Information technologies make the modern business world go around, so what happens when an organization doesn’t have enough manpower and resources to manage them in-house? In a majority of cases, understaffed organizations struggle until they eventually contact an IT service provider.
As a CIO, you are responsible for the overall strategy and management of your company’s information technology solutions. You need to decide what’s best for the business as a whole. What’s best… may be outsourced IT solutions.
The practice of outsourcing managed IT services is the best solution for CIOs who already have so much on their plates. Not only is this practice more affordable than keeping a full IT management team on a payroll, but it’s also more consistent in terms of quality of provided services.
Here’s how to do it right, and where to find a reliable managed IT service provider:
Revisit Your IT Business Goals
Outsourcing is an option for both large and small corporations. Because the end goal of this practice is to help companies save valuable resources in both time and money, outsourcing is typically recommended to eager entrepreneurs who are looking for cost-effective solutions.
It is precisely those entrepreneurs who must pay extra attention to every decision they make, which includes outsourcing of informational technologies. In order to avoid risks and circumvent pitfalls, these entrepreneurs are advised to revisit their business goals and align their needs with them.
Revisiting your business goals is crucial since it allows you to make the best possible choice when outsourcing your IT needs to a managed service provider. It provides insight into when, how, and at which cost an IT project must be completed in order to stay within your official and overall benchmark.
Research Your IT Options
Once you’ve aligned your IT needs with your business goals, you can start researching viable managed service providers. Pay attention to two important things – your chosen service providers’ references and the technology they use. Comb through their customer feedback and try to find unbiased reviews.
Knowing what kind of technologies they use is just as crucial, and here’s why:
It won’t make much sense for you to outsource your IT projects to a managed IT service provider if that provider operates with technology that is of the same exact quality as the technology your IT team is already equipped with.
If you’ve already decided to outsource your IT projects, then you might as well outsource them to somebody who can complete them faster and deliver better and more high-quality results than you can. Do your homework, and never settle for less than industry-standard and top-reviewed IT services.
Prepare Your Own IT Team
IT outsourcing allows you to cut your organization’s operational costs by employing an entire team of professionals that will work for you on an on-need basis. However, that still doesn’t mean that you should give a two weeks’ notice to everyone in your in-house IT team. You’ll still need a few of them.
Before you outsource everything to a managed IT service provider, you need to make sure that your organization is capable of communicating its needs to the new guys, as well as of testing and modifying what they produce. If you fire everyone in the IT department, they’ll be no one to consult with.
This means that you’ll have nobody to tell you whether or not the managed IT services provided by the outsourcing firm are actually good for your business goals. To avoid this mistake, assemble a small in-house IT team to help you manage your new IT service provider. An employee or two is just enough.
Conduct Regular IT Reviews
A managed IT service provider can help you maintain the quality of your one-off IT projects whenever the need arises but can also provide an ongoing assistance on long-term projects. If you outsource software production or data storage, for instance, the provider should reduce your costs over time.
That’s why your organization should conduct regular reviews that will measure not only the quality of results delivered by an outsourcing firm but also the ongoing costs and overall ROI. Remember, outsourcing should enable you to cut your expenses, not to keep them the same or make them bigger.
Another thing you should measure is the progress of the projects you’ve outsourced to a managed IT service provider. Once again, you’ll need an in-house IT expert to help you set metrics and benchmarks, track the provider’s performance, and make sure that everything is running smoothly.
Outsourcing the IT needs of your organization never comes without a risk. As a CIO, it’s your responsibility to choose the best and most reliable managed IT service provider, and to establish a framework for successful communication between your organization and the outsourcing company.
You must define your organization’s IT needs well, keep them aligned with its overall business goals, conduct thorough research, and train your in-house IT experts to supervise the outsourced projects.
If you’re a CIO looking to outsource your IT support, contact the expert IT professionals at Shartega Systems. We provide efficient, affordable, and fast IT solutions for businesses of all kinds.