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Should You Outsource Your Service Desk?

For most companies, the help desk or service desk has the potential to be a tremendous asset. A well-run service desk saves the entire rest of the organization time and increases productivity. A poorly-run service desk costs IT more money than it provides in benefits, and may even create a negative reputation among the rank and file of the company.

Unfortunately, many organizations just don’t have the kinds of resources necessary to run an effective help desk. For that reason alone, many companies should take a closer look at outsourcing this business-critical function.

Here are some areas for consideration if your help desk isn’t up to snuff:

  • Staffing is critical. We’re not just talking about having the budget to hire staff; we’re talking about the ability to hire the right staff. At most companies, the service desk is an entry-level position. That means you’re talking about relatively inexperienced staff interacting with your internal customers. Recruiting and retaining service desk staff can be a challenge as well, as in most companies there isn’t much room for advancement.
  • Size matters, too. Smaller companies will find it hard to hire a full contingent of help desk staff. Managers, application specialists and telephone personnel alone can increase the size of a small company dramatically. Most small companies aren’t equipped to put that many resources into the service desk.
  • Outsourcing can provide expertise that doesn’t exist in house. Because outsourced service desks tend to have expert employees providing more advanced solutions, you may gain access to faster and more efficient problem solving.
  • Location matters, too. If you decide to outsource your service desk, you’re often better off keeping the service desk off site. Unfortunately, when you have an on-site outsourced service desk, internal operations tend to negate some if not all of the cost savings. In addition, if you decide to outsource your help desk overseas, be prepared for some internal resistance as employees adjust to different dialects and accents.

Smart IT managers and CIOs know when it’s time to do something in-house and when it’s time to look for outside help. The service desk is often one of those prime opportunities.


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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.