Introduction: Outsourced IT Support Defined
If you’re considering the option of outsourced IT support, you first need to understand exactly what IT support services look like. Outsourced IT support means working with a third-party company to cover your technology needs, which of course includes standard break-fix support and help desk access to ensure that your organization runs smoothly and has the resources it needs when technology doesn’t cooperate. Depending on your managed IT provider, those services should also include strategic IT support—which means going beyond break-fix to provide a technology strategy and roadmap that aligns with your organization’s broader goals.
Outsourced IT support—or managed IT services—can take many different forms depending on which provider you’re evaluating, but there are some standard benefits. For one, the access to expertise is much higher than an internal IT team. In choosing managed IT services, your organization gains access to a large team of experts with different backgrounds and experiences. The cost of outsourcing your IT support can be more budget-conscious, as well. In most cases, it’s far more economical for a small- or medium-sized organization to outsource IT services, rather than hiring an internal IT team. Doing so also provides more flexibility and scalability.
While this page can serve as an informative starting point, it is essential to carefully review the services offered by each organization under consideration.
Understanding Outsourced IT Support
Outsourced IT support, simply put, is when a business leans on an external provider for its internal IT needs. This relationship looks different for every organization. Some choose to rely fully on their external IT partner, while others use a managed IT provider’s wealth of experience to supplement their own internal IT team. Whatever your situation, outsourcing IT provides help in supporting your organization’s essential processes—the essential elements that make your business function—without needing an internal IT team.
Outsourcing IT support is a strategic move for organizations, offering a variety of different benefits that prioritize operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness. One key advantage is the wealth of experience gained through partnering with specialized managed IT services providers. These professionals often bring diverse skill sets and a deep understanding of industry best practices, honed through servicing various clients across different sectors. This breadth of experience allows businesses to tap into a reservoir of knowledge, ensuring that their IT infrastructure is managed and optimized with a high level of expertise.
Managed IT service can also lead to significant cost savings. The recruiting cost for hiring and training a single employee in 2022 was $4,700. Keep in mind, that number excludes the sunk price for “lost candidates” and does not take into consideration the intense competition in this industry. There’s also the cost of keeping an internal IT team onboarded—with base salaries ranging anywhere from $45,000 to $200,000 annually, depending on the role—and the tech industry’s significant 13.8% turnover rate in 2023.
Instead of bearing the expenses associated with hiring, training, and keeping an in-house IT team, your organization can leverage the economies of scale provided by outsourced IT support providers. This flexibility can result in substantial cost reductions, freeing up financial resources for other critical aspects of organizational growth without worrying about IT support. In essence, outsourced IT support enhances your organization’s technical capabilities at an overall cost savings, fostering a more resilient and agile business environment.
Services Offered by Outsourced IT Support Providers
When considering a managed IT support provider, it is important to understand what services are offered fully. Each provider is different, and even if two providers offer the same service—for example, “help desk support”—the two organizations might have vastly different definitions of what that service entails. Is it 24/7? If so, is that 24/7 staffed, or on call? Does that time become billable after work hours? What at first seems like the same offering could end up costing your organization far more than you originally thought.
Some key services to look out for when vetting outsourced IT support providers include Help Desk, Cybersecurity, Consulting Services Infrastructure Management, Mobile Device Management, and so much more. What’s important is that the managed IT service provider you choose offers a comprehensive IT support package.
This comprehensive package should include a multifaceted suite of services, each playing a vital role in ensuring a robust and secure technology infrastructure. The help desk support service serves as a frontline resource, addressing immediate technical issues and ensuring uninterrupted workflow. IT consultants work with an organization to roadmap and plan for future technology and growth. These services include strategic planning, aligning IT solutions with business objectives, and forecasting future technological needs to support scalability. Cybersecurity services form a critical shield against evolving digital threats, encompassing threat detection, prevention, and incident response. Providers implement robust measures such as firewalls, encryption, and regular security audits to safeguard sensitive data.
Selecting a managed IT service provider with a comprehensive service selection is essential for efficient business operations. These services help to ensure your organization has a good relationship with technology and the more comprehensive the services are, the better that relationship becomes. Quality providers emphasizing a robust service selection go beyond mere outsourced IT support, emphasizing a holistic approach that minimizes downtime, boosts system performance, and fortifies cybersecurity.
A comprehensive service selection from an outsourced IT support provider is a linchpin for fostering organizational growth and scalability. While you may not immediately need everything they provide, a robust service selection ensures that an organization’s unique technology needs are met, promoting operational efficiency.
A valuable partner should deeply understand your current circumstances and strategize for your future requirements. As your organization grows, maintaining a comprehensive and flexible service portfolio becomes crucial to seamlessly scaling your IT solutions without disruption. Such adaptability minimizes downtime, enhances performance, and plays a pivotal role in ensuring sustained growth. An exemplary managed IT service provider, equipped with a diverse range of expertise, evolves into a strategic partner by addressing your immediate needs while strategically planning and mapping out your future technology and business expansions.
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Advantages of Outsourced IT Support
The advantages of outsourced IT support, as mentioned above, primarily fall under the following categories: cost-savings, level of expertise, and scalability.
Cost Savings: Using an outsourced IT support provider eliminates, or at least lessens, the need to employ, train, and retain a fully staffed internal IT team. Technology is essential for organizations to function. Technology is also notoriously not a one-and-done investment. When things go wrong, when you outgrow solutions, when technology fails, you need a dedicated team at your back. A team that gets things back up and running with little to no downtime for your organization. If growth is a goal, you’ll also need that team to be proactively looking at market trends and new technology solutions that push your business forward. For small to medium-sized businesses, the cost of building and maintaining that team internally is massive with base salaries ranging between 45,000 and 200,000 depending on role and responsibilities. Using a managed IT service provider allows you to push your organizational goals forward without breaking the bank.
IT Expertise: Choosing to go with outsourced IT support brings your organization a significant level of expertise. Professionals inside the managed IT service provider specialize in diverse aspects of technology, offering a depth of knowledge that is challenging to maintain in-house. outsourced IT support teams often consist of specialists in cybersecurity, project management, and system optimization. This breadth of expertise ensures a swift response to any emerging challenges and the implementation of industry best practices. With the collective knowledge of an outsourced IT support provider, your organization benefits from a broader skill set, strategic insights, and the latest technological advancements. This heightened level of expertise empowers organizations to navigate complex IT landscapes, foster innovation, and stay ahead in an ever-evolving digital landscape.
Scalability: Opting for a managed IT services provider ushers in unparalleled benefits for technology scalability within an organization. These providers are adept at aligning technology assets with business growth trajectories, ensuring seamless scalability during periods of growth. Outsourced IT support providers work as your strategic partner, designing flexible infrastructures that effortlessly accommodate increased workloads, new applications, and expanded user bases. This adaptability not only minimizes disruptions during expansion but also optimizes resource utilization, promoting cost-effectiveness. Outsourced IT support providers leverage the latest technologies, providing scalable solutions that evolve alongside organizational needs. This proactive approach to scalability ensures that businesses can readily embrace innovation, implement new technologies, and swiftly adjust to market dynamics. All of this is towards the overall goal of operational agility and futureproofing against unforeseen challenges.
Choosing the Right Outsourced IT Support Provider
So, an outsourced IT support provider seems like it could be the right fit for your organization. Now comes the hard part, figuring out exactly which organization to partner with. This can be a time-consuming and confusing task. As mentioned previously, managed IT service providers often look like they all offer the same or similar IT support services; only once you’ve drilled through the marketing fluff and into the actual meat of the offering do the cracks start to show.
Here are some things to consider when evaluating different managed IT service providers.
Pricing Models: Many pricing models exist in the world of managed IT service providers, some more inclusive than others. The level of support you receive depends heavily on which model is in play so it is important to fully understand what you’re signing up for. The important takeaway is to ask questions. Make sure you get all the information you need and compare it with the other providers. Some specific areas to dive into include:
- 24/7 Support – Is this fully staffed or on call? Does it become billable after business hours?
- Support Team – The support team is the heart of the outsourced IT support provider. Not only that, but that team will ultimately be responsible for making sure your organization’s relationship with technology is as seamless as possible. Is this team employed by the managed IT services provider or is outsourced? Does this change during after-hours? How is that team set up to ensure that your experience is consistent and positive? GadellNet uses a PODS (Point of Dedicated Service) model that ensures that you receive the same team every time you call in.
Technical Offerings: Considering the breadth of technical systems managed by the outsourced IT support provider, a comprehensive evaluation of their capabilities is imperative.
- Security: Assess their approach to cybersecurity, taking special consideration to understand the tools employed and the level of support offered.
- Backups: Verify the management, maintenance, and testing protocols for backup solutions within the environment.
- Applications: Confirm the support for critical applications, ideally outlined in the agreement with insights into the provider’s relevant experience. A robust MSP should offer insights into the strategic management of essential technical facets crucial for your business operations.
Customer Service Levels: Beyond cost considerations and the actual tech, evaluating the level of service a provider commits to is paramount. Pay special attention to metrics related to response and resolution times. Make sure you receive agreements detailing the average response and resolution times. Look for indicators of the outsourced IT support provider’s client satisfaction rates, emphasizing the importance of transparency in sharing data.
A dedicated Client Account Manager serves as a crucial liaison, ensuring a personalized, proactive approach to your IT services. This individual becomes a technology copilot, intimately acquainted with your business, and elevating the overall service experience.
Ask the Right Questions: During the vetting process, be thorough in your inquiries. This decision directly impacts day-to-day operations, efficiency, and employee satisfaction. Seek clarity on all fronts, from potential exclusions to the escalation processes if something goes wrong and any additional charges you could face.
Case Study: Indiana Manufacturer’s IT Improvements Increase Employee Productivity and Job Satisfaction
In the face of unprecedented growth, an Indianapolis-based manufacturer confronted escalating IT challenges that hampered productivity and employee satisfaction. Their existing IT support infrastructure proved insufficient for the expanding demands; they needed a comprehensive solution to reduce downtime and enhance operational efficiency.
- Unreliable Wi-Fi
- Dysfunctional phone systems
- Delayed support for critical IT issues
- Network performance issues due to misconfigurations, and cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
GadellNet’s Managed IT Services Solution: GadellNet’s consulting team collaborated with the client to form a strategic plan that addressed the issues the manufacturer was having. The plan encompassed a customized onboarding process for transitioning to GadellNet’s outsourced IT support, network rearchitecting and interconnecting their five locations.
- Swift restoration of phone system functionality within 24 hours.
- Implementation of new firewalls across all facilities, fortifying cybersecurity.
- Overhaul of the internal network to enhance performance.
- Improvement of Wi-Fi connectivity across all locations.
- Introduction of a robust password policy and secure sign-in processes.
Results: GadellNet’s intervention resulted in a comprehensive modernization of network infrastructure, cybersecurity, phone systems, and other critical IT components. Urgent issues were resolved within 24 hours, with complete network updates accomplished in two weeks.
Since the intervention, GadellNet continues to provide ongoing outsourced IT support services tailored to the company’s evolving needs. This approach supports both immediate requirements and positions the manufacturer for future growth opportunities.
The manufacturer’s collaboration with GadellNet not only addressed pressing IT challenges but also fostered a modernized, streamlined intranet. This case exemplifies how a managed IT service provider can significantly impact productivity, cybersecurity, and overall operational efficiency, ensuring a resilient and growth-oriented IT infrastructure.
Trends in Outsourced IT Support
In the ever-changing world of outsourced IT support, it is incredibly important to stay on top of trends. Technology advances all the time. When you’re investing your organization’s time and money into a strategic partnership with a managed IT service provider it’s key that they’re not only aware of industry trends but are proactively working on incorporating them into their service offerings. This section explores the dynamic shifts and emerging patterns that are building the future of IT support services.
AI: AI is creating a lot of buzz in the industry currently and for good reason. AI represents a fundamental shift in how organizations are used to working with technology. From automation of routine tasks and optimizing processes, to overall enhancing your decision-making skills, AI is changing the game. AI-driven tools and algorithms can analyze vast datasets, predict issues, and provide proactive solutions, thus reducing downtime and increasing efficiency. Emerging technologies such as Microsoft Co-Pilot boast the ability to do all that with only plain language queries. No need for intense data coding. AI Chatbots enhance customer support by ditching the preprogrammed responses to talk to customers like a human.
While AI integration into outsourced IT support promises heightened productivity and streamlined processes, it is also important to be cognizant of the risk. It’s a new technology, and the keys are not in our hands. Be careful what you put into open platforms like ChatGPT, never feed it proprietary info. It remembers everything and potentially can be queried for the answer.
Cloud Services: There are several emerging cloud services trends to be aware of when evaluating outsourced IT providers that are reshaping the industry landscape. The increasing adoption of multi-cloud strategies enables organizations to optimize performance and plan for scalability. There is also an increased emphasis on security and compliance within cloud environments, especially with AI integration. Still, organizations are projected to invest heavily in cloud solutions. According to Garner’s forecast, approximately 75% of businesses will embrace a digital transformation strategy around cloud solutions as the foundation. Outsourced IT support providers are here to help your organization embrace this trend, offering strategic guidance for how best to utilize this technology and implement these solutions.
Security and Data Privacy: As technology advances, cyberattacks and data breaches are becoming increasingly sophisticated. The escalating frequency of cyberattacks and data breaches poses severe financial risks for businesses, underscoring the critical importance of robust cybersecurity solutions from your outsourced IT support provider. Garner projects a global end-user spending of $215 billion on security and risk management—an anticipated 14.3% surge from 2023. Organizations are ranking secure data handling as an increasingly high priority and managed IT services providers are following suit.
Gone are the days of one password that signs you in immediately. Organizations are enforcing stringent security measures and upholding rigorous data privacy practices, including MFA, SSO, employee training, frequent security audits, and strict compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR and CCPA. Choosing to rely on an outsourced IT support provider for these services is a strategic move to ensure you’re protected and meet the ever-evolving regulatory requirements.
Conclusion: A Partnership with GadellNet Powers Businesses
Outsourced IT support, when with the right partner, ensures your organization can leverage technology to meet goals. With access to diverse expertise, substantial cost savings, and seamless scalability, managed IT services are a strategic move for any organization. As you’re navigating this dynamic landscape, selecting the right outsourced IT support provider becomes crucial for future-proofing technology solutions and ensuring sustained growth.
For more information about how GadellNet can provide critical IT solutions to transform your organization, download our sell sheet.