Outsourcing application management to an IT support services supplier can deliver real value for your business as long as you ask the right questions.
Are your applications really adding value to your business?
If they are, you should see the evidence in employees who are proactive and productive, in high levels of customer retention and satisfaction, and in partners who find it easy to share information and achieve common goals.
Value in partnership
But simply investing in the latest applications or constantly upgrading your licenses is no guarantee of value. And that’s where the benefit of working with an outsourcing partner who can provide the right level and combination of IT support services comes in. They can take away the overheads that you incur every time you react to a shift in the market by investing in a new application: licence fees, upgrades, staff training and ongoing management.
Outsourcing key elements of your IT support strategy to a partner who can deliver a complementary portfolio of IT managed services is not just about reducing costs and mitigating risks, either. The right partner will have a vested interest in the growth of your business and the satisfaction of your customers because they are enabling you to raise your game.
The right service combination
Through a combination of managed services, outsourcing, consulting and project services, they can help you reduce your service delivery costs by as much as 70%.
Even legacy applications – so often a constant drain on IT support services – can be part of a new, dynamic and flexible delivery model for managed services, making you less reliant on retaining expensive in-house teams who become the sole guardians of knowledge about those systems, increasing the risk of failure or disruption when they leave the company and take that knowledge with them.
Outsourcing on the rise
With spending on outsourced IT services on the rise again – an Ovum report on the state of the UK IT services market suggests that £7.2 billion worth of contracts were signed during the first five months of 2013 – there are signs that businesses of every kind are reassessing the value that IT support can bring.
The right outsourcing partner will collaborate with you to transform IT support into the glue that binds every aspect of your IT service delivery together, focusing on the four pillars of successful application management and delivery:
Speed is of the essence
According to a CIO briefing from SearchCIO.com, the trend to outsource IT services is particularly strong among mid-range companies who need to move quickly. A good IT managed services partner will be able to respond rapidly to this need, scaling service provision and resources up and down, according to your agreed service levels.
Whether your focus is on application management, maintenance, development and enhancement, or bespoke support, you need to know that your potential partner will be able to provide you with tailored solutions and services that are geared to your needs for flexibility, agility, and innovative delivery, all within your budget. And they should be able to demonstrate that they have the resources to do so.
Four simple steps towards realising the benefits of outsourced applications management
1. Take a look at your applications and consider which ones are easily identified as commodities that could be more efficiently managed and delivered by trusted partners.
2. Assess your standalone applications – they could well be legacy platforms – that underpin specific departments and business processes. These should also be suitable for outsourcing to an IT managed services partner.
3. Choose a supplier who can provide strong evidence of helping customers achieve results through collaboration. They should be willing to match your business drivers rather than emphasising their own.
4. Set a goal of achieving improved relationships across your business and with customers and partners as the desired result of outsourcing IT support services to a third party.
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