Fiona Frost | Business Development Manager at claireLOGIC
With the economy now more uncertain than ever, many organisations are looking into how they can cut costs whilst still delivering their business operations and goals. While outsourcing can deliver substantial savings – this shouldn’t be the only reason for choosing to outsource.
If you are considering outsourcing, it’s worth understanding all the elements that an outsourcing partnership brings.
It’s important to select your outsourcing partner carefully. Your outsourcing partner should be interested in your whole business and future plans. A good partnership brings expertise and experience that you would find difficult to build internally. Outsourcers have gained experience from multiple businesses over different verticals, systems and working practices.
Relationship is key – it’s important that you feel comfortable discussing your business openly and confidentially. If you’re charged for every phone call or don’t feel comfortable discussing business problems or ideas, you may need to find another partner.
You should feel your chosen provider are part of your business, advising on what to put in place at any decision point to give you flexibility regardless of outcome. A firm of 50 staff that thinks it will have a 200 strong team in 5 years wouldn’t not want to keep changing systems with each growth cycle.
On the flip side, if growth is unpredictable or happens slower than anticipated, you won’t want to invest in expensive equipment or systems too early. Your chosen partner should understand your budget and business plans and advise you accordingly.
At claireLOGIC, we meet with our clients quarterly to keep our relationships current and relevant. We will discuss business plans, IT strategy, overall IT needs and make sure there is business alignment. We will also share new threats you specifically should be aware of, and let you know of any new technology or enhancements to your existing software you could be taking advantage of.
These are three obvious areas that can benefit from outsourcing. When you buy a service, managing outsourced staff is not your responsibility. There will be no problems though absences for sickness or maternity leave etc. You have consistent cover whenever it is needed.
A big business advantage is the training your outsourced partner will provide to their team. Through regular training the claireLOGIC team are up to speed on the latest vendor training and innovations. We have often seen businesses take a very narrow route with their technology because it’s what their stretched in-house team feel confident with.
I was speaking recently with a recruiter who was trying to fill an IT role at a UK warehouse. The role involved a very junior IT support technician to work on a limited number of systems because there was a parent company in mainland Europe where the IT was managed from. The recruiter had filled that same role repeatedly because it was basic with a salary to match and essentially a boring role. With no hope for progression, whoever took the role would move on quickly, looking for something better.
I don’t know how much they were paying every 18 months or so in recruitment fees, but it must have been expensive, frustrating and disrupting to the warehouse business. It’s a prime example of a role that should be outsourced.
A good provider with a proactive approach could have stopped a good majority of the technical issues they were having.
Many businesses need the expertise and accountability of an IT Director or Company Information Officer (CIO). According to PayScale.com the average IT director’s salary in the UK is nearly £81k. At claireLOGIC we provide this service as part of our Managed IT Service which the rest of their IT support, layered security and help with IT policy for a much lower cost.
For some of the organisations we support we offer a higher tier of support, stepping in when their IT team need help with an issue beyond their capability.
We see this as a two-way relationship too and our senior engineers are calm, patient and very knowledgeable. Their generosity with their knowledge leads to a relationship where your IT team call as soon as they feel out of their depth, causing as little disruption to your business, staff and clients as possible. This has the added benefit of increasing your teams’ knowledge with step by step documentation of the resolution being shared, without having to undergo lengthy general vendor training to get to the specifics they need for your set up.
Outsourcing is not just a cost cutting exercise – those who take it purely for that view will find it’s to the detriment of both parties. But working with a trusted outsourcing partner will bring real business benefits over a longer term.
If you are interested in finding out more about our services you can book a 20 minute video call with us.