Do you find your growing business suffering from a lack of support in the technology department? Your company may benefit from outsourcing IT. Some businesses struggle to find room in the budget to add support staff, while others continually add staff only to realize they still can’t keep up with demand. An alternative to this issue is to outsource your IT.
Here are a few key steps to help you make the transition from in-house to outsourced IT:
1. Outline your onboarding process and schedules with your new client.
Onboarding times vary from a week to several weeks. Depending on your IT services, integrations, and products, you might need more or less time.
Tip: It’s crucial to set up schedules and communicate your needs with your outsourced client. This ensures a smooth transition and prevents “bumps” in the road.
Verify dates work for the client and vendor
A good vendor-client relationship is a win-win for both parties. But, all new relationships take time. To start, establish metric dates and outline what you expect. Then, open the lines of communication by offering a feedback channel. This outlines your expectations.
Monitor the vendor’s performance and observe how they respond to feedback. You want to build trust and good dialog exchanges.
Explain processes and expected down times
Over-communication is better with initial vendor relationships. Walk your vendors through your IT processes and outline expected down times for your business.
Tip: By discussing the seasonal ebbs and flows of your business, you won’t have to micromanage your vendor. Set up weekly meetings and obtain status reports to keep everyone’s performance accountable.
2. Secure your buy-in from within the organization
Your “buy-in” is when people are onboard with your specific concepts and courses of action. The strategic initiatives of your business need to be followed. Or, you’ll risk your relationship with your stakeholders and clients. To secure your buy-in, your existing staff need to work with your vendors and advocate for your business.
To do this:
- Outline your organization’s values.
- Stress the importance of business growth, continuity, and cost-effectiveness.
- Reinforce your business strategies, job assignments, and stakeholder interests.
- Outline how your organization works to reduce errors and client complaints.
By having your vendor mirror your existing staff, they can better serve your stakeholders and clients.
Explain the benefits of outsourcing your IT
There are several benefits to outsourcing your IT. These include:
- Saving time: Your vendors are experienced and don’t require training. That means they are cost efficient.
- Cutting costs: By using vendors, you are hiring them on an as-needed basis. You don’t have to allocate resources for employee benefits and training.
- Reducing downtime: Your outsourced IT can help you scale for future growth. Your outsourced staff is efficient and can increase productivity.
- Data security: Your vendors offer advanced security features to protect your data and assets.
- Larger talent pools for IT professionals: You have access to diverse IT talent. Utilize their skill sets for specific assignments.
You have access to knowledgeable and reliable IT professionals
Maybe your business offers 24-hour services. Or, you’re thinking about it. With IT that’s knowledgeable, you’ll have experienced staff at your disposal. You’ll also have IT in different time-zones that can help with disaster preparedness. Offsite vendors can help in the event of emergencies, disasters, acts of war, or imminent threats.
Duties for in-house IT and any outsourced IT
Thinking about in-house and outsourced IT? Some companies keep a mix of both. It’s a good idea to outline the duties and reporting schedules for vendors to work with your existing staff. Stress the need for customer service, marketing, and other ways vendors can help operations.
3. Establish a clear plan for reporting issues
When you set up a relationship with vendors, you need to establish how to report various issues and any problems that arise.
Explain hours of operation
Outline your hours. Decide if you will extend them because you now have access to a wider talent pool of IT professionals.
Explain expectations of response time to calls or emails
Stress the response times you would like your vendors to have. They should readily respond to every call and query. This should be monitored consistently for transparency.
Reassure them to call when issues arise
Your vendors need to know they can reach you at any time. Let them know you’re available and offer key support staff in your absence.
4. Once onboarded, review services provided
Regularly review your vendor relationships. And, address areas that need correcting or more training.
Establish routine meetings between clients and vendors to discuss performance
Weekly meetings are important. Treat your vendors like your staff. Help them understand your processes. You want them in alignment with your vision. Express future expectations and any problems that need to be addressed.
Evaluate service calls for opportunities to reduce calls
Is there a language barrier? A reason for a delay in a call? Troubleshoot the problems you find. And, set up scenarios and scripts to help your vendors manage the time better with clients.
5. Budgeting and planning
Having a budget set in advance can help you explore growth opportunities as you scale up. Some organizations avoid outsourcing their IT because they think they can’t afford it. What many don’t realize is that outsourcing is often the more cost-effective option.
Client and vendor should have routine meetings to discuss the future
Talk to your vendors about adding staff or removing them. Your budget is important and your vendors are there to help your organization grow.
Clearly layout future IT plans, upgrades, or expenses
Discuss how you want to scale. Talk about the new technologies you would like to introduce and discuss upgrades, updates, and expenses. By keeping the lines of communication open, you won’t be hit with unexpected charges.
6. Clear explanation of costs
Having a clear outline of all costs can help your business plan for the future. Talk to your vendors about your budget and all costs.
Explain what is covered under service contract
Discuss your budget requirements and ask questions if you’re unsure of the contract terms. You want to have the best relationship with your vendors.
Clearly explain reoccurring and onetime costs
Some organizations use a flat rate for their vendor services, while others use an “all of the above” approach. This can vary based on your budget and scaling needs.
Ultimately, you are committed to your organization, stakeholders, and clients. Lutz Tech can supply you with a team of professional consultants that will help you scale, lower costs, and increase your productivity for better ROI. If you are considering outsourcing your IT, please contact us for more information.