With the time-bound and financial pressures placed on IT departments, we have seen a marked increase in the outsourcing of IT in recent years. In this article, we look at the reasons why the outsourced IT model has become the preferred approach for so many IT Managers and CIOs in UK business.
It is no surprise that a lack of time has become a significant issue for the average IT department. IT managers are being tasked with more responsibilities and KPIs at a time when the complexity and scope of the IT landscape is rapidly changing.
Heads of IT are expected to juggle a host of organisational IT issues, such as: data security, cloud migration, infrastructure maintenance and management, hardware and software procurement and licensing. Add in the challenges posed by: the increase of mobile technologies, shadow IT, remote working and BYOD and you’re quite quickly building a complex set of challenges for inhouse IT to resolve.
With businesses clamouring to embrace ‘digital transformations’ to remain competitive in the marketplace, IT managers are too often finding themselves torn between IT strategy and everyday IT management and support.
This is where having a trusted IT partner can pay dividends for many companies. By outsourcing elements of IT to the right managed services provider, CIOs and IT managers are often able to free-up their schedules and take that time back for themselves to focus on the aspects of their jobs that matter most – such as implementing strategy and focussing on the IT projects which will lead to greater business agility, increased revenue and maximised productivity.
If a lack of control is a concern, there are several points worth considering:
- A business can reduce its risk, by sharing it with an IT partner. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) provide piece of mind, while extensive project experience means the right partner should be comfortable and quick to implement complex projects that internal IT teams may not have any prior experience of.
- Good IT partners have a wealth of skills and experience, covering a wide array of IT issues. Due to their expertise in providing IT support as their core business activity, it is likely that they will have encountered specific problems many times before in other customer environments – reducing the time it takes to resolve issues.
- With a large pool of experts, managed service providers will almost certainly have a significantly larger resource available than the average internal IT team. This means your IT partner can move rapidly to respond to issues, again saving time.
Not only are CIOs and IT managers expected to keep pace with the latest technologies and implement these within the business, they are also required to manage tight budgets and justify their decisions to members of the board. The pressures that come with management of budgets often leads to IT decisions being based on costs, rather than what’s best technologically for a business.
Lots of organisations choose to outsource for this very reason. Outsourcing can allow an organisation to reduce overheads and to control their operating costs, moving from a CAPEX to an OPEX cost model. By removing some of these costs from the business, IT managers and CIOs can refocus spending on what really matters – rolling out the IT strategies and projects that will make the business more productive, more competitive, more agile and ultimately more successful.
Avoiding increased internal staff overhead is a significant benefit to outsourcing. Aside from having to pay more employee salaries, recruitment is expensive and time consuming, while employees also carry other costs relating to annual leave and sickness. For a monthly fee per user with a managed services provider, a business can have access to high levels of expert support – without the costs and implications of having to bring the resource in-house. Businesses can choose to outsource as much of their IT support as they like (e.g. 3rd line only), employing whatever internal resource that the business considers optimal.
If an IT decision maker decides to outsource some of their organisation’s IT function, it is natural for them to feel apprehensive about handing over a degree of responsibility to someone else. However, this need not be the case in many instances; an organisation that chooses to outsource can expect quality results if they choose their IT partner wisely. Good IT partners can remove the headaches around IT security, cloud migrations, infrastructure maintenance and general IT support. An outsourced IT partner is there to make its clients’ lives easier and to remove the potential chaos associated with everyday IT support challenges; a partner is there to help its clients focus on the strategic decisions, rather than the trivial things that can so often distract IT managers and their teams.
Good IT partners will help a business move away from a ‘break/fix’ model with a proactive approach. At Chorus, we proactively monitor our clients’ systems to identify potential inefficiencies and issues which may become problematic with time. Rather than waiting for something to go wrong and then fixing it, it’s significantly more efficient to prevent issues rather than having to remedy them once they have occurred. Not only does this save time, but it also saves money and reduces the risks associated with potential downtime and loss of business.
While it’s easy to see why so many organisations choose to outsource their IT due to the benefits associated with time and finances, the positive effect that outsourcing can have on an organisation’s people and employee wellbeing is often overlooked. Many IT teams are often under a lot of pressure - with too little time and insufficient resources. It’s no simple task for IT managers to handle their own workload while also managing their team. Performance appraisals, personal and professional development and workplace engagement can all take a backseat when the team is up against a backlog of work and internal KPIs. When a business chooses to outsource, IT Managers can recover the time to focus on the things that strategically matter to the business; managers can choose to give their employees projects that they want to be involved in, and to engage their team members with pieces of work that will allow them to grow professionally and stay motivated within the business, greatly improving staff retention rates.
Take back your time and get in touch
If you’re interested in outsourcing or have any questions about how outsourcing might work for your business, contact us now for an informal chat with one of our friendly consultants!
Chorus are a Microsoft Gold Partner and managed services provider specialising in IT Support, IT Consultancy, Cybersecurity, CRM, SharePoint and Custom Development – helping organisations realise the value of technology since 1999.