How IT outsourcing enables tech company growth
In a competitive marketplace, growth and profitability rely on making the most of resources and maintaining lean cost structures.
That means companies focused on technology and innovation usually concentrate the majority of their budgets and human resources on advancing their core products and growing market share. Yet, a huge portion of companies’ IT budgets go to routine IT service administration and support.
“Keep the lights on” functions, like recruiting and training service desk personnel, are critical to operations, but they don’t need to be done in-house. Indeed, maintaining an internal IT service desk can require high staffing levels and is very labor- and cost-intensive, says Jonathan Spangler, senior manager of global product development at TELUS International. On the other hand, “an outsourced IT service desk has already cracked the code on resolving trouble tickets,” says Spangler.
With that in mind, IT outsourcing provides several efficiencies and benefits beyond responding to inbound customer queries. Outsourcing can help fast-growing tech companies continue to grow, migrate efficiently and effectively to the cloud and bring in a wealth of additional technology expertise – all keys to thriving in a competitive marketplace.
Growing through outsourcing
Outsourcing an IT service desk is a great way to alleviate some of the pressure on tight budgets, allowing firms to reallocate their skilled resources to advancing their core product or service. For contact center infrastructure technology company Genesys, outsourcing has also been a way to enable its business to grow. When the company acquired Interactive Intelligence, it faced a quandary: How could it quickly ramp up its IT support infrastructure and deliver cost efficiencies between merged companies, while expecting a doubling of call volume?
The decision-makers at Genesys knew they had to outsource their Level 1 Tier 1 service desk with true “follow the sun,” 24/7/365 coverage for their international customer base. But Genesys was working on a tight deadline with a four-month window for transition. It needed a partner that could offer reliability and scalability to support its post-merger growth, says Yosef Chaban, senior manager of IT at Genesys. Chaban and team chose to partner with TELUS International, and company growth has exceeded projections.
Enabling cloud computing and employee BYOD
For companies looking to rein in spending beyond the IT department, moving to the cloud can save money on hardware, maintenance and storage while ensuring greater data security. Moving to the cloud can also reduce that skewed distribution of the “keeping the lights on” budget to a more equitable spread, Spangler says.
The cloud also facilitates collaboration between multiple international locations and the expansion of talent to remote office locations. That said, cloud-based computing is not a stand-alone solution. It can create its own set of IT challenges, as various devices and software require integration. “The majority of troubleshooting tickets are for personal electronic devices, causing internal IT teams challenges because they never owned the equipment,” says Spangler.
However, moving to the cloud and enabling the support of BYOD is becoming a must as more and more employees are either working remotely from home or are bringing their own devices to the office. The cloud centralizes shared files, meaning they can be accessed from almost any device with the right log-in credentials. The portability of the cloud enables the kinds of expansion opportunities previously unavailable to many in-house IT shops.
Rather than sink an internal team’s time and effort into resolving device compatibility issues, outsourced IT teams maintain a broader knowledge of equipment and software, resulting in the best of both worlds: Allowing employees to use their own devices for work and enabling cloud computing, while remaining lean and focused on the core business.
Expanding tech expertise
Finding tech support staff is not always easy. Fast-growing tech firms are in a war for talent, particularly in hotbeds like Silicon Valley, Austin and Boulder, among other locales. Finding the right specialist talent, only to assign them routine work, puts talent retention at risk.
For this reason, outsourcing isn’t merely about freeing up budgets and staff to work on company deliverables and advancing your competitive strategy; outsourcing can actually allow your company to import the kind of tech expertise that may be difficult to find locally.
Savvy outsourcing partners already understand the dynamics of the highly competitive tech sector and hire creative, smart people who are not afraid to question the status quo. Outsourcing to a company that invests in its contact center staff can improve employee retention and stability, which in turn helps client firms better connect to customers and build loyalty. “For me, retention and turnover are areas of great importance to keep continuity,” says Brad Kitazumi, director of IT services at Genesys. “You don’t want to constantly have your Tier 1 staff rotating with new ones coming in.”
Before signing on the dotted line
Based on its experience, Genesys offers firms considering outsourcing a few key pieces of advice. First, don’t leave outsourcing to the last minute. “You really need to give yourself enough time to do things properly,” says IT manager Chaban. “There are a lot of moving parts with switching over to an outsourced service desk. You need time to gather the correct metrics and call volumes and call arrival patterns so that [the outsourcing partner] can properly staff.”
Getting the legal department to review the paperwork and getting contracts signed takes time, he adds. Trying to force an agreement through in a shorter period of time could leave troublesome gaps in the offering.
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Keeping the lines of communication open once an agreement has been inked is essential to a partnership’s continued success. “We meet weekly, and during those weekly meetings, we go over metrics, how we are tracking, recapping, trending,” says Chaban. “Training is always ongoing. We go over what’s been documented for the week.”
Whether it’s outsourcing customer support or internal IT services, approaching any outsourcing agreement with a spirit of openness, defined objectives and frequent communication is the best way to ensure the expected value of the relationship is realized in practice. For many tech companies, their continued growth could depend on it.