Five Ways Outsourcing Operations Can Help CIOs Control Spending
A critical objective for any chief information officer (CIO) is to control spending while maintaining and operating the organization’s IT systems and equipment. That goal becomes even more challenging when CIOs increase their spend on business technology (BT) to help their firms win, serve and retain customers.
According to a Forrester Research report, 70 to 75 percent of a typical tech budget goes to keeping the lights on and the business running, even if there are no new projects. By outsourcing operations and regular maintenance to a dedicated vendor, you can optimize your organization’s investment in both its hardware and software while reducing costs and freeing up your IT staff to focus on more strategic projects.
Just as the IT infrastructure and organization have evolved, so, too, has the manner — and location — of the service your portfolio receives. Providers no longer limit themselves to on-site repair or serve as insurance policies when things break. Instead, today’s support providers focus on saving organizations time and money while improving the availability of their critical systems.
Here are some of the top benefits of outsourcing the maintenance and support of your hardware and software:
1. An Automated, Proactive Approach to Eliminate Outages
The best way to reduce costs associated with downtime and hardware/software maintenance is to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. A proactive approach requires vendor-specific skills and resources within your IT department to monitor and maintain your hardware and software, but by delegating a third party to oversee this framework, you can reduce and even eliminate incidents before they occur — removing the need to maintain vendor-specific device skills in-house as a result.
The third-party provider should have tools designed to integrate with your existing equipment, automatically alert staff of hardware or software errors, determine necessary repairs and recommend and order replacement parts before IT staff or end users are even aware there’s an issue.
2. Remote and Around-the-Clock
By tasking a third party with knowing how and by whom your hardware and software is being managed, you can address any issues with it through remote monitoring and support. This doesn’t just mean service calls are resolved remotely; the provider can also spend more time detecting problems and alerting your staff to implement fixes without in-house assistance. This reduces the amount of time and money spent to address a problem on-site. When problems can’t be addressed remotely, of course, the provider’s technicians should be able to come to you.
3. A Single Point of Accountability
When outsourcing the maintenance of your technology, you can expect the delivery of each solution to come from a single point of contact — regardless of the patch, software update or equipment replacement needed. This is particularly valuable in multivendor environments that lack a standardized infrastructure. A single point of contact can coordinate support, leveraging a global knowledge base and industry relationships to deliver timely resolutions.
4. Faster Resolution of Technical Issues
If your organization operates globally, putting a provider in charge of the maintenance and support of your technology should mean solutions are delivered everywhere you do business — and in the local language. Global and localized service capabilities — including technicians, diagnostic tools, asset management and even automated repair — can help speed the resolution of performance issues and keep business running efficiently and reliably.
5. Flexible Service Plans
You shouldn’t have to make drastic changes to your environment or processes to benefit from outsourcing operations. A provider that offers a variety of contract terms can enable you to choose the right service level, support activity and contract length to meet your needs.
Maintenance for your hardware and software has evolved to enable organizations to reduce costs and focus on more strategic, business-driven projects. As CIOs take the lead on driving growth and innovation, outsourcing these services will be key to keeping spending under control.