PARTNER-LED IT SUPPORT SERVICES: WHY IS IT BETTER?
IT infrastructure such as ERP, CRM, and digital commerce platform has become the backbone of enterprises, operating across industries. Fully operational and well managed IT systems are essential for business continuity. Firms often face the dilemma, whether to maintain an in-house IT team or to take services of an IT support partner. The decision in not outright simple as firms have to consider various factors before deciding the model best suited for them.
In house IT support team:
If the complexity of the IT systems is not high, building an internal support team makes sense as the team members will be on-site and will have knowledge of company-specific system and setup. Being on-premise is an added advantage as they are available immediately in case of a potential emergency. However, given the growing complexity of IT systems and business models, more often than not, it is prudent to leverage the services of a specialist IT support partner.
IT support Partner:
IT support partner also known as managed services partner (MSP) is a third-party company, which has expertise and experience in managing complex IT operations requirements. According to the 2016 global survey conducted by Mordor Intelligence, global managed services spending will rise to $296 Million by 2023 at a good looking CAGR of around 11%.
IT support services offered by partner firms itself has matured over a course of time. Below are the types of support services offered
- Fixed capacity: under this model, MSP provides agreed number of resources (people) for the project. It does not consider other important factors such as time of support requirements, the number of issues resolved.
- Shared support: It is a matured support model
- Fixed number of hours: Support services provider is contracted to support IT systems for a stipulated number of hours.
- Fixed number of incidents: The third-party service provider is contracted to resolve a fixed number of issues. If the number of hours needed to resolve the issues is less than the contracted number of hours, then additional asks, such as enhancement, upgrade, are assigned to the managed services partner.
Advantages of Managed Services partner over an in-house IT support team
Generally outsourced IT support services are cost-effective as a fixed amount is to be paid for the contract. Whereas maintaining a large in-house team is costly due to higher wages of employees and the cost accrued in training them. In case of the sudden departure of internal IT support personnel, the business may hire a consultant at a high cost to ensure business continuity. Another major aspect is that IT partner can provide most of the support services remotely and needs to deploy an on-premise team to handle critical tasks only. Providing remote IT support services is a big cost-saver.
Managed services partner have a pool of specialist for the role and in case of absence of a particular resource deployed on the project, they will have a replacement to ensure that business continuity is not affected. On the other hand, in house support is susceptible to sickness, attrition and knowledge gaps. Basis the business requirement, a business can contract 24*7 support for 365 days from the support partner.
Managing complex IT systems in-house is not an easy task and there may remain some knowledge gap among internal support team, which can have an adverse impact on the services provided. A professional IT support team will have skilled support personnel in its ranks with a range of experience and qualification suited for the managing IT systems for the firm.
There may be some concerns around data privacy and data ownership while outsourcing IT support to a partner firm. Such apprehensions can be addressed by utilizing the services of top IT managed services partners. Their hiring process is like any other top IT companies, which screens and recruits after careful evaluation. Another aspect one can look at is whether they have international quality certifications such as ISO 27001 for IT security & ISO 20000 for IT services.
Leveraging IT support services through a third-party managed services partner (MSP) is the way forward for the enterprises. By partnering with a reliable and experienced IT support partner, they can focus on the strategic business needs rather than worrying about managing IT systems.
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