Every organization needs reliable service-desk support, but how should your support be managed? Should your organization invest in an on-site solution, or should it outsource to an external, managed solution? There are benefits and drawbacks to both options, depending on your organization's needs. Let's discuss a few of the major differences.
Benefits and Drawbacks of an Internal IT Service Desk
A dedicated, internal IT team will work within your business to solve help-desk issues. This is the traditional model of IT for larger enterprises: an internally managed team that works closely with your staff.
This has its advantages:
Personal knowledge of the company. A dedicated IT team will know your company inside out and will forge relationships with other employees. This provides a certain level of continuity of service.
Immediate access during business hours. An employee can go directly to the IT department for help at any time, with no waiting involved; this is often critical for emergencies.
On-site access. Help desk employees can deal with physical hardware on premises and can give in-person training to employees as needed, all during business hours.
In general, an internal IT team forms a more intimate relationship with your business. At the same time, there are also downsides:
Primarily accessible during business hours. Most companies do not have the resources to keep an IT team on staff 24/7 — and many on-premise employees hate working these late shifts, even for one-off projects such as upgrades.
Devoting resources to maintenance, not growth. When an IT team spends all its time putting out fires, it isn't working on other important business initiatives, like improving current systems and facilitating growth.
The core issue with an internal, managed service desk tends to be that it hijacks the company's IT team. Every company needs an internal IT team, but not every IT team needs to be tied to a service desk. Connecting the IT team to a service desk in this way makes it impossible for them to focus on other tasks.
Benefits and Drawbacks of a Managed IT Service Desk
A managed IT service desk will work with an internal IT team to provide outsourced support, in addition to the management and maintenance of daily tasks. Today, many businesses are moving towards a managed IT service desk model, due to the following advantages:
24/7 support. A managed IT service desk will never go on holiday; it'll be available 365 days a year to handle any emergencies at any time. This reduces the risk that an organization may experience any significant breaches or business disruptions outside of business hours.
Frees up IT resources. Once the IT department no longer has to focus on maintenance, it can instead devote resources to things that will generate revenue and improve productivity, like planning and innovation.
Leverages the expertise of a much larger staff. Most businesses cannot hire specialists in every area; it would be prohibitively expensive. Through a managed IT service desk, however, a company can gain this expertise.
An external IT service desk is generally more affordable overall than trying to maintain an internal IT help desk, while also offering solutions and expertise that would be prohibitively costly to bring in-house. At the same time, there is one critical issue: an external IT help desk is not on-site.
A managed IT service desk may have issues troubleshooting on-site problems such as hardware problems, because it must manage everything remotely. Employees may find training and troubleshooting frustrating for this reason.
The Best Solution: Both
In truth, one service desk isn't necessarily better than the other — where one falls short, the other excels. The best solution is often to have both. As most companies already have an internal IT department, the option remains for an outsourced company to perform most of its help desk management and maintenance, while allowing for emergencies and urgent tasks to be filtered through the on-premise IT team.
A mix of both managed and internal IT service desks offers the best of both worlds, freeing up the IT team to concentrate on other things while still being able to fall back on them if an emergency or a disaster does occur. Your organization will have 24/7 coverage when your team is out of the office, in addition to having the full value of both IT service desks during office hours.
Is your organization interested in a managed IT service desk? For many organizations, implementing an outsourced IT service desk can reduce costs, improve productivity, and ultimately lead to faster, more sustainable growth. Contact CWPS to learn more how a managed IT service desk could be right for your organization.