A challenge for most IT Executives is showing return on investment after outsourcing their Help Desk to a third party. Although money is a major consideration, it is not the only factor to consider when deciding to use a service provider or support partner to manage your Help Desk support function. There are several others, in fact:
The Help Desk is your company’s view into your IT department. If there is an image issue with your Help Desk support, you can count on an image issue with the rest of your IT organization. Once that happens, it is very difficult to change that perception without a complete makeover of your Help Desk, and that’s where an experienced service provider can help. A third party partner will immediately establish a set of baseline metrics from which to measure and improve your service, as well as a process for evaluating and responding to customer satisfaction input. With that information in hand, implementing and managing key service level metrics becomes possible and enables a predictable and consistent service to your end-users. As a result, the image of your “helpless desk” is transformed to a quality “help desk.”
If your company builds motorcycles, your IT department should focus on improving areas of business with a direct impact on the production of motorcycles. But if your staff is focused on non-core competencies, your ability to concentrate on developing and implementing core business and IT strategies suffers. By outsourcing your Help Desk as one non-core area, you free up your IT resources to support your company’s strategic initiatives while the third party service provider concentrates on its core objective: delivering a focused Help Desk solution for you.
Your internal IT resources are often pulled in many directions with constantly changing priorities. This is very inefficient and costly, especially when deadlines are missed. A good service provider establishes clear processes between IT and the Business to drive focused delivery to the organization. Service Levels are established and monitored to ensure consistent, quality support.
The professional service provider concentrates on delivering proactive and preventative information to users, which can greatly reduce the probability of issues reoccurring. Every time a customer touches a Help Desk, it’s an opportunity for the support partner to gain intelligence, identify solutions that reduce and/or eliminate incidents from occurring and thereby improve the services delivered.
In addition, a professional service provider can rapidly and easily scale up or down in response to your company’s changing business and technological needs. Providing you with an agile infrastructure that responds to your organization’s needs makes them a true partner to your organization.
As mentioned in the previous section, business and technological changes will occur within your organization. It is costly to keep your existing staff trained on evolving technologies as they also work to provide a consistent level of service for existing business needs. The following are a few examples of how a service partner can keep IT costs down:
Consulting and Services Companies that specialize in these functions have a larger pool of resources and candidates to draw upon. Also, it is the service provider’s responsibility and cost to train analysts to maintain up-to-date skills and knowledge that keep pace with changing technologies. They make extensive investments in people, technology, and processes to enable a level of service and quality that is virtually unattainable for organizations attempting to handle their own IT functions. And because of its aggregated buying power, the provider can deliver performance and reliability improvements without increasing costs for customers.
Because of their larger resource pool of trained professionals with specific skill sets, a service provider will keep transition times shorter when attrition occurs.
Service providers offer access to a wide variety of key applications that are already licensed, stabilized, operational, and fully supported; allowing a company to evaluate, test, and implement new applications more efficiently.
Working toward higher first-contact resolution reduces cost by improving the utilization of level 2 and level 3 resources, which are more expensive to an organization.
If choosing a near shore or off shore option, companies can realize quantifiable business returns by reducing IT facilities costs such as floor-space, heating and air conditioning, power consumption, reserve power capability (UPS), fire suppression, off-site archiving, and facility management, not to mention reduced HR and benefit costs,.
It is a critical function for a service provider to stay focused on achieving contractual service levels and looking for areas to improve. To enable this, these providers have industry expertise in all areas of Help Desk, most keep their staff trained in HDI and ITIL standards, many have access to world class capabilities and all maintain continuous focus on appropriate staffing for business needs.
A professional solutions provider can provide business contingency and continuity capabilities that operate in secure facilities with redundant power supplies, alternate telecommunications connections, and excess processing capabilities. Many providers also maintain a disaster recovery site to which they can relocate quickly should the primary facilities be affected by a disruption. Companies often find that maintaining these capabilities themselves is extremely expensive and cost-ineffective.