From deciding how to restructure an organization to co-exist with an outsourced resource to including new projects within an existing contract, choosing a perfect technology partner might be one of the most critical decisions a CIO makes to support an organization’s growth. In this blog, Paul Lawson, Executive Director - Cyber Solutions and Delivery, CPX shares insights on common outsourcing pitfalls, barriers and new opportunities to take an IT support service from average to exceptional.
Outsourced technical support can reduce response times, offer access to sophisticated management solutions, provide multilingual support, including chatbots and AI capabilities and elevate end-user satisfaction. In other words, a wrong choice of partner can significantly impact overall business operations and success.
Here are some top insights to consider when selecting an outsourcing partner.
1. Define the Objectives: Before starting the selection process, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the outsourcing objectives, desired outcomes, commercial expectations and services to outsource from an IT service provider. CIO’s must define roles, responsibilities, mode of operations, and IT strategy, including clarity on requiring remote, hybrid or full-time end-user support. Clearly defined service level agreements (SLAs) covering response times, issue resolution and performance metrics is vital. Building them into the contract ensures the partner commits to these SLAs and associated service credits. Defining these parameters at the outset will help organizations to align with like-minded partners.
2. Evaluate Partner's Credentials: A trustworthy partner with solid track records, relevant certifications, and demonstrable experience are well-equipped to meet an organization’s requirements now and in the future. Therefore, before deciding, it is worthwhile to assess multiple outsourcing partners' technical expertise, financial stability, industry knowledge and experience in delivering similar services. This includes evaluating the outsourcing partner's security practices, certifications (for e.g. ISO 27001), and ability to comply with relevant regulations (for e.g. GDPR, HIPAA).
3. KPI is Key: When soliciting a request for proposal (RFP), generating an RFP with precise metrics such as numbers and types of servers, cloud tenants, applications and user numbers is crucial as it's generally these metrics that an outsource partner requires to generate their proposals. Effective communication is important when working with an outsourcing partner. CIOs must assess partner’s communication channels, service delivery methodology, and service credit expectations and ensure a compliance KPI matrix is included within the RFP for comparison and weightage.
4. Click Yes for Specialized Services: Outsourcing services like network management, server management, storage management and data center operations can offload the burden from internal IT teams by leveraging specialized service providers' expertise. Outsourcing cloud services, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or software as a service (SaaS), can enable scalable and cost-effective access to advanced technologies and computing resources. As cybersecurity threats evolve, outsourcing specialized security services like threat monitoring, vulnerability assessments, security operations, and incident response can enhance an organization's security posture.
5. Scale Up or Down as Needed: CIO’s should consider scalability and flexibility when outsourcing services. Ensure the outsourcing partners can scale their services to accommodate the organization's future growth. Flexibility is a must to adapt to changing business needs and technological advancements. One essential detail to consider is to ensure that what one intends to outsource is already in "good shape. It is advisable not to outsource a problem to an outsourcing partner, as it will just be a problem that has changed hands, and the outsourcing partner will need to include additional commercials to fix them, usually within the early transition phase. Finally, ensure that an exit strategy is in place and the outsourcing partner has a detailed transition and a service improvement plan that matches the business’ IT strategy.
As a trusted cybersecurity solutions provider, CPX supports the region's CIOs with a range of services, including service desk and technical support, specialized security services like threat monitoring, vulnerability assessments, security operations and incident response. With the right outsourcing partner, CIOs can gain access to advanced technologies at optimum costs and, more importantly, ease the pressure off their IT and Security teams, allowing them to focus on exploring their future.