Q&A: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OFFSHORING MANAGED SERVICES & HELPDESK
Compared to 20 years ago, IT and service desk have witnessed massive changes and evolved from internal support functions to integral business drivers. Owning a complete IT system means more security, agility and innovation, hence greater growth prospects. However, building such complex functions also pose challenges for management ranging from applications, servers to workstations, personnel and database.
As a result, delegating tasks to global service centres and utilising shared services (a.k.a outsourcing and offshoring managed services) appear to be much more viable, cost-effective solutions, especially when your business keeps scaling through time. In this article, ASW Global would enlist and address key points you need to consider before picking up your phone and investing in offshoring managed services.
How does offshoring managed services help my business development?
As Steve Bandrowczak – CIO at Nortel – once said, “you have to get better and better at driving operational costs down, so you can do more project work.” And offshoring managed services is such a case. By offloading system management and helpdesk functions to a dedicated offshore team, you will get troubleshooting, technical support much faster (normally within 15 minutes) as well as maintain smooth IT operation across offices. All of these, in turn, are materialised into great cash savings that you invest elsewhere to boost further business development.
In addition, entrusting IT systems to global managed service centres also allows you to enjoy best practices, industry standards and qualified talents these providers have to offer. Such large-scale human and technological resources are nearly impossible for SMEs while putting cost burden on multinational corporations. Shared services are more agile, efficient and reasonable, judging that you need as much budget as possible for other development strategies.
Which managed services can I consider offshoring?
Each managed service provider will consult you using different service names, which is quite confusing. To make things easier, your offshoring functions (no matter what they are called in proposals) could be categorised into three levels. Level 1 is service desk support in which troubleshooting is performed for all users who sent support ticket. Then it comes to IT concierge team who are responsible for onsite requirements like application support and maintenance, system administration, certain desktop support. Last but not least, IT infrastructure team are in charge of data centers (physical or cloud-based), third level support and advanced, operational troubleshooting.
Depending on your business demand and operation, you can choose to offshore one, two or all three levels of managed services. If you are the first-timer in offshoring practices, the advice here is to start with level 1 service desk support first before migrating the whole systems and functions to your offshore team. That way, you have more time to prepare and take steps carefully to ensure smooth transition and operation.
Is there any risk in offshoring managed services?
Profitable as it may seem, offshoring managed services does have certain risks you need to address before proceeding. The most noticeable is, of course, data security. Migrating your sensitive business information to another country requires careful preparation, procedures, qualifications and staff training to prevent data breaching and other security threats. We also have an in-depth article to help you tackle data security when offshoring here. Next on the list is hidden costs as you scale up your offshoring managed services. Without proper consultancy and experience, these fees may eclipse your cost-saving purposes.
Fortunately, you are not alone in the offshoring journey and all the risks can be mitigated with one solution – partnering with a prestigious service provider. Their network, experience and resources in destination countries will prove vital in building, managing and training your offshore team.
How do I choose a trusted service provider?
Honestly speaking, all service providers will claim creditability and capability when approaching your business. You need to have thorough enquiries and discussion before deciding. A prominent service provider will:
- be qualified for providing offshoring managed services, both in Australia and destination countries (with ISO, Microsoft, Cisco…certificates)
- be willing to commit to long-term partnership, onsite and around-the-clock support
- be confident to connect you with other clients, so you can have more insights
- have experience in managing data centres and IT systems across countries
- If possible, undertake a site visit of the service provider.
That being said, ASW Global takes pride in providing qualified offshoring managed services across New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, and Victoria for our partners. Based in contemporary offices in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, our certified IT professionals possess various certificates from market leaders like Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix, Alcatel and VMware. Our data security also reaches ISO27001 global standards to offer safe, well-integrated managed services. Contact us today and let’s explore opportunities in offshoring your helpdesk/ service desk functions to ASW Global.