Overworked IT teams can reduce everyone’s productivity. One of the biggest challenges for growing companies is knowing when to outsource IT.
When an IT team is overworked and under-resourced, the strain is felt across the whole company. IT keeps everything running, so when they’re unable to respond as quickly to immediate problems or move forward with long-term projects, it’s time to consider outsourcing.
Working with a dedicated IT partner is an effective and practical solution to internal capacity issues. Whether you need service desk support (usually first and second line), or you have bigger projects in mind, how quickly you can move IT over to an external provider is one of the most common questions we get asked.
Here is what you need to know to make that transition easy:
#1: Who will manage the transition?
During any handover, there needs to be someone internally and externally responsible for moving services and solutions over to an outsource partner. Make sure that person has the capacity for this project and, especially when you are moving front-line support over, staff know how and when they can start getting the support they need from the IT partner.
Awareness is one of the main challenges; otherwise, staff will continue calling or emailing your in-house team which will cause delays to problems getting fixed. A lack of awareness creates a bottleneck, especially since in-house teams might be tempted to try and solve problems themselves. Ensure there is a date when the external IT outsourcing partner will take over, and a clear set of communication options that staff all know. This should make the transition easier.
#2: Trial project or trial month?
It should never take long for an IT partner to take over from an internal team.
Normally, they should be equipped to scale up or down according to existing client needs, so taking on a new client should be a smooth process. One way to test the theory is a trial project or trial month. Agree for the firm to provide a limited amount of support for a fixed number of hours/cost.
This way, you test whether your potential IT partner can deliver according to marketing claims and Service Level Agreements (SLA).
#3: Passwords, access and security
When moving from in-house to external, one of the main challenges is ensuring an IT partner can gain access to the systems and software they need to manage IT services. Put together a list of every system, computer and device you are entrusting them with and the relevant list of passwords.
With GDPR coming into force early next year, IT providers are more stringent than ever over security and data protection permissions. You may need to confirm agreements to allow access and control, and then an external IT partner should review data security process and systems to assess where there are any potential compliance failings.
Now is the time to make sure your data is secure. Time is running out, and fines, in the event of a potentially preventable data breach, could cripple a growing company. Working with the right IT partner can help ensure you have everything in place to prevent a data breach and stay on the right side of this new European legislation.
Again, this is something that any professional and respected IT company should be able to handle. In reality, transitioning over to an IT partner should not take too long. From a week or two to a month, at most, you should not be waiting too long before your IT team can gain the extra capacity and better support your entire team.