Top Five Questions We’re Asked About IT Outsourcing: How Should We Prepare?
Welcome to the second segment of our five-part blog series where we discuss the most common questions we’re asked by business leaders about IT outsourcing. In our first blog, we addressed what IT outsourcing looks like in its different forms. Next, we’ll explore a question that many business leaders wrestle with as they consider outsourcing.
Question #2 – How should we prepare?
Transitioning to a managed services provider (MSP) can be a significant change that requires careful planning to facilitate a successful service transition. There are best practices that every organization should consider to ensure that their outsourcing initiatives run smoothly. In order to hit the ground running, it’s critical to first establish a foundation for your service delivery model.
Defining Management Frameworks
One key to a successful transition to managed services is defining and operationalizing the way your organization handles incident, problem and change management. This framework should be well defined, documented and understood by both internal and external resources to ensure that the needs of the business are consistently met.
Per ITIL, “An incident is an unplanned interruption to a service or the failure of a component of a service that hasn’t yet impacted service.” The key is making sure that all involved parties are aligned as to the actions that will be taken when incidents occur, especially for high severity events. This means having a clearly defined and communicated incident management strategy with expectations and accountability set for the documentation, tracking, communication and follow-up required to properly work through and close out an incident.
Incidents that are correlated and have related or common issues are defined as problems. A problem can be very impactful to an organization and its users and needs time and separate follow up at a deeper level to manage potential business impact and avoid future incidents.
Change is occurring more frequently and at a faster pace than ever before – some of the change is within a business’s control and needs to be carefully managed and proactively communicated; other changes are being driven by the cloud where your organization has less control. Creating governance around change will help reduce risk and enable the business and its users to embrace new technologies with greater acceptance. Solid user enablement and adoption framework is a fundamental step in this journey.
Once you have set frameworks around incident, problem and change management, your internal team and the MSP team will need to establish clear lines of responsibility and accountability. Understanding this will help the new, collective team operate on a common set of standards which will minimize risk and drive greater business impact.
Defined Tracking and Documentation Process
Finally, you will need to maintain a system to systematically track and document all incidents and service requests, along with the ongoing changes. A focus on documentation will build a knowledge base which the collective team can use to provide the needed support. Data drives improvement. Shifting the collective team’s mindset to “if it’s not in the system, it didn’t happen,” is the first step in fostering a data-driven culture.
Preparing for IT outsourcing is often where companies are stalled because completing these crucial steps is not something organizations necessarily know how to do on their own. This is why it’s important to seek an IT outsourcing partner that has extensive experience in delivering managed services and a proven approach that can align with your business needs. In our next blog, we’ll discuss the third most asked question about IT outsourcing – what are the risks?