Is it time for Service Desk Outsourcing?
Your service desk is the face and voice of IT. It’s the front line of support. Each interaction is an opportunity to affect the perception of IT within your organization, for better or worse. And if your IT service desk is suffering from process, technology, or staffing ailments, the hurt can reverberate throughout your organization.
One cure is, of course, to outsource the service desk. But with concerns about the impact on company culture, the effect on customer service levels, and the security implications of giving control to an outside vendor, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.
To help you decide if it’s the right time to consider IT service desk outsourcing, we put together the top 6 signs to look for:
1. You have a rapidly growing workforce
If you have a handful of IT people trying to serve an exponentially growing employee count, it may be time to outsource.
Trying to build a robust and scalable 24/7 service desk team while simultaneously growing the business is a herculean feat, especially for organizations that are high-growth or recently received some venture capital funding. With a directive to grow-grow-grow, the company’s workforce expands and the supporting roles are often stretched to their limits – the IT service desk included.
By outsourcing the service desk, these organizations get instant access to IT maturity that can scale with them as they grow. Their recruiters can focus on finding the best employees for developing the business, those employees can trust that their equipment is up and running when they need it, and management can focus on the strategic rather than developing a support structure from scratch. For a company that is quickly scaling, outsourcing is a great way to support the high growth of the business while staying focused on their company mission.
2. Keeping up on strategic projects is a challenge
If your IT team keeps putting large-scale improvement projects on the back burner to tend to small but urgent recurring issues, it may be time to outsource.
When you’re constantly putting out fires, it’s nearly impossible to move forward with larger scale projects. And then as soon as you finally do complete the project, it’s already out of date. Think of how much more you could get done, in less time, if you didn’t have to play firefighter all day?
Outsourcing these small but frequent tasks, often known as Level 1 or L1 tickets, can free up your team to spend time on the bigger, more impactful, more rewarding projects.
3. You lack structured processes
If employees are walking over to ask Bob in IT for help, it may be time to outsource.
This approach can work for smaller companies, and the white-glove experience that comes with everyone knowing everyone personally is a great thing. But as the company grows, that method becomes unsustainable, and the need for structured ticket intake processes becomes more apparent. Utilizing automated ticketing systems help ensure that issues are taken care of by the right people, and at the right level of priority. It also helps capture valuable data that can be used to ultimately drive down the number of tickets that end users submit.
Doing this internally is easier said than done, of course, but any service desk outsourcing provider worth their salt would have this level of automation and continuous improvement already built into their platform.
4. Employees are unhappy with the level of service they’re receiving
If employees are calling their nephew Kayden for computer help, it may be time to outsource.
Looking outside the organization for solutions to technology challenges is an indication that employees are unhappy with the service they’re receiving internally. Maybe they think the authorized channels take too long, they’re not available when or where they need them, or they simply fail to solve their problems. When you have feedback that your service offerings aren’t meeting the expectations of your users, and especially if you’ve been fighting the issue for some time, that’s an indication that you may need to level-up your service approach.
5. You can’t support 24/7/365 service
If your employees are working at all hours, but your service desk isn’t, it may be time to outsource.
As technology plays an increasingly crucial role in all aspects of a business, the need for instant troubleshooting grows. Downtime is a revenue killer, and it’s frustrating for the users who are experiencing it. But it doesn’t make sense financially to maintain a 24/7 staff if your business only has a handful of off-hours tickets every now and then.
Service desk outsourcing companies can make this work through economies of scale: they’re not just serving your handful of off-hours users. They’re doing that for dozens of other organizations, too.
So if your service desk only operates from 9-5, Monday through Friday in a specific time zone, then outsourcing for those off hours may be the make-it-or-break-it difference.
6. You don’t want to invest in or maintain a full technology platform
If the business calls for a high-end service desk but you don’t have the funding – or years – needed to build one, it may be time to outsource.
Building a modern, proactive service desk takes a huge investment of time, resources, and budget. From evaluating, implementing, and maintaining the technology to supporting an adequate staff, it’s a mountain of work that is too steep for a lot of companies, especially smaller ones, to climb themselves. For many of these organizations, the payoff is simply not worth the investment required of them.
Outsourcing allows these companies to “rent” the kind of high quality service desk they’re looking for. Budgeting becomes easier and more predictable, and the time to IT maturity is a fraction of what it would be building their own. Essentially, outsourcing provides all the benefits of a modern service desk without the baggage.
Weighing the Risks vs. Benefits
Outsourcing your service desk doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. You can start with off-hours only, or just L1 incidents. But no matter which way you look at it, the benefits of instant IT maturity that come with service desk outsourcing often outweighs the risks. For instance, organizations that use Virteva’s IT service desk find that 97% of tickets are resolved within an hour and 70% of tickets are resolved on the first contact, which all contributes to Virteva’s Net Promoter Score of 84. The investment of time and funding that those organizations would need to make to achieve similar results on their own made choosing to outsource a no-brainer.
Start Expecting More From Your Service Desk.
When’s the last time you took a step back to truly examine your service desk operations?
Take the next step in maturing your service desk by getting a Service Desk Assessment. Complete with benchmarks, gap analysis, and future state design recommendations, you’ll have a roadmap to achieving a truly proactive service desk.