Top tips for outsourcing your IT

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Top tips for outsourcing your IT
Outsourcing IT can be a smart money-saving exercise for manufacturing outfits large and small as
well as having a positive impact on overall production.

                                                            Alternately,	 you	 outsource	               proactive	 advice	 and	 consulting,	
                                                         your	entire	IT&T	requirements	if	              which	 will	 enable	 business	 con-
                                                         this	fits	your	business	model	and	             tinuity	 and	 assist	 your	 business	
                                                         objectives.		                                  objectives.
                                                            Either	 way,	 it	 is	 vital	 to	 be	     . Forward thinking.	It	is	important	to	
                                                         aware	of	what	to	know:	the	pit-                choose	a	company	that	has	a	proven	
                                                         falls,	 what	 to	 look	 out	 for,	 and	        track	 record	 in	 implementing	 sys-
                                                         the	advantages.                                tems	designed	to	last	three	to	five	
                                                                                                        years	and	that	takes	into	considera-
                                                          Here	 are	 the	 top	 10	 things	 to	          tion	future	technology	trends.
                                                          heed	when	looking	to	outsource	            . Communication.	 Be	 sure	 the	 com-
                                                          your	IT:                                      pany	 you	 choose	 can	 articulate	 its	
By     JaMie          WarNer                      . Value.	 In	 tough	 economic	 times	                services	clearly,	verbally	and	in	writ-
                                                      outsourcing	 should	 provide	 an	 af-             ing,	 as	 this	 will	 indicate	 how	 good	

          anufacturing,	 distribution	 or	            fordable	alternative	to	full-time	staff,	         the	 support	 staff	 and	 engineers,	
          warehousing	 organisations	 dis-            so	look	for	value.	For	the	same	cost	             your	first	point	of	contact,	will	be.	
          tinguish	themselves	from	other	             (or	 less)	 of	 one	 full	 time	 level	 2/3	      A	 common	 frustration	 about	 IT	
businesses	by	often	having	multiple	of-               support	 technician,	 you	 can	 com-              support	 companies	 is	 lack	 of	 com-
fice	and	warehouse	locations.	From	an	                plement	 your	 internal	 IT	 manager	             munication,	poor	communication,	or	
IT	 perspective	 this	 makes	 outsourcing	            or	replace	junior	staff	with	a	full	IT	           no	communication	at	all.
the	support,	maintenance	and	consult-                 department.	This	gives	you	access	             8. Relationship.	 Whichever	 company	
ing	 requirements	 a	 viable	 alternative	            to	a	much	larger	array	of	technical	              you	choose,	you	will	have	to	work	
since	an	in-house	IT	manager	or	admin-                and	consulting	skills.                            with	 its	 staff	 regularly.	 So	 choos-
istrator	can	not	be	in	two	places	at	once	         . Services. Choose	 a	 company	 that	               ing	the	one	that	also	matches	your	
to	service	the	needs	of	all	users.                    can	 provide	 the	 full	 suite	 of	 serv-         culture	 and	 company	 requirements	
    There	 are	 also	 complexities	 in	 the	          ices:	 HelpDesk,	 desktop	 support,	              is	 important	 to	 a	 successful	 long-
systems	and	infrastructure	required	to	               maintenance,	 consulting,	 project	               term	relationship.
run	these	firms	such	as	SAP,	Exact	or	                management	and	procurement.                    9. Growth.	 In	 the	 current	 climate,	
Great	 Plains	 for	 accounting,	 finance	         . Systems.	Outsourcing	your	IT	sup-                  choose	 a	 company	 that	 is	 growing	
and	production;	Microsoft	Exchange	for	               port	should	give	you	access	to	sys-               and	has	built	a	stable	and	success-
email	and	communication;	SolidWorks	                  tems	 you	 wouldn’t	 normally	 have,	             ful	business	model.	It	is	a	long-term	
3D	 CAD	 design	 software;	 Microsoft	                such	 as	 ticketing	 systems,	 server	            partnership,	and	it	makes	sense	to	
Dynamics	 AX	 an	 enterprise	 resource	               and	 network	 monitoring,	 remote	                partner	 with	 someone	 who	 will	 be	
planning	software	and	many	more.	                     support,	 maintenance	 reports,	 and	             with	you	in	the	long	term.
    This	 often	 makes	 it	 difficult	 for	 in-       procurement	systems.                           0.Key areas. The	 key	 IT	 areas	 you	
ternal	IT	resources	to	have	all	the	skills	       . Skills and references. Find	out	what	              should	 be	 mindful	 of	 when	 mak-
and	qualifications	necessary	to	manage	               other	businesses	they	support,	get	               ing	 your	 choice	 that	 relate	 to	 any	
the	infrastructure	and	is	the	reason	why	             client	 feedback,	 and	 ensure	 that	             business	are:	redundancy,	security,	
many	 organisations	 look	 to	 outsource	             feedback	 is	 good.	 Also,	 look	 for	 a	         backup,	disaster	recovery,	anti-virus	
the	management	of	some	or	all	of	these	               company	that	has	direct	experience	               and	 anti-spam,	 archiving	 and	 stor-
key	systems	to	ensure	business	conti-                 in	 your	 industry	 and	 with	 the	 sys-          age,	network	design,	Internet/VPN,	
nuity	and	cost	containment.                           tems	 you	 use.	 Get	 some	 examples	             hosting,	email,	communications,	and	
    Outsourcing	 doesn’t	 necessarily	                of	 recent	 projects	 completed	 and	             support	and	maintenance.
mean	 you	 should	 replace	 all	 your	 in-            the	scope	of	the	solutions	they	can	
ternal	IT	resources.                                  offer.	The	right	company	should	be	            Jamie Warner is CEO of eNerds, a
    Business	needs	differ	based	on	size,	             able	 to	 provide	 entry-level	 IT	 solu-      Managed IT Services Provider based
whether	you’re	trying	to	reduce	costs	                tions	through	to	“Rolls	Royce”	solu-           in Sydney. eNerds has a proven track
or	simply	enhance	and	improve	IT	sup-                 tions	without	cutting	corners.                 record in providing services to the
port	 efficiency.	 You	 can	 complement	          . Proactive supplier.	Outsourcing	im-             Manufacturing industry, so if you have a
your	internal	IT	manager	by	outsourc-                 plies	 you	 are	 entrusting	 something	        unique IT challenge to resolve, Jamie is
ing	day-to-day	HelpDesk	support	-	this	               which	 isn’t	 your	 core	 strength	 to	        available to discuss your requirements
allows	 them	 to	 focus	 on	 projects	 and	           someone	else,	so	be	sure	to	choose	            further on 1300 888 100 or info@
bigger	picture	items.	                                a	 supplier	 capable	 of	 providing	 

                                                                                AustrAliAn     manufacturing       technology July 2009         

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