Avoid ‘IT supervillain’ status with help from outsourcing

Unpacking the status of the ‘IT superhero’, who is trying to desperately navigate the end-user blame game, while ensuring the entire functionality of the company.
Read time 4min 40sec

In this second article in a series of three, I will outline what is available to harassed IT managers to free them up to do the job they were really hired to do and help them to attain what is the Holy Grail of all IT professionals − peace of mind.

IT management is an immensely challenging career, with often the entire functionality of an organisation − regardless of whether it is large or small − resting on the shoulders of the IT professional, giving him or her a superhero or supervillain status with users, depending on how the IT is performing.

Gartner notes that IT professionals today need to adjust their thinking from being a technology executive to one of being general manager of the business, which it estimated was the biggest leadership challenge for CIOs in 2020.

Broad are the shoulders that carry that burden. This is where superhero enters the picture, only to be replaced by supervillain when aging hardware trips or fails completely, software patching is not taking place automatically and even more bleak ransomware slips in through an open side door − as it always does under these circumstances.

However, it is not all gloom and doom. IT is an exciting field to work in and there are many ways to abate mundane issues that devour time and resources. Admittedly, asking an IT manager to put their trust in another company's ability to supply their computing needs either physically or remotely over the Internet sounds daunting, but when managed well it can be immensely beneficial.

Outsourcing desktop support even where infrastructure has been moved to the cloud is essential.

Let's break it down to areas where a company can acquire meaningful help, starting with desktop support.

Increasingly, end-users require the ability to access data, anytime, anywhere and from any device. Having the ability to increase overall management of an environment will be reliant on the workstation level. Outsourcing desktop support even where infrastructure has been moved to the cloud is essential.

Gartner provides a detailed breakdown of desktop outsourcing, describing it as a multiyear or annuity contract/relationship involving the day-to-day management responsibility for operating desktop/client platforms.

It notes services can include any combination (or all) of the product support and professional services as they specifically relate to the ongoing management of the desktop resources (including desktop peripherals).

Usually, and minimally, desktop outsourcing contracts always include services encompassed by the computing environment of the operation services segment. Help-desk management services are included only to the extent that problem determination and resolution is at the computing hardware level or the infrastructure software or OS software level.

Gartner says a desktop system can include any client system (including a notebook) and may include the client systems of remote employees − the latter being a very strong possibility in COVID times. Services may be provided at the client site or off-site.

IT assets may be owned either by the client, the ESP or a third-party − the latter is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition to IT professionals who want the headache of aging equipment removed from their landscape.

Contracts may include the transfer of client employees, IT assets and facilities to the ESP. In this scenario, issues such as staffing, licensing, depreciation, maintenance and backup become the service provider's concern, leaving the internal team to concentrate on the constancy of the data flow assured by the service level agreement.

Obviously, legal issues, such as compliance and the physical location of data, must be factored into the solution as well as identifying which services can be trusted to the cloud.

Small or large outsourcing support is good business sense.

It's important to understand that even businesses with a user base of as few as 10 people can consider deploying a proactive, cost-effective desktop support solution that maximises uptime for essential end-user devices.

The right partner should bring that elusive peace of mind in the knowledge that IT experts are working on desktops and making sure things are running smoothly on an ongoing basis. This also brings cost benefits by avoiding issues and speeding up recovery.

Furthermore, it should reduce total cost of ownership revenue per employee. Other benefits include increased productivity through the avoidance of preventable issues and fixing problems faster. By monitoring desktops and performing regular routine maintenance checks, problem areas can be identified and speedily dealt with before they cause downtime.

The result should be happy end-users because their IT superhero has given them seamless, consistent quality experiences as they go about performing their daily tasks. The opposite scenario is what many IT professionals will understand too well as the 'blame game', with one of the end-users pointing the finger at IT as an excuse for lack of output.

In my final article in this series, I will explain why outsourcing ownership of IT assets, specifically hardware, is the latest burgeoning trend with savvy IT professionals who prefer to hand over the headaches to a top-quality service provider and get on with ensuring the growth of their businesses through productivity and uptime. 

Ethan Searle

Technology advisor at LanDynamix.

Ethan Searle is technology advisor at LanDynamix. Upon acquiring his Hons BCom, Marketing from the University of Johannesburg, Searle followed his passion for the fast-moving business technology arena.

He joined LanDynamix in 2017 in the capacity of technology advisor, with responsibility for guiding the company’s entrepreneurial customer base on risk mitigation, enhanced operational efficiencies and cost reduction – all of which can be achieved through technology enablement.

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