How Outsourcing Can Transform the Customer Experience
Outsourcing IT services provides improved security, increased flexibility and 24/7 support for both internal employees and customers.
Outsourcing IT services may have a direct effect on an organization’s bottom line, but it can also help improve a business or government’s relationship with its customers.
Most notably, professional and managed services often provide benefits that make it easier for users to do their jobs, and in the process, increase an organization’s productivity. The less time employees focus on wrangling IT services, the more time they’re available to conduct the business of the organization and improve interactions with customers. Likewise, the less time customers spend troubleshooting your digital interfaces, the more time they have to choose, purchase and enjoy your products and services.
Here are three ways outsourcing IT services can help transform that experience:
Most managed services providers offer a 24/7/365 help desk service that supports both IT staff and the organization’s end users. Managed help desk providers offer a variety of service levels that handle general technical issues and organization-specific services. These providers may offer service to internal employees, customers or a combination of the two. For customers, this means never having to wait until morning for assistance. While some larger organizations may operate their own around-the-clock help desk, it’s likely that those operations are staffed by IT generalists during off-peak hours. Those generalists may lack the expertise to handle cases involving more obscure services and may need to refer difficult issues to staff who are only available during business hours. Service providers, on the other hand, thrive and benefit from specialization. The global nature of their operations allows them to operate 24/7 support with experienced engineers. When users run into problems during off-peak hours, managed providers are more likely to be able to resolve issues, often faster than in-house operations. In other words, users get back to work quickly, improving productivity and boosting the bottom line.
Some organizations choose to go a step further when it comes to help desk support: They outsource their entire help desk to a managed service provider. Callers may not even realize that they’re working with a service provider located halfway around the world, and not an employee a couple of floors down. At the same time, the organization relieves itself of the burden of recruiting and retaining high-turnover help desk staff and can assign its own IT staff to more mission-critical activities.
Another core benefit of outsourcing IT services is a 24/7 operations center that performs monitoring and issue resolution. This means customers are guaranteed to see an organization operating at its best. These centers proactively identify issues, such as failing hardware or problematic network links, and can dynamically reconfigure the service. This approach avoids dispatching technicians to repair the failure. In addition, such behind-the-scenes monitoring can prevent an issue from disrupting operations in the first place, or it can boost user productivity by reducing unplanned downtime. It also decreases the likelihood that an IT glitch ever affects customers.
This 24/7 coverage also extends to security services and keeps customer information safe. A loss of personally identifiable information, such as credit card numbers, health records or purchasing histories, could lead to a loss of trust or — worse — irreparable harm to an organization’s brand. Companies that outsource security gain access to robust security operations centers staffed with highly trained security professionals. This stands in stark contrast to the thinly staffed cybersecurity teams in most enterprises that simply do not have the resources required to perform around-the-clock monitoring and incident resolution.
While in-house teams may operate on an on-call basis, this approach no longer meets the bar for security incident response. Security experts commonly cite the “golden hour” principle for security incidents. This philosophy follows that teams who can respond to security breaches within the first hour of detection are often able to significantly reduce the damage caused by the breach and the amount of sensitive information lost to attackers. An immediate response fortifies an organization’s security posture.
Organizations willing to outsource portions of their IT services to managed service providers often realize significant financial benefits, but money is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the advantages of outsourcing. IT services providers offer access to cutting-edge technology, reduce IT risk, improve reliability and enhance customer experience. These benefits make a compelling case for CIOs to identify and outsource commodity services and reallocate internal IT staff to higher-priority services.
In addition, such behind-the-scenes monitoring can prevent an issue from disrupting operations in the first place ... It also decreases the likelihood that an IT glitch ever affects customers.
Discover more benefits of IT outsourcing and learn how to assess the financial impact of managed services by reading the CDW white paper, "Outsourced Services: Determining a Return on Investment."