By Simon Wheeler
We’ve all heard it before. IT departments must become value-adding innovation centres, potentially moving from being a cost centre to a revenue generator. But what do end-users really expect from their IT departments, and how can the IT team deliver?
Broadly speaking, end users are looking for increased productivity, self-service and easier access to technology tools. The IT team needs to try and implement the best approach to deliver these benefits.
End users expect a good IT department to keep their business agile and innovative by streamlining and automating processes, delivering strategic insights, and improving technology platforms to engage with customers.
The IT function is evolving so rapidly and this can lead to the IT department becoming a corporate bottleneck. IT teams are expected to align more closely to both business goals and end-user expectations, and they are subject to new demands. IT teams can effectively meet the different requirements by taking a flexible approach to outsourcing.
Outsourcing is one of the most efficient ways for IT departments to reduce business costs, increase productivity and improve scalability.
Outsourcing different aspects of IT, including support, hosting, network management, and development can save the business money by leveraging the skills, efficiencies, and buying power of a dedicated provider.
How outsourcing helps IT departments please more users, more of the time.
There are various benefits of outsourcing depending on the model you choose.
For example, IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) is an operational model that can transform IT departments from traditional cost centres to efficient and innovative services providers. In this scenario, business users become clients of the IT department, paying the IT department as they would an external contractor for specific services. Through this, IT departments can become more business-focused and introduce a new level of agility to their company.
Improved efficiency and performance
In Australia’s mid-market, the most commonly-outsourced services include systems integration and network management. By outsourcing these services, businesses can manage IT processes more efficiently, improve levels of service, and scale as required. Other areas commonly outsourced include everything from entire IT departments to service desk functions, break-fix services, data centres, backup services, and maintenance. Outsourcing these functions removes the burden of delivery from the IT department, freeing it up to provide more value-added services.
Improved cost management
When outsourcing IT services, businesses can concentrate on present expenses, while planning for the future at the same time. What was previously accounted for as a capital expense becomes an operating expense, freeing up cash flow for other projects and delivering a predictable, regular expense that’s easier to plan for than ad hoc purchases and upgrades.
By outsourcing much of the day-to-day IT operations, IT organisations can become more competitive by spending more time innovating and less time ‘keeping the lights on’. This can deliver significant competitive advantage if that innovation is strategic and focused.
Less risk of failure
Leveraging the skills of a service provider means IT organisations can approve complex solution implementations with less fear of failure. Working in partnership with a knowledgeable service provider lets organisations take advantage of new technology to streamline operations and introduce efficiencies, or even open up new lines of revenue, that they may not otherwise have had the confidence to attempt.
Before you dive head first into a new outsourcing contract to please your end users, make sure you carefully consider any potential partnership. You must understand what metrics your service provider will use to measure performance objectives, how they’ll deal with security breaches or service outages, and, crucially, how to get out of the relationship if the provider isn’t delivering.
It’s also important to conduct regular assessments and audits to make sure your service provider is meeting the agreed standards and the outsourced technologies are delivering on expectations.
To find out how Brennan IT can help your IT organisation meet all these expectations and demands, you can visit http://www.brennanit.com.au or contact us on 1300 500 000.