You, like many folks out there, think “outsourcing” is one of the worst moves your business could make. Outsourcing is moving our American jobs out of America. Outsourcing IT means having a hard-to-understand foreigner help your users and have access to your sensitive data. Worse service. Less safe systems and poorer quality work—all to save a few bucks.
But smart outsourcing can actually improve your business—especially when it comes to IT help desk. AND when strategic companies outsource their IT help desk, they DON’T ship it to India or Ireland (where accents are thick and security is thin!). They outsource to secure, specialized, expert American firms whose sole specialty is servicing IT business needs.
I want to admit that at Zog, Inc., we DO the outsourced IT help desk work that many IT departments don’t want to waste their time on (and businesses don’t want to dedicate valuable resources towards). For the rest of this post, I want to evaluate your IT help desk options. Particularly, I want to evaluate why you might choose keeping an internal help desk, or outsourcing your helpdesk with an American firm or an offshore company. Each of these help desk options has its strengths and struggles—especially if you aren’t asking the right questions before signing your name on the dotted line.
First, take a look at some of the positives and negatives to in-house, outsourced solutions and off-shored solutions:
Lets’ quickly go through each of these types of IT help desk solutions:
Internal Help Desk Team—you may immediately recognize that internal IT support team helping your users with issues is the best for your business. You have staff dedicated to the business AND you have direct control of which technicians to hire and who works the best for your organization.
BUT what most businesses that have even thought of outsourcing have found is that managing, raining and paying dedicated IT help desk staff is expensive. With demand for IT-related jobs going up, sources for qualified service-oriented help desk workers have become even harder to find lately. The technicians you will easily find have little to no experience and might not fit your organization long term. Your internal IT department likely has bigger fish to fry than printer issues and password resets. If you’re paying dedicated support for these roles, you’re not getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Offshore Help Desk Team—with a growing global economy, it seems more than reasonable to take advantage of low cost workers outside of the US. But these low costs actually come with BIGGER costs if you at all have to worry about security or compliance (think PCI or HIPAA for examples!). Your offshore team won’t work under the same (and likely stringent) regulations that American companies have complied to. Can you risk your client or employee’s personal data to get into the wrong hands?
Outsourced Help Desk Team—it might be obvious that I’m an advocate for outsourced IT help desk. The fact is it’s easier for outsourced help desks to recruit and maintain expert technicians that are service oriented because we focus purely on hiring and retaining the best technicians within our field. I’m sure your HR does a stellar job hiring positions, but likely they don’t know all the ins and outs of help desk support and probably don’t have a process that identifies the specific qualities good help desk technicians have to (1) resolve issues and (2) service your users so they don’t feel like complete idiots.
Like choosing any vendor, the problem you will face with finding a good IT help desk will be making sure you can identify a smoke screen. Outsourced solutions—while in my opinion can be the most efficient and satisfying way of giving your users the best and most cost-effective support—require some homework and evaluation to find a good fit.
Before you make up your mind, ask yourself these questions?
Do I have a help desk team that is resolving user issues quickly and efficiently?
Do I (or someone else on my team) have to spend much of my day managing my help desk? Should I be managing them?
Can I hire the best IT help desk support?
- Do I have a process to hire good techs that can effectively communicate with users?
- Can I retain good help desk technicians or do they seek ‘other opportunities’ soon after they’re hired?
- Can I provide competitive compensation to help desk workers in an environment of ever-growing demand for IT Support roles?
Zog, Inc. has a well-documented and thought out process for delivering consistent and expected IT help desk service. We’ve already assessed (and continue to assess) how to perform and optimize tech support and how to ensure 24/7/365 support with staffed employees (not just on-call!).
What I’ve found, having supported businesses’ IT services for over 15 years is that it’s all about the process. Your IT help desk has to understand your business process and how IT support fits your model (how your team works, when they need help, how to handle their tickets and when to escalate them). Outsourced IT help desk support solutions should have very unique expertise at (1) resolving a variety of technical problems AND (2) provide your users with exceptional help desk service.
Are you sure the IT help desk service you’re receiving is meeting your expectations? Is your SLA being followed? Are the metrics you’re receiving accurately depicting the experience of your users? Is there room for your help desk to improve? Contact me TODAY for a FREE IT help desk health assessment.