Outsourcing 1st line IT support and escalating to 2nd line internal support

By Alan Conduct|28 March 2019

1st line IT support is the most commonly outsourced IT function for a number of reasons. It’s more cost effective than operating a 1st line service desk internally, it frees up IT’s time to focus on strategic project work, it increases response and resolution times, and it can have a positive impact on staff morale and retention.

Click here to get an indicative cost of outsourcing your service desk.

When it comes to escalating issues that 1st line service desk analysts can’t resolve, many organisations keep 2nd line and 3rd line IT support in-house. This can be a better use of IT’s time and expertise, particularly for incidents like hardware problems where someone needs to be onsite or issues related to bespoke systems.

However, to seamlessly escalate tickets from an outsource provider to your internal team you need to right systems and processes, and that's why it’s a good idea to use the same ITSM tools.

Does your IT outsource provider support your ITSM tools?

If your organisation already has a toolset in place it makes sense to outsource your 1st line IT support to a provider that has the flexibility to integrate with existing ITSM tools. The benefits of this is that escalating from 1st to 2nd line tickets will be seamless and you’ll also have greater transparency over all incidents and tickets raised.

This makes reporting easier too, and will help you not only monitor the performance of your outsource provider but also potentially identify opportunities to improve your in-house and outsourced service desk provision. Essentially, it makes it easier to get a holistic view on IT support and for the service desk provider to become an extension of you IT team.

Service desk providers like UKN Group use multiple ITSM tool sets, so can easily integrate 1st line support with your 2nd and 3rd internal team.  

Choosing an ITSM tool for your organisation

Conversely, if you don’t have an ITSM tool but want the benefits of an integrated platform between your outsource provider and your internal team, what should you be looking for?

Naturally, using an ITSM tool that’s supported by your IT service provider makes sense, but as they’re likely to support multiple tools you’ll need to identify the right one for your organisation. Your service desk provider should be able to advise you, especially if they have an in depth understanding of the business.

ITSM tools are not just for service desk. They’re also beginning to combine frameworks such as ITIL with lean, agile, and DevOps practices, helping organisations to manage workflow related to IT and business projects. There are opportunities to use ITSM tools proactively to drive efficiencies within the business such as by lowering costs or reducing time to market, adding more value than just operational functions like service desk.

Key things to consider include your business objectives for the ITSM tool, not just now but also in the future. Also consider integration with other systems and tools (for example DevOps workflows and tools), what processes would benefit from automation with the right tool saving money and time, artificial intelligence technologies and how the supplier can support these future opportunities.

When you have a clear idea your organisation’s business requirements and objectives, it’s time to generate a request for proposal (RFP) to then benchmark and compare different solutions.

If you would like to explore ITSM tools and get a better idea of what your organisation needs, or to discuss outsourcing 1st line IT support in more detail, please get in touch.

You can also find out how much outsourcing your IT support could cost by clicking on this link.

Further Information

How much would a market leading service desk service cost?

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