The Air-IT Service Desk
In the 1990s “process re-engineering” was all the rage, and outsourcing specialist business functions was a key element adopted by many organisations. One of the commonest functions to be outsourced was IT which seemed a natural choice.
The benefits of outsourcing are widely known and include:
Lower resource costs
- Time and money spent recruiting and retaining experienced specialists is eliminated, along with the problem of keeping them productive.
Greater flexibility when reacting to competition
- The time needed to recoup investment means that you’re often “locked in” for the long term.
- When a function or service is outsourced you can reasonably expect changes in practise or technology to be accommodated quickly with minimal cost while still reaping the benefits. This should give you a competitive advantage.
Lower costs through economies of scale
- When the costs of change are spread, and when savings are made through procedural efficiencies, this should be reflected in lower costs of outsourcing.
Focusing on your mission and goals
- You’re free to direct your time, energy and resource on the activities that contribute directly to your key business objectives.
Pitfalls to be avoided
Re-engineering and outsourcing came to be seen as a fad, and came to have a bad reputation in some circles.
There could be a reduction of operational control or flexibility, caused by the failure of a service provider to have a genuine understanding of their clients’ goals and culture. Rather than autonomy, there could be paralysis through micromanagement.
Instead of gaining the expected benefits, valuable employees came to fear downsizing or experienced a dehumanising effect.
Taking advantage of the lessons from the past
With all the benefits on offer, it’s unsurprising that interest in outsourcing and re-engineering should be revisited. Applying lessons learnt from the past, it’s now known as business process re-engineering (BPR).
Information Technology is widely recognised as a key component in realising the promised benefits of BPR, as well as generating opportunities for success through collaboration and communication.
Information Technology (ICT) now includes communications and telephony. So the benefits are even greater: better savings, simplified support structure, and tighter communications between your staff and your customers. Integration between things like voicemail and email is a given, not to mention near-instant configuration management after office moves and staff changes.
How to get ICT outsourcing right
Todd McQuilkin, MD of Air-IT, outlines some key factors that ensure success in outsourcing your ICT:
“Secondly, it is critical that the company providing the outsourced IT service takes the trouble to understand your goals, your current processes, and your culture. They must be flexible enough to work with you.
“You should also ensure that an ICT service provider has made the right investment in their own systems, expertise and resource levels in order to be able to pass the benefits back to you.
“Since we started, back in 2005, Air-IT’s mission has been to share in success with the East Midlands’ business community by enabling companies to make full use of technology in reaching their commercial objectives.
We work hard to understand our clients, and partner with them, whether that means providing a fully outsourced ICT Service or working alongside their own internal IT teams to complement their capabilities.”
To find out more about why you should consider outsourcing your IT support and if this is right for your business, see our earlier article below:
Thinking about outsourcing your ICT?
We work with many companies to outsource their IT, including businesses in the legal sector. If you’re having trouble with your ICT, want to outsource your IT support or need a little extra help for your internal team or with a project, please contact us today or call 0115 880 0044 and speak to one of our expert team who’d be delighted to assist.