“You can do anything but not everything” —David Allen.
I’m a Customer Experience fanatic. As such, I consider myself extremely lucky to work for a company that considers excellence in The Customer Experience to be one of its core business drivers.
So whenever I can, I meet with our customers and really get to know and understand their business. What makes them tick? What are their challenges? What are their drivers?
One question that has consistently popped up over the last year is, “How do I balance the workload of my IT team? How can we help them choose between supporting our customers’ IT needs and the IT needs of our own employees?”
I recently discussed this particular challenge with a customer—and the answer that emerged from that conversation was surprisingly simple, even elegant: Outsource the IT function.
The situation they faced was this: They were consistently running about 6 months behind on their internal MAC requests. What often occurred is that by the time they got to the request, the MAC was no longer needed. Tasks as simple as changing/moving an extension, reprogramming a name, or adding an application that would typically take a few minutes were taking weeks and sometimes months to complete. Their Help Desk’s primary responsibility was (understandably) to support their customer. But that left them needing to constantly re-prioritize their own internal needs. This situation left employees feeling frustrated and undervalued and resulted in the Help Desk team unable to hit their internal SLAs. They were desperate for a solution.
What we recommended—and they agreed to give it a try—was that by outsourcing this internal Help Desk function, this company was able to immediately close the gap on these MAC requests and within a few weeks 75 percent of their entire backlog had been completed. Today, tickets that had been taking several weeks to complete were being turned around same day.
Does this story sound familiar?
If so, here are three good reasons for outsourcing your internal IT service requests:
- Flexibility—Outsourcing gives you immediate access to a broad range of expertise for all of your IT needs. This option allows you to pick and choose what is most important for your company. This will give you the ability to redirect your internal resources on an as-needed basis. If your company has seasonal demands, for example, you may want to outsource these requests during your peak seasons.
- Increase employee satisfaction—Removing this burden from your existing IT staff will allows them to prioritize customers and still hit their internal SLAs. Providing quick turnaround for internal needs will improve the employee’s ability to effectively perform their job functions. And this will increase morale.
- Improve company focus—Turning over the day-to-day internal MAC tickets will allow you to focus on your core competencies and do what you do best without sacrificing quality or service.
There’s an old adage that applies here about the cobbler’s children having no shoes. Translated, that means that many companies prioritize the IT function on requests that address their customers' needs—while internal company needs are bumped lower and lower on the priority list. Outsourcing the IT function, also referred to as Managed Services, solves this problem.