As technology evolves, business demands have become increasingly complex. Organizations across industries are re-evaluating the efficiency of their business operations. Some companies are turning to automation to meet the needs of partners, stakeholders, and consumers. That’s especially true for IT teams tasked with leading many of these efforts. But too often, IT teams are so focused on executing on day-to-day tasks that they can’t focus on more strategic initiatives. They may get by in the short-term, but it can make long-term business planning nearly impossible. Engaging a managed services partner that can support your business operations—big or small—can be a key part of the solution. In this blog, we’ll explore the main benefits of partnering with a managed services provider to meet the specific IT needs of an organization.
A Team That Understands How You Operate: There are several reasons why organizations decide to outsource their IT service desk. Perhaps your current team can’t be online 24 hours a day or maybe you simply want to increase the number of people answering customer emails and phone calls. Regardless of your specific help desk needs, it’s important to hire a team that already understands the type of work you do every day. You also need to trust that they can operate autonomously and efficiently to truly serve as an extension of your organization.
What to Look for in a Managed Services Partner
1. Expertise in your industry and the tasks at-hand
2. A comprehensive partnership that encompasses all IT tasks
3. Management reporting that shows the metrics that matter
4. A cost-effective solution at a competitive price
5. A well-defined process for onboarding and knowledge management
6. A strategic partner that will proactively address current and future challenges
7. The ability to support key applications that power your business and provide visionary oversight for your technology roadmap
The 24x7x365 Difference : Customer support is not conducive to a 9-to-5 work day. In today’s always-on business culture, organizations need to be able to support their customers at any time of the day, every day of the week— including weekends. Companies that have customers in multiple locations and time zones experience even stronger demand for round-the-clock service. This kind of constant service by in-house teams can get expensive fast. Beyond providing support to IT teams 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, hiring a managed services partner can be a smart financial decision.
An Onsite Extension of Your IT Team: While outsourcing a managed services team can quickly add value and save money, some organizations are reluctant to bring one on because they prefer to have all IT resources onsite. However, a flexible managed services partner like Netrix can provide onsite staff to customers intent on hosting their IT team operations in a single location.
A Proactive Approach to IT Operations
IT: Ripe for Opportunity: If there’s one thing we know about successful IT teams, it’s that they are problem solvers. On any given day, support teams receive tickets, address issues, and move onto the next challenge. They react to problems, but don’t necessarily play a role in proactively preventing them. A managed services provider can build on the success of traditional IT teams by empowering them to be both proactive and reactive by employing the ITIL methodology.
Understanding ITIL: ITIL, short for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of processes, practices, and procedures that focuses on aligning IT services with the strategic business goals of an organization.
ITIL Service Value Chain
The ITIL operates based on a value chain that dictates how organizations can think about their IT and business goals in tandem.
Start by planning—understand the vision and direction of the organization’s products and services. Then, engage stakeholders, including employees and customers. You’ll want to make sure your team understands stakeholders’ needs and is prepared to maintain these relationships. Next, conduct an audit or review of products and services. Ensure expectations are continuously being met in terms of quality and cost.
Once you’ve made these preparations, you’re ready for the “build” stage. This might mean developing software internally to solve organizational challenges, or procuring a third-party software or service, such as a managed services team to serve as an extension of your service desk. Deliver and support these initiatives by resolving incidents, monitoring infrastructure, analysing issues, and keeping tabs on the operation at large. Lastly, create an improvement plan to make sure team members are actively and continuously improving products and practices.
To measure the success of your IT service desk, consider the following key performance indicators (KPIs).
1. Average response time – How quickly does your team respond to requests?
2. Time to first response – How long does someone have to wait before they receive a first reply from an agent?
3. Response time bands – How many tickets did your team address in the span of ten minutes? 30 minutes? Five hours?
4. First contact resolution – What percentage of contacts did the Service Desk resolve on the first interaction with the client? This metric is used to determine the quality of overall client experience. Results can vary based on several factors, such as the type and complexity of the transaction or the tools you have deployed.
Of course, outsourcing your IT team doesn’t do you much good unless you can justify ROI. A few factors to consider:
1. Wait Time: There are many reasons that an organization might look to outsource its IT operations, but one of the main complaints from customers is that they’re waiting too long for someone to answer their phone call or email. Netrix Service Desk’s average phone call response time is 30 minutes or less and the average email/voicemail response time is one hour or less.
2. Financial Savings: Partnering with a managed services provider doesn’t just save time—it also saves money. By switching your fixed costs to variable costs, you can scale back services you don’t necessarily need. A managed services partnership also eliminates the cost of training your IT staff, which can run between $5-10K per person per year. If you have a large IT team, that can end up costing over $100K in savings annually.
3. Redeploying Internal Resources: Outsourcing your service desk operations allows your team to focus more on strategic IT and digital transformation initiatives that improve organizational efficiency. Instead of spending time addressing internal IT issues and troubleshooting employees’ issues, your staff can be moving the business forward.
While there are a number of best practices that can help you maximize efficiency and productivity of your IT team, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to success. The right team will give you the flexibility to experiment, while offering recommendations based on the complexities of your business.
In today’s digital world, your organization must be equipped with the skills and expertise necessary to navigate the future of work. It’s up to your IT team to figure out what solutions will give your business a competitive advantage—and gather the resources to make those goals a reality.