There are numerous IT service providers to choose from if your organisation is planning to outsource IT functions like IT support, network security or work with a Managed Service Provider. But there can be a vast difference between the services offered and how each provider works with their clients.
To help organisations identify top performing IT service providers, and those that go the extra mile for their clients, there are various accreditations to look out for. The Service Desk Institutes certification scheme is a good starting point, as are customer testimonials and case studies.
Many organisations are happy to have a transactional relationship with their IT service provider. Based on Service Level Agreements (SLAs), as long as they’re receiving the agreed services to the standard required, they’re happy to renew contracts year-on-year. However, they could be missing out on unseen additional value if they were to take a more strategic approach to outsourcing IT.
The Benefits Of A Strategic Partnership With Your IT Service Provider
Of course, not all IT service providers are able to add value, except perhaps by undercutting other providers. Cost savings aside, the best IT service providers are able to offer your organisation other benefits like generating revenue and helping the company become more efficient.
Here are a few things you could be missing out on:
Aligning IT with business strategies – ensuring your IT applications and infrastructure are optimised to enable the business to achieve its short and long term objectives.
Proactive monitoring and maintenance – instead of the traditional break and fix model, the best IT service providers are proactive in identifying and resolving issues before they impact the business, minimising downtime, loss of productivity and revenue generation.
Improved efficiency and reliability – a proactive approach also includes looking at where savings can be made, systems optimised to improve efficiency and reliability, and uptime and profitability maintained. This could involve working with your existing IT estate or providing access to the latest technology and innovative solutions that will deliver positive benefits and ROI.
Support and expertise for internal IT teams – smaller companies may want to replace internal IT teams (or individuals) with an IT outsourcing partner, but generally SMEs keep some IT staff in-house for more strategic projects. Here your IT service provider can also provide additional value, working as an extension of your internal team to support their activities.
In the past, cost savings were the main driver for an organisation to outsource IT. In more recent years this has changed. Increasingly when I talk to CIOs, IT directors and business leaders about outsourcing, they’re looking for additional value and benefits that are closely aligned with business outcomes.
IT outsourcing still delivers cost savings but it can also do so much more. If you’re not exploring this additional value, give me a call to discuss this in more detail.
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