Monday, 22 January 2018

Could Co-Sourcing be the Solution You've Been Looking For?

Asset lean might be the new mantra, but can that really apply to critical IT services when you are a small or medium sized business?

Asset lean might be the new mantra, but can that really apply to critical IT services when you are a small or medium sized business? How do you keep costs to a minimum without jeopardising operational performance?

We’ve all heard the promises and the buzzwords… outsourcing, offshoring, right-sourcing… only last week, Marks and Spencer announced it would be outsourcing its IT operations to Indian conglomerate Tata Consultancy Services. The British retail giant is hoping the technology outsourcing deal will help turn its fortunes around.

However, we’ve all heard the outsourcing horror stories too. And for many businesses, absorbing the costs of an expensive outsourcing mistake just isn’t feasible.

If you already have an IT team in place, but you need help optimising processes or freeing up technical resources, how can you get the help you need in a low-cost, low-risk and reliable way?

Co-sourcing is the obvious solution – offering the benefits of outsourcing with a much lower risk profile. For over-stretched IT managers in any sized business, it’s the ideal solution.

Without ceding control to external third parties, you are able to flex resources when you need to and bring in expert help that you just wouldn’t be able to justify having on your payroll 365 days of the year.

What Are the Practical Day-to-Day Benefits of Co-Sourcing?

Whether you're an SMB or a large business, there are benefits from co-sourcing. The option of drawing in expertise in specific areas and highly specialised skill sets from a trusted and reliable supplier is hugely attractive. Yet the business retains control over the existing IT operations and staff.

It also solves one of the most challenging problems of any IT department – covering out-of-hours support and staff absences.

Bringing in a third-party to provide regular helpdesk support not only frees up your time on a day-to-day basis, it ensures you have critical cover when a member of your IT team calls in sick or is away on leave.

It also helps to ensure continuity if a staff member leaves. Even if you are able to replace them quickly, your co-sourcing partner can support you through the recruitment and induction processes.

Additional Benefits to Co-Sourcing

When you have found a good co-sourcing partner, the possibilities for ramping up service and support when you need it are huge.

Whether it is auditing the risk of the new Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities across your IT estate or receiving support with your response to GDPR, an experienced co-sourcing partner will have a great deal of expertise and experience to bring to the project.

This way, you have access to industry best practice, coaching and real-world experience of issues which might not exist within your own team.

Drawing in expertise as and when you need it, on a project-by-project basis, helps you to minimise the cost of projects by optimising resources.

The added benefit that you will be working with a trusted partner that already knows you and understands your business is a significant comfort factor; one that minimises risk for everyone involved.

How Does Co-Sourcing Work?

Here at Grant McGregor, we provide fully outsourced and co-sourcing services. Which option is right for you will depend on your existing IT resources and talent and the goals and growth of your business.

All of our co-sourcing agreements operate with a monthly retainer with an associated agreed SLA and guaranteed service hours.

Services can then be flexed up and down as required, with prior agreement. We aim to be as flexible as possible – so you can get the help you need when you need it.

Contact us to find out more, or call us on 0131 603 7910.