Outsourcing IT Support: Businesses Turn to Third-Party Partnerships for Diverse Skills and Deep Resources

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By: James O'Brien|

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A growing number of business leaders are outsourcing IT support functions as they face an information technology ecosystem that is complex and only growing more complicated.

Technology is the one factor leaders see impacting their companies more than any other. That’s the perspective given by 71 percent of polled CEOs, according to a recent IBM report, while 82 percent of CIOs expect the IT landscape to become even more challenging over the next five years.

The advantages of third-party partnerships in the IT space come down to several key vectors. From cost savings to the access to deep resources, the following results are part of the solutions IT-savvy companies are leveraging today.

The Cost-Savings Equation: Success Rates, Downtime and Outsourcing IT Support

Enterprises in the digital age demand world-class IT skill sets. Whether the back end of your customer-facing interface is at a critical development juncture or your in-house apps and services need robust identity and access management, the choice for business leadership is typically the same: build out an expensive set of on-site resources or reach out to third parties for an IT partnership that creates savings while leveraging access to wide-ranging expertise.

Statistics show that outsourcing support functions creates significant cost savings; that is, partnerships with third-party IT providers generate costs that are the same or lower than those services would cost as an in-house effort, according to Data Center Journal. Outsourcing IT desktop support, for example, provides a cost-success rate of 86 percent.

The other cost-savings factor few businesses can ignore is the fact that downtime is expensive. When a company hasn’t got a deep bench of IT experts on staff, the average cost per downtime incident can climb to $680,000. Third-party partnerships can save companies from that kind of bill, all while ensuring quick recoveries from the inevitable infrastructure challenges.

Simplifying Multivendor IT Challenges

Business leaders know that time is money. When it comes to hardware and software management, dealing with the numerous vendors that often make up a spectrum of service providers costs companies a lot of both.

Consider the categories that eat up resources: Respondents in the IBM survey said their business spent one to two days per month managing the following tasks in a multivendor IT environment:

  • Adding capacity (43 percent on hardware, 29 percent on software);
  • Tuning (43 percent on both hardware and software);
  • Installing patches (47 percent patching hardware, 44 percent patching software); and
  • Retesting (45 percent testing hardware, 45 percent testing software).

Untangling IT from the multivendor ecosystem simplifies the landscape and makes it more cost effective too. The report cited above shows up to a 20 percent reduction in configuration and implementation hours when departments bring all tasks under a single vendor.

Bridging the Gap Between Demand and Expertise

The advantages of outsourcing IT support are not confined to hours and dollars alone. Consider the size of the typical in-house IT department — dozens, perhaps, but certainly not hundreds of skill sets that a company can tap. But with technical support services, third-party partnerships can access networks of thousands of highly skilled and certified technicians. The playing field for problem-solving is exponentially bigger.

Outsourcing hardware support leverages inventory access, as well. Locations are often also spread out across large-scale networks, meaning tens of thousands of items are available to clients on a daily basis.

Conquering the complexities posed by IT challenges takes a strong team. Outsourcing IT support is a direct avenue to that advantage, putting hardware and software in the hands of experts with a single-minded focus on every business’ success. It is an option few business leaders can afford to overlook.

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About The Author

James O'Brien

Freelance Writer

As a journalist and writer in the branded content space, James O'Brien covers business, technology, social media, marketing, film, food, wine, writing and news. The Nieman Journalism Lab has called his work in the custom content space "sponsored content done right." He has written for major regional newspapers, and he has managed and edited established, startup and turnaround newsrooms in varied markets, from community papers to major-city dailies. He consults for firms and businesses — startups to seasoned — on the creation of effective content strategies and the establishment of practical editorial calendars for enacting them. O'Brien holds a Ph.D. in Editorial Studies from the Editorial Institute at Boston University, where he researched and edited Bob Dylan's other-than-song writings. He is engaged in a bibliography for Oxford University Press, covering writings about filmmaker John Cassavetes. He is the author of "The Indie Writer's Survival Guide." His short stories and poetry are published in numerous journals and magazines.

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