In the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, outsourcing has become a strategic avenue for businesses seeking to optimise their operations and resources. When it comes to application support, a vital component of modern enterprises, embracing outsourcing can bring numerous benefits. However, ensuring the security and reliability of your systems is paramount. In this article, we delve into three ingenious strategies that enable businesses to safely outsource their application support. By merging efficiency with security, these strategies empower organisations to harness the advantages of outsourcing while maintaining the integrity of their critical software systems.
1. Call Routing Only
The initial approach in outsourcing application support is the most economical and involves minimal control delegation. Consider this as a method to evaluate an external help desk’s proficiency in assisting with in-house developed applications.
Under this call-routing strategy, users are provided a single helpline for any technical concerns related to your custom applications. External IT support agents take the calls, record the inquiries, and escalate them to your internal team following established protocols.
The benefit of this approach lies in optimising your help desk’s efficiency by focusing on ticket resolution, rather than handling call redirection. The outsourced IT team categorises the required support level for each caller, seamlessly connecting them to the corresponding tier within your organisation.
2. Full Support
The next alternative for outsourcing assistance with your exclusive applications is comprehensive support. In this scenario, you delegate all aspects—every problem, support call, and ticket—to an external vendor. This includes handling all inquiries, addressing all concerns, initiating all tickets, and resolving any challenges linked to your tailored software solutions.
This approach demands the most substantial commitment, both financially and in terms of your engagement. You provide training to the outsourced help desk staff about your applications, enabling them to resolve a significant majority of calls during the initial interaction.
3. Addressing Major Issues
The third option for outsourcing application support is to handle incidents with a higher complexity or greater consequence. The help desk focuses on solving problems with potentially severe impacts such as server crashes, data corruption, and system malfunctions.
This strategy allows organisations to use their internal technical resources to take care of routine inquiries while delegating the more serious challenges to external experts. This allows you to maintain control of your operations while gaining the assistance of experienced and reliable professionals when facing more serious technical issues.
Questions to Ask Before Outsourcing Application Support
Prior to transitioning and embracing the decision to outsource aspects of your exclusive application support to an external entity, it’s crucial to achieve clarity on several key points. It’s essential to assess your requirements, evaluate the capabilities of the vendor, and understand the regulatory framework that encompasses your operations. In essence, you must pose pertinent inquiries to ensure an informed approach. Here are some examples of such questions.
What do you want the partner to do, and what do you want to keep in-house?
Do you prefer overseeing in-house Tier 1 support while entrusting intricate problems to an external vendor? Alternatively, do you opt for the reverse approach—managing complex challenges yourself while the outsourced help desk takes care of the simpler Tier 1 support matters?
What security and regulatory requirements must you consider?
For industries subject to stringent regulations like healthcare, finance, defence, or government sectors, the choice of outsourcing for your custom application support might be predetermined. Regulations pertaining to privacy, storage of sensitive data, and related concerns could impose limitations on application access. It’s advisable to consult your legal department for clarity on this matter.
Does the partner possess the necessary technical expertise?
You must review and validate any vendor’s technical portfolio to assess the proficiency in dealing with your software solutions. Furthermore, you should consider any specialisation they may have that can apply to your specific requirements.
What is the shared solution for customer data security and privacy?
Data security is fundamental to any organisation. It’s necessary to ensure that the vendor adheres to your policies and protocols on data storage and privacy. Verify that the vendor has secure systems for collecting, storing, and transmitting customer data as well as a backup policy in place.
How will your help desk adapt to changes in outsourcing operations?
In the event of unforeseen disruptions, such as a vendor’s sudden termination or personnel changes, what will be your contingencies? To avoid surprises and mitigate any risk of discontinuity in customer support, it’s important to have strategies that can address this issue.
Put Your Application Support Outsourcing Strategy in Place
Outsourcing your application support can be a beneficial move, not only in terms of cost savings but also in efficiency and scalability. When done correctly, the decision to outsource your software solutions’ assistance can help you level up the customer experience and remain competitive in a crowded market.
By following the strategies outlined here and asking yourself pertinent questions before finalising any arrangements, you can maximise the benefits of outsourcing and minimise any potential pitfalls. With careful planning and vigilant oversight, you can reap the rewards of a successful application support outsourcing strategy.
Remember to also use reliable quality assurance methods to evaluate vendor performance on a regular basis. This helps ensure that your support services meet customer expectations as well as your organisation’s goals. Make sure to have policies and guidelines in place to monitor vendor performance, taking into account both customer feedback and service level agreements. With the right approach and protocols in place, you can successfully outsource your application support operations with confidence.
In addition, look for ways to leverage other advantages of partnering with an external firm that specialises in software solutions management such as access to resources and enhanced technical expertise. An external vendor can bring powerful capabilities that can give you a strategic edge, allowing you to stay ahead of the competition.
9NEXUS, an outsourcing solution provider, can help you source the right vendor for your custom application support operations. We have a global network of experienced partners that adhere to our stringent quality requirements and provide excellent customer service. Contact us today to find out how we can help you build a successful outsourcing model for efficient software solutions management.
Outsourcing application support can provide organisations with cost savings, scalability, and access to experienced professionals. However, it’s essential to ask the right questions before transitioning to outsourcing operations in order to ensure a successful strategy. Taking into account customer feedback and service level agreements is also important for monitoring vendor performance. 9NEXUS can help you source the right partner, enabling you to stay ahead of the competition and achieve your goals with confidence.
By leveraging the insights discussed in this article, you can develop an outsourcing strategy that meets both your organisation’s requirements and customer expectations. Investing in external expertise can be a wise move for successful software solutions management and overall business growth.