Is your help desk able to, well, help? Given the complexity of today’s IT landscape, the traditional help desk model just doesn’t work anymore. Sure, contracting offshore for desktop support or hiring low-cost, entry-level help desk technicians internally can save a few dollars, but in the end, you get what you pay for.
Help desk and support services are regularly outsourced, but it’s done in a way that assumes those services are independent of other business requirements. A cost-focused approach often hides negative impacts on employee productivity and even morale. But there are some requirements that modern businesses should look for in their outsourced help desk resources:
What is a help desk? And why would you outsource IT support?
One of the easiest answers to this question is: “Let the experts handle IT while the company focuses on what it does best.” Managed services providers (MSPs) do just that: work all day, every day to stay ahead of the latest technology trends and threats. They are staffed with experts in multiple technologies and are exposed to a litany of issues at various companies. This is what they’re focused on, which means that MSPs are far better equipped to ensure that your company is set up with the proper technology for your business, as well as the necessary controls in place to keep your data protected. Taking that worry off your plate provides your company with an advantage against your competitors as you will be able to put all of your efforts into your main business.
IT as a competitive advantage
Companies that use technology to their advantage can’t afford to have people sitting on their hands while a technician throws spaghetti at the wall hoping something will stick. They need people who are skilled beyond the desktop and the basics of printing and installing applications. More complex problems found within the various systems that reside on the network can bring things to a screeching halt and for critical production workers, there’s just no time to wait for the “big guns” to be called in to fix the issue.
To compete, it is necessary to have people on the front line who are well versed in multiple technologies, back-end systems troubleshooting, networking, and cloud services. It may cost a little more to have them at your disposal, but the money it will save far outweighs the expense (the saying “time is money” became popular for a reason).
Each minute your employees are on the phone working through an issue may mean lost revenue for your company.
Having an IT company that not only has skilled technical resources answering the phones, minimizing time to resolution, but is also performing proactive tasks to minimize downtime, will positively impact your bottom line. Having an onshore help desk also minimizes frustrations that can arise due to communication issues.
Focus on prevention to minimize downtime
To make the most of this advanced team of technical professionals, more focus can be put on prevention to minimize downtime further. Proactive identification of recurring issues and recognition of patterns of disruption can result in greater efficiencies in the network and, in turn, higher productivity. Here are a few of the areas where help desk support can better streamline your performance:
- Security. Security should be your No. 1 priority. Having a help desk will mean nothing if part of the team’s responsibility doesn’t involve caring and feeding the systems you rely on. Someone must have their eyes on the status of security and general system updates, network infrastructure security (are you doing regularly scheduled vulnerability testing?), and, of course, backups.
- Ticket Analysis. Many help desks focus on answering calls, resolving issues, and moving on to the next one in line. Great organizations take this process a step further and provide regular reviews of ticketing trends to determine if there are underlying issues that could be addressed. Identifying and resolving those issues can increase user productivity.
- Standards. MSPs should work with your organization to ensure that you are aligning your technology with your business requirements and protecting your organization. ZAG has compiled a list of standards (simply called ZAG Standards) and works with each client to prioritize compliance with those best practices.
If you’re not getting this level of support – at a minimum – from your IT support team, it’s time to make a change.
Is your IT help desk and support team ready for 2021?
We invite you to take a moment and reflect on some of these ideas. If someone was to unleash a malicious attack on your environment tomorrow, would you be ready? Does a next-gen anti-virus solution adequately protect your systems? If you were to be compromised, would you be able to recover promptly? Would you be able to recover at all?
It’s critical that we all think “Beyond the Help Desk” if we want to continue to grow and thrive in our lines of business. Learn more about professional help desk services.