Let’s talk about workplace productivity in the form of outsourcing. You likely already outsource a number of functions within your business, for instance, building maintenance, cleaning, and temp staff. How about IT within your business? There are plenty of technology functions within your business that can be outsourced with a Managed Service Provider (MSP), which can free up internal resources to instead be allocated to core business.
This is our final article in our workplace productivity series. Read previous editions here:
- Business Intelligence Solutions
- More Effective Communication
- Flexible Working Conditions
- Building Data Workflows
IT functions that can be outsourced
Here is a list of some common IT functions that are outsourced by businesses:
- Help desk
- Systems infrastructure
- Workflow automation
- Software and/or web development
It’s likely that you already outsource one or more of these functions. A majority of businesses outsource their web development, hosting, and maintenance, for instance.
Perform a review of your existing technology solutions
Do you have a server room full of servers? An ad-hoc way to bring new workstations onto the network? A bunch of cybersecurity tools that seem to work but aren’t understood that well?
In order to see which tech functions you could (or should) potentially outsource, you need to take stock of how each current system works, how effective it is, and how much it’s costing you to operate.
This can either be done internally, or you can get an external auditor in to do the job if you don’t think you have the expertise on hand – another function that can be outsourced!
If you already have some technology functions outsourced, you can do an audit of these, too. How much time do you spend communicating with your provider? Are they offering a good service for the price that you’re paying? Technology is always changing, so if, for instance, you’ve been with the same web hosting provider for 10 years, they could be completely outdated if these haven’t kept up with the times.
According to Deloitte’s 2018 Global Outsourcing Survey, 93% already use cloud services or are considering adoption.
Cloud services are booming, in particular, cloud storage and infrastructure. However, migrating to the cloud isn’t always the best solution for businesses, as running costs can be significant. Before blindly switching over to these cloud services, sit down with a certified cloud practitioner (like us over here at A1 Technologies) to work out which functions you’d be better off clouding, and which you should continue to manage either onsite or with other data warehousing solutions.
Review who has ownership of which technology solution
Is there a network administrator on your team? A person in charge of hardware purchasing? How much are you paying this person for ownership of this technology domain and are they doing a good job?
Let’s say Jim’s, the network admin, has been with the company 10 years but still rolls out network infrastructure in much the same way that he did when he started in the role. Is he effective in his role, or could you outsource the whole thing for a better service?
It could be that the issue with your technology functions is actually the person in charge of the domain. This means either a) outsourcing b) retraining or c) replacing staff.
A word about displacing staff due to outsourcing
Nobody wants to hear that they’ve lost their job due to outsourcing. Think about where these staff have the skills to allocate to other areas, or can be retrained fairly quickly (if they’d like to stay on at the company). Here are some alternatives to firing underperforming staff that you might find useful.
It’s in your best interests to foster a happy team – even when you’re looking to run more effectively. Outsourcing and getting rid of staff can throw off other staff members, making them nervous about the future and having an effect on the company culture that you’ve worked hard to foster. It isn’t always about running leaner or the bottom line!
Outsource with one MSP provider or many?
The next question you need to ask yourself, once you’ve defined technology functions that you can outsource, is whether you choose one MSP for these services or many? This all depends on your requirements. Some MSPs offer limited services, while some offer the full range that you might be looking for. Typically, if you are happy with the MSP’s expertise across all the services you require, you can stick with just the one. Adding extra providers to your list can add extra time, effort, and security requirements to your business.
A1 Technologies offers a range of outsourcing solutions from optimised networking, to IT help desk, to cloud consulting. Get in touch with us if you have technology streams you’re thinking about outsourcing – we can help.
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