For four months out of the year (or six if you’re a fan of a certain New England or Philadelphia team), we religiously watch our favorite teams battle it out on the gridiron in hopes they are the ones who triumphantly hoist that glorious trophy when the final seconds of the big game tick into history. And when the victor gazes upon that sterling silver souvenir and revels in that jubilant moment, neither he nor his teammates are thinking about the team of doctors, athletic trainers, nutritionists, and therapists that helped everyone from the third-string kicker to the starting quarterback get into peak physical condition. However, without their support, experience, and value, their chances at the big game would have been sacked weeks ago.
Just like your favorite football team, your organization requires a squad of specialists to prevent technical problems and challenges from becoming season-ending injuries. An in-house IT team offers the knowledge that allows your organization’s entire roster to stay productive and in the game; but, does it provide the best value?
Although an in-house IT team is physically present and can complete a variety of tasks at predictable costs, there are costs associated with this solution should be considered when determining if it provides the best value for your organization. There are significant costs associated with hiring and retaining IT employees, as well as the equipment they need to successfully perform their job tasks, including a ticketing system, phones, computers, and software licensing. They also require training to stay informed on the latest technologies and industry best practices. However, outsourced help desks are already equipped with the proper tools and training programs, and are delivered to the customer at a cost that’s shared over hundreds of clients, reducing your overall help desk expenses.
Although there are up-front costs associated with outsourced help desk services, in the long term, outsourcing tends to be less expensive and offers better value than its in-house counterpart. An outsourced help desk offers such benefits as:
- 24x7 availability: An in-house IT team often works standard businesses hours, and if you need support after-hours, you’ll have to wait until the next business day. Outsourced help desks are 24x7 to help your staff regardless of the time.
- Broad spectrum of technical skills: Outsourced help desks are equipped with a large staff with a variety of technical experiences. This variety allows them to better address your technical issue because they have probably seen it before.
- Well-defined procedures and escalation steps: In the event the help desk can’t resolve an issue, they have defined procedures to ensure the issue gets addressed by the right person or team. In-house teams are often limited in that sense, and issues may go unresolved for much longer than necessary due to a lack of technical knowledge and expertise.
- Continual improvement: Outsourced help desks typically maintain a knowledge base of recurring issues that allow engineers to be able to troubleshoot user issues quickly and more effectively. As new issues emerge, help desks document these findings, which allows them to provide better service.
- Increased call intake capabilities: Outsourced help desks have a phone system that’s capable of handling many incoming calls at a time. When you call, you speak to an available agent quickly to get your issue resolved faster.
- Service level agreements (SLA): These establish expectations with regard to the level of support you receive. Outsourced help desks have well-defined SLAs that provide benchmarks for service, and include such metrics as average speed of answer and average time to resolution.
Although each solution has its advantages and disadvantages, outsourcing your help desk reduces costs, provides greater availability, and ensures that your entire lineup can continue performing at their best.