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There are many benefits to outsourcing IT services. At the same time, partnering with the wrong IT consultant exposes you to several significant risks, as outlined below. Protect your business by following our tips on how to avoid these dangers when you contract for IT managed services.
Common risks of outsourcing IT include:
1. If your IT consultant mishandles system crashes, you could face expensive downtime.
Every IT consultant proves his or her true worth during system failures. If you choose a less experienced, less capable IT consultant who doesn’t follow best practices during system failures, you could suffer profit loss in the form of employee downtime.
Avoid this risk by asking each possible IT consultant about her or his approach to system failures. Problems are inevitable in modern IT systems, so those who provide IT managed services should be confident about how they will respond to crashes. How long will it take for your IT consultant to handle significant issues? Will they show up at your office ASAP, no matter the hour? Be sure to ask for customer testimonials so as to establish how the IT consultant responds to problems. Finally, to ensure you will have legal and financial recourse if a system failure does occur, consider including a Service Level Agreement in your IT managed services contract.
2. Poor customer service could result from IT system problems.
In order to provide their customers with the greatest cost savings, some IT outsourcing firms employ overseas workers who are almost always paid less than employees here in the United States. One downside to this situation is that customers cannot always understand overseas employees. Ultimately, the risk your business faces is that your customers could abandon your brand following frustrating interactions with IT outsourcing laborers.
Then again, customers can also receive poor service from American workers who provide outsourced IT managed services. For instance, your clients could become frustrated if outsource agents lack a thorough understanding of your website, services and products. Your goal with outsourcing is to achieve such synchronicity that your customers can’t tell you’re outsourcing at all. For example, if your customers cannot easily get assistance from your outsourced IT help desk, you could lose business.
Avoid this risk by surveying your customers prior to outsourcing IT managed services. Research which parts of your customers’ experience requires in-house expertise and which aspects outsourcing agents can handle well. After your new outsourcing partnership is established, continue to check in with customers about what’s working and what’s not.
3. You could be misled into a solution that’s best for your IT consultant, not your business.
Unfortunately, some IT outsourcing agents focus more on selling their own or affiliates’ products than they do on improving their IT managed services. If you partner with the wrong IT consultant, you could end up with a software or hardware setup that you don’t really need.
Avoid this risk by keeping an eye out for so-called “free consultations,” which are often no more than a sales call. Look for an IT consultant who offers unbiased, easy-to-understand suggestions that a layperson could appreciate. If an IT consultant seems overly focused on enumerating the wonders of a certain product, this individual will probably not benefit your business.
IT outsourcing can benefit or harm your business – follow the tips above to make sure your outsourcing partnership is positive.