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IT Outsourcing frequently asked questions

 

Why outsource your Information Communication Technology (ICT) services?

Is IT and Communications a core competence for your business? If you are an IT and Communication company, then I’d expect you’d answer yes. But as you are considering outsourcing then your core competence is probably a service that you provide or product you sell or design.

We strongly believe that you should outsource non-core competencies, that’s why we outsource HR, Legal and Marketing. We leverage from the expertise of others for functions that others do better.

 

What can I outsource?

You can outsource many functions that are a non-core competence within your business. With regard to ICT, you can outsource helpdesk, end-user support, server maintenance, email management, application support, IT security, telephone system support, network management, hosting of servers and ICT projects.

Your entire IT department can be transferred to ihotdesk. The responsibility for ICT service delivery transfers to our company.

At ihotdesk we even have a service that removes the need for your business to invest in hardware and software. We offer a bundled service to include the supply and support for the whole IT and telephone system with no capital outlay for your business.

 

IT outsourcing will mean I loose control?

Only if you do not have proper controls in place to measure the performance of your outsourcing partner. At ihotdesk we provide monthly service reports to you; we provide an ICT strategic roadmap for your business; you have on-line access to monitor the status of calls should you need this level of control.

Your outsourcing agreement should also include a Service Level Agreement, which details the service commitments that you can expect and what happens if your service provider does not meet those service levels.

 

What are the benefits of outsourcing?

  • You can focus on your business, safe in the knowledge that your IT outsourcing partner is proactively maintaining and providing IT support for your people.
  • Possible to lower your support overheads; certainly moving to a flexible cost base rather than fixed overheads of employing your own team.
  • Economies of scale for delivery and mix of on-site and off-site delivery model leads to extended service hours and lower costs.
  • Your chosen outsourcing partner will be an ICT expert.
  • Your business will benefit from the vast knowledge, experience and additional resources they can offer.
  • No requirement to hire in-house technical skills.
  • No technical training costs.
  • Reduced management overhead for non-core competency.
  • Improve your business performance from new technology advancements without the need to waste money on research and development yourself. Your ICT partner should offer proactive solutions.
  • Holidays and sickness cover is the responsibility of the outsourcing company, no hassle for you.

 

Can I outsource my IT department?

Yes. Your IT people’s employment status is protected by Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations, generally referred to as ‘TUPE’. They would transfer to ihotdesk and we would then enter a process of integrating them into our team.

Visit http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/emplaw/tupe/tupe.htm for an introduction to TUPE. ihotdesk have several colleagues that have transferred to us from their former employer, so we can guide you and your colleagues through the process. Over time your IT people are given the opportunity to work on other assignments for ihotdesk, receive training to bring their skills up to date and even move on to working for other clients if this is their aspiration.

 

Will outsourcing save our company money?

Outsourcing can lead to cost savings; it does depend on your particular circumstance. If you have an in-house IT team, then we can demonstrate cost savings over the medium to long term. We achieve savings through the transition of service delivery to a mixed remote and deskside delivery model. If you require extended service hours and improved service, then an outsourced service may allow you to achieve this to a comparable cost. If you suspect that you have people within your IT department that are not fully occupied, then creative outsourcing removes the un-productive time from their day.

 

How quickly can I outsource my IT and Communications?

If your company is without IT support, then ihotdesk can implement our service within two weeks. A typical situation is that an existing agreement is ending at a certain date. ihotdesk then plan and transition the service in the month leading up to the incumbent suppliers contract end. If the aim is to outsource your IT people, then you need to allow for a reasonable consultation process for the people involved. We would recommend a period of at least two months from initial engagement to go live.

 

What should not be outsourced?

If you have a bespoke application that is absolutely vital to your business and requires daily interaction with your business; perhaps the application needs specialist skills entwined with knowledge of your business, then we would advise to retain this service in-house. If the IT and Communications systems are failing regularly, then expect an improvement project ahead of smooth service delivery. Don’t expect a new supplier to have a magic wand to improve failing systems. You must work with your new ICT partner to address the failings of the legacy system.

 

How do I measure my outsourcing suppliers' performance?

The outsourcing company will have service reports and measures that are linked to their Help desk system. (Test for this during supplier selection.) Our suggestion is to measure:-

  • Availability of your critical applications, e.g. Email, line of business application or database
  • Availability of the network
  • Number of calls to the Help desk answered within service level
  • Number of problems closed within service level
  • Reduction in problem calls being logged
    • ideally you don’t want problems, so seeing a downward trend of problems means people are productive
  • Complete a periodic subjective measurement survey
    • this collects how people feel about the service
    • this can be collected from an online survey at the close of each support call
  • Consider any financial measures that are relevant to your business
    • Can you link the performance of IT to volumes of business?
    • Can you measure downtime as to a value of lost business of productivity?

Agree during contract negotiations as to what the agreed measures will be and how and who will collect and report these.

 

If you are looking to Outsource all or part of your IT Support in London or throughout the United Kingdom and would like to meet with one of our consultants for a no-obligation discussion please call us on 020 7392 1600, email us at info@ihotdesk.com or complete our Enquiry form