With organizations working increasingly advanced technology into most aspects of their daily operation, it only follows that employees and customers may occasionally need help using those technologies and fixing problems they encounter. Help desks have emerged as the primary method for giving IT users the support they require to work effectively with technology as they complete their tasks and contribute to their organization’s success.
What is a help desk?
Help desks, or managed operation centers, provide consistent, critical support services to the employees within an organization, and in some cases, their clients. Help desks are run by personnel with extensive technical knowledge who are well-versed in managing, troubleshooting, maintaining and upgrading the various technological tools used by companies across industries.
While some businesses have in-house IT support through designated staff members, that option is often not tenable for many smaller organizations with limited employees and resources. Outsourced technology support allows them to focus their energy on more integral aspects of their practice. Even mid-size and large businesses, however, benefit by partnering with third-party entities that offer expert help desk support and gaining access to an additional resource for their internal IT staff.
What are the benefits of outsourcing help desk support?
Outsourcing IT support provides a number of advantages, particularly for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Here is a quick look at 10 ways your operation can benefit through outsourcing IT:
Maintaining an in-house help desk can factor as a hefty expense into an organization’s annual budget, especially when benefit packages and other perks are taken into consideration. By entering into a contract with an outsourced help desk, you can tailor the services to fit your specific needs and financial position.
2. Increased Flexibility
Working with an outside provider for your IT support gives your employees flexibility, allowing them to work a broader range of hours without having to worry about not having support should they encounter a problem. Even when working remotely or outside peak hours, they can access a live representative for support.
3. Immediate Response
Help desk specialists are only a phone call, email, or support ticket away. As third-party providers manage IT support for multiple organizations, they will have several technicians on-call to address issues on demand. With a consolidated pool of employees, their efforts can be spread more effectively across the businesses they serve. If the technicians cannot fix the issue remotely, they will respond in person to fix the issue on-site.
4. Diverting Management Responsibilities
Working with a third-party service provider means they will handle their own IT team, relieving you and your human resources department of that responsibility. The firm will oversee the management of their own employees—from recruitment and hiring to training and retention—and take care of tracking their hours and performance, as well as addressing any personnel issues.
5. Access to More Resources
Most companies do not have the financial freedom to acquire the latest IT equipment or jump on emerging technological solutions. Providers whose sole purpose is managing technology, however, will have not only the most current but also a wider variety of resources. This helps even the playing field, especially for small businesses, allowing them to take advantage of advanced technologies without bearing the entire financial burden of procuring them.
6. Support from Highly Trained Specialists
Much like with resources, third-party IT firms can offer a wealth of expertise. Their tech specialists come equipped with a wide range of credentials, training and prior experience with businesses similar to yours, which gives you a strategic advantage. When your organization encounters an IT issue, one of their team members likely will have specialized knowledge and skill-set to troubleshoot that problem.
7. A Preventative Mindset
Help desk engineers are generally in the business of providing maintenance, as well as incident management to prevent problems before they occur. They can offer advice on upgrading old systems and software and suggest other technical solutions to address the root cause of recurring problems. Help desks also track important performance indicators and metrics via remote software, to compile data on average time for technician to accept ticket, average time to resolve problem (or close ticket), average number of tickets per day/user, issues occurring after business hours, communication pertaining to a ticket, and other areas. This statistical reporting is then used for continuous quality improvement.
8. Priority on Partnership
Third-party firms are invested in fulfilling their contract and building a long-term relationship with the organizations they serve, so they will approach help desk support with a cooperative attitude. One of their goals will be to make communicating and collaborating on tasks with the employees, or end users, smoother and less frustrating. The tools they recommend will be designed to bolster this partnership and help employees feel empowered when it comes to using technology, which in turn augments company morale and productivity.
9. Increased Customer Satisfaction
Many companies use outsourced help desk services, such as call flow support, to take care of their clients’ needs or give them technical support when they are using the organization’s website, purchasing products online, or making inquiries into services. Sharing the burden of this task with an external provider frees up employees to focus on their core competencies and daily responsibilities. Additionally, customers benefit by having their problems immediately addressed, which increases customer satisfaction and helps the business both attract and retain clients.
10. Peace of Mind
For many organizations, experiencing excessive downtime because an IT system is experiencing issues can be detrimental. With a team of industry-leading experts in your corner, you can rest at ease that your IT is being taken care of. You won’t have to use your internal employees and their valuable time to fix a problem that resides outside their area of expertise. Your trusty help desk will have the issue under control.
Help desks are aimed at helping the relationship between your business and its technology flourish. They understand the importance of keeping your systems functioning and available to the employees who rely on them to do their job. External providers can provide effective IT management and support at an affordable cost.
Brian Gray, MCP, is the President at Kraft Technology Group, LLC (KTG), an affiliate of KraftCPAs PLLC. Within his role, Brian is responsible for all aspects of service delivery to our clients. Brian has a decade of experience working for managed service providers. He has worked with clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, accounting, legal, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.