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5 October 2021
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Benefits of IT outsourcing

Sooner or later, every company asks itself what is more profitable for its business: to build and maintain its own IT department or to outsource a professional guest team?

We join Regina Akhmetzyanova, Deputy Head of Service Desk at ICL Group, in highlighting the main advantages of working with an outsourced IT team and trying to determine when this generates really great value for the business.
The first and most obvious benefit is saving time, which you can later invest into building up your business strategy. When you realise that managing your IT department is eating up more time and money than your main business goals, this is a sign that you should consider outsourcing your IT support. More often than not, as companies grow, internal support services require more and more resources, including funding, if they are to be properly sustained. But from the overall business point of view, such resource consumption is irrelevant to the main goal. So your best choice is to fully dedicate yourself to the strategic development of your business, letting IT professionals handle the tech.

The second benefit is the ratio of fixed and variable costs. The main reason why most companies turn to outsourcing is the cost. Outsourcing often allows for saving up to 50% of expenses, while also helping users enjoy high-quality service. That said, do make sure that you are truly buying the best value for money and not just choosing the cheapest contractor. The global difference between insourcing and outsourcing lies in the nature of most prevalent costs. Insourcing is characterised by a prevalence of fixed costs, while outsourcing veers towards variable costs. By choosing outsourcing, you will no longer need to spend company funds on payroll taxes, or paid vacation and sick leave for in-house employees. Nor will you need to invest in creating workplaces for such employees and renting out a dedicated office. All of this will be handled by your contractor.

The third really massive benefit is the rapid growth in the scale and development of IT infrastructure. When your industry hits the peak sales season or begins to expand, there is an obvious risk of your insourced IT support failing to keep up. There have been countless cases when a company started at 3-5 employees and then grew to 15-20 employees, while its IT support remained at the same level. This approach slows down development and leaks funds. Outsourcing makes it possible to build a scalable system that will not only meet the current business needs but also expand or modify them in a short time at a minimal cost. In many instances, finding an approach to building an IT infrastructure is not a priority for local on-staff experts. Their main mission is to keep the system functional at a given point in time, and they often neglect to contrast strategic business goals with structural IT tasks.

The fourth benefit is sustainable service quality. As you set out to work with an outsourced IT support team, a decent outsourcing company will always offer to draw up a detailed service-level agreement (SLA), where it will be held liable for the quality of the services provided. If the outsourcing company violates the agreement, you will likely be offered a substantial discount to preserve the company’s reputation and retain you as a client. This does not apply to in-house employees: they are often not ready to bear financial liability for their mistakes, and therefore they will simply quit and start working for a different employer.

The fifth benefit of outsourcing is the employees’ excellent qualification and continuous growth. A company that provides IT outsourcing services often employs a wide range of experts in various fields, each responsible for different clients and different tasks. Recruiting an equivalent range of diverse professionals for your company staff is as challenging as it is costly. For example, we at ICL Services are continuously helping our employees grow and funding their participation in courses and certification processes. Over 85% of our experts undergo various special training sessions each year. We invest in our people because we are motivated to improve the quality of the service they provide to our clients.

The sixth benefit is service continuity. Unlike an in-house IT service (which is often understaffed), an outsourcing company can easily provide a substitute employee if the engineer responsible for resolving issues at the client company is sick or on vacation, or has been fired, thereby ensuring business continuity.

The seventh benefit of outsourcing is that it makes IT operations systemic. Specialised IT companies professionally process tickets, or incoming requests from users. The company always has an ITSM system where all tasks are recorded and controlled by both the customer and the vendor company. This way, the tasks never get overlooked and have clearly set deadlines, action plans and expected results. Furthermore, the outsourcing company always strives to minimise the labour costs of the expert assigned to the client’s planned tasks, thus increasing the productivity of the in-house engineer. This is facilitated by special monitoring systems, which make it easier to proactively respond to any issues.

And last but not least, consider the staffing changes. The process of renewing a team of full-time on-staff experts is always expensive and both mentally and legally taxing. Conversely, when working with an outsourcing company, you will always have several options: from changing the service provider to coordinating a team overhaul within the outsourcing company, which will be easy as such companies have a large pool of specialised experts.

It also bears noting that everything that gets insourced at your company is your company’s property. And your property is your responsibility. Often, many companies confuse the concepts of property and rights. In this case, the rights are provided by the outsourcing company: your company pays for them by purchasing this or that resource but is not responsible for the resource’s maintenance and use. The upsides of this approach are evident:
• Lower costs
• Enhanced security
• Lower risks
• Scalability and flexibility

And most precious of all, more time. By getting an outsourcing company involved in IT processes, the company will free up more time for implementing key business tasks.

Watch a video about the benefits of IT outsourcing on the YouTube channel.
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