsourcing the ongoing maintenance and management, you free up your IT team to focus on more strategic business priorities.
|Alignment – Outsourcing IT support automatically aligns the interests of the business with the interests of the service provider. The result is a stable network with predictable monthly costs.
It’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ businesses will come under attack from hackers. It’s best not to wait until a major issue occurs to have the right IT partner in place.
In most cases, the potential downfalls of hiring a managed IT solutions partner can be remedied by appropriately vetting your partner before entering an agreement. With insight into your provider’s quality, responsiveness, and availability, you can confidently leverage the benefits above.
Get the Most Out of Your IT Support
Outsourced IT support services can be a game-changer for businesses seeking efficiency, innovation, and growth. By selecting the right provider, you can begin leveraging technology to build a company that will thrive today and far into the future.
Are you ready to get the most out of your IT support? Contact Acronym for a free consultation and learn how outsourced IT support services can empower your business today.
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Acronym Solutions Inc. is a full-service information and communications technology (ICT) company that provides a range of scalable and secure Network, Voice & Collaboration, Security, Cloud and Managed IT Solutions. We support Canadian businesses, large enterprises, service providers, healthcare providers, public-sector organizations and utilities. We leverage our extensive network expertise to design and build customized, fully scalable solutions to help our customers grow their businesses and realize their full potential. With more than 20 years’ experience managing the communications system that enables Ontario’s electrical grid, Acronym is uniquely positioned to understand the mission-critical needs of any business to deliver the innovative and reliable services that respond to the changing demands of businesses, and support rapid growth and digital transformation initiatives.