used with permission from Tektonika (HP)
by Joe Hewitson
Of all the professions in this world, you’d be hard-pressed to find one with a more pervasive DIY spirit than IT. From cobbling together your first network of 300+ machines to tapping into your first private cloud deployment, there’s a unique satisfaction brought about when you build it yourself.
That said, IT outsourcing services shouldn’t be a taboo topic, especially when your IT resources need to be smartly allocated. There are some things you simply won’t be able to tackle effectively and efficiently. Fortunately, others can, which can help you make the most of your resources.
With that in mind, here are a few steps to help you maximize IT resources by teaming up with strategic partners.
1. Measure the efficiency of your resources
Your first job is to figure out the areas where you effectively use your resources and the ones where you aren’t. Typically, areas of effective resource utilization are highly specialized and localized. For example, if you work for a tech security firm and find yourself spinning up custom test environments on a daily basis, you probably won’t find any vendors better equipped for the job.
However, in more generalized areas, like print fleet management, outsourcing can be the key to better resource utilization. Unless you work for a print shop, deploying, updating, and securing printers probably isn’t the first thing you think about on a Friday afternoon. With a solution like managed print services, your partner can provide you with the insights you need to drive measurable business results and improvements, saving you time so you can focus your team’s energy on the tasks only they can do.
2. Find the right outsourcing opportunities
You no doubt have an area or two that immediately comes to mind when you think about IT outsourcing, but how can you find other opportunities to make your life easier? It might be easier than you think. All you need is an inward look at your priorities.
Make a list of the different components of your typical IT duties, then add a few notes next to each as you ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it expensive?
- Is it hard?
- Is it time-consuming?
- Is it not mission-critical?
Areas of your list that attract more “yes” answers are good places to start exploring IT outsourcing services.
3. Select your services
Now that you’ve figured out area X and process Y are devouring more than their fair share of resources, what’s next? Where can you start when selecting the specific service you need? The answer is from the top, at least as far as perspective is concerned.
In other words, you need to look at the role outsourcing services can play from a greater perspective, beyond any single task. In the previous example, perhaps you’ve identified printing costs as an area to address. Rather than immediately seeking for just one service to track and streamline printer utilization, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Bringing greater visibility and control to print costs is great, but what if you could do more? Why not kill two—or three, or four—birds with a single stone with a managed print services solution that could also tackle security and supplies? Don’t sell yourself—or your vendor—short.
4. Choose a strategic partner
By this point, you should have a clear picture of which services you’d like to offload and the parameters for a successful transition. That’s great news, because now, you have to find someone to actually do it. Fortunately, all you need is a well-thought-out request for proposal (RFP). Be sure to include detailed information about the original service you wish to outsource, as well as related areas that might fall under the same umbrella.
As you begin to harvest responses, make sure you filter them through the same priorities you identified in step two. If cost and difficulty are the main pressure points you feel now, you’ll want to grade vendors through that lens. And don’t lose sight of the big picture. By teaming up with an expert, you’re letting outsiders into your environment. Make sure their services and priorities are up to snuff when it comes to security and compliance.
5. Enjoy the ROI
Continuing with the printing theme, there’s a reason the managed print services market is expected to nearly double in value between 2016 and 2026. Businesses are quickly realizing they can’t do it all themselves—especially IT teams with already strapped resources.
If you’d like to explore the potential value of a managed print services partnership, take this free managed print analysis. In just a few minutes, you’ll receive a custom report identifying inefficiencies in your office print environment, as well as some practical solutions to help you boost productivity and cut costs.
By entrusting certain services to specialized partners, you might discover higher performance in those areas and, in turn, a better return on invested resources. Could there be a better reason to explore the world of IT outsourcing services?