Outsourcing application support locally
Considering outsourcing application support? There are times when you want to outsource something in your company. It could be anything from taking the trash out to managing the network infrastructure for your business. One area in which outsourcing is commonly done is application support, especially among small Leeds business that don’t have enough employees or technical expertise to handle all aspects of running their own company. You may find yourself asking, “should I outsource my application’s front-line support?”; this article should help you decide if it’s right for you.
Before we get into the pros and cons of outsourcing it’s important to understand what outsourced app support really entails. Basically it means giving up your responsibility for providing quick answers to simple questions about the applications your uses. This averages between 10%-25% of the total support requests received by an organization.
Since these are simple questions, they don’t require highly trained technical experts to answer them. They are usually answered by front-line application support technicians who have some general knowledge but not in depth expertise of your software. This means that they can handle most of the basic issues that you come across without needing help from the vendor or having to escalate it up to a second level technician.
What’s good about this outsourcing is that it doesn’t cost very much and still provides you with great value for your money. The monthly pay-rate for outsourced app support is generally between £10-£50 per user depending on the volume of users within your company and their specific needs. You can easily double this amount if you’re willing to manage it in-house, but this requires more time and money so the numbers usually even out.
The service is relatively flexible because you only have to provide an email address for it to be effective. This means that people can contact your outsourced app support through whatever mediums are convenient for them including phone, instant messaging or email. Most vendors don’t assign any specific personnel to handle your account but rather give it a high-level priority based on its importance within their overall portfolio of clients.
One major benefit of outsourcing your application’s front-line support is that it frees up more of your internal resources for other pressing issues including customizing the software, designing new features and training the staff. Your employees are also more likely to call your outsourced app support for help with general computer problems because they can get quick answers without having to wait on hold, go through a confusing IVR system or sit on the phone for half an hour.
The downside of outsourcing is that although it’s cheap it may not be very effective. Since everyone in the company has access to their outsource account it means that people will start writing directly to them about complex issues instead of dealing with internal IT staff which could cause confusion among users and technical problems within the business. This means you either have to make sure everyone who should be talking to your internal IT gets referred back there or consolidate all of your software into one outsource contract.
Another drawback is that your vendor may not provide you with the in depth technical services required to be an effective and strategic partner in your business. For example, if you like to develop in-house applications or use a lot of custom features then it’s important for them to work closely with your developers and support staff. If they don’t offer this then it’s time for you to look elsewhere.
There are also issues with data privacy when outsourcing app support because they probably have access to all kinds of sensitive information about your users and company activities. You need to read the fine print before signing the contract so you know exactly what they plan on doing with this kind of information and can put the necessary security measures into place yourself.
In conclusion, outsourcing application support can be a great way to save time and money but it’s not the right solution for every Leeds based company. Your staff should receive training on how to properly deal with issues so they don’t bypass internal IT, which will avoid confusion and improve productivity. You also need to make sure your outsource vendor provides you with all of the tools and capabilities needed to handle today’s sophisticated business applications or else you’ll end up spending more money and time finding the right partner for your company.
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