Top 5 Questions Asked About IT Outsourcing

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Top 5 Questions Asked About IT Outsourcing

With it becoming nearly impossible to manage IT alone, more and more companies are looking to outsource all, or at least part of, their internal IT to managed services providers (MPSs). With this newer concept of course comes questions. There seems to be some confusion, along with a few misconceptions, around managed services and specifically around outsourcing. Let’s dive into the five most common questions asked by business leaders about IT outsourcing.

#1. What is IT outsourcing?

The term “IT outsourcing” means different things to different people. One thing that is important to know is that outsourcing does not necessarily mean contracting out 100% of your IT needs, rather there are three different scenarios of outsourcing:

  • Partial Outsourcing: Specialized IT Needs
  • Partial Outsourcing: Level 1 Needs
  • Complete Outsourcing: Complete IT Needs

When it comes to partial outsourcing with specialized IT needs chances are your business already has a pretty solid internal team and will only need to partner with a MSP for a specialized or advanced need such as cybersecurity. On the other hand, you may have an internal team that is able to focus on the core strategy and technology but unfortunately has too much on their plate for handling non-core tasks, such as Level 1 remote help desk — this is where partial outsourcing with Level 1 needs would come into play. Lastly, outsourcing could mean that all of your IT needs are handled by an MSP. Given that every business is different, with different needs, it’s important you find a solution that aligns with your specific business goals and challenges.

#2. How should we prepare for IT outsourcing?

Regardless of the specific level of IT outsourcing that is best for your business, there is bound to be a transition period. Transitioning to a managed services provider can be a significant change that requires quite a bit of planning in order to facilitate a successful transition — it is crucial to first establish a foundation for your service delivery model. You need to define and operationalize the way your business handles incidents, problems and change management. It’s best to have this framework not only defined but documented and understood by both internal and external resources. Once you have set such frameworks, your internal team and the MSP team will need to establish clear lines of responsibility and accountability. Then last, but by far not least, you will need to systematically track and document all incidents and service requests, along with the ongoing changes.

#3. Are there risks involved in IT outsourcing?

As business owners, you surely are aware that change can bring both opportunities and risks. Some of the most common concerns when it comes to selecting an MSP are: trust, a not-so-sure work force, loss of innovation, impact on business services and data security and compliance. All of these are valid concerns, however, if you do your research, selecting the right MSP partner will minimize any of these risks. Bottom line, businesses in today’s day and age are realizing that the right outsourcing partnership can save money and enhance your internal teams’ abilities and in turn, drive business value.

#4. How should I talk to my team about IT outsourcing?

Let’s face it, the term “outsourcing” can make people nervous and can have a negative connotation. To avoid some of this at your business there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, it is best to clarify which outsourcing model will be the best fit for your business. Then clarify with your team that not all MSP partnerships equal loss of jobs or working with overseas organizations. Next you should identify priorities together. What is working? What isn’t? Finally, realize that creating a positive culture of change in your business doesn’t happen overnight. While technology might be what drives the change in your business, the success of change ultimately depends on whether or not people embrace it.

#5. How do I get started with IT outsourcing?

Now that you’ve made the decision to go with outsourcing IT, how do you go about choosing an MSP? Choosing an MSP to partner with is the most important decision you’ll make when it comes to outsourcing IT. It’s not only important to ask questions, but to ask the right questions. You’ll want to ask general questions like how long they have been in business and where they are based. It’s also important to ask questions about their approach — how do they handle escalations and what is the process? It is crucial for you to clearly understand the potential partnership in order to eliminate risks and set your business up for success.

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