Your Source for Outsourcing Part 2: What to Outsource and What to Hold Onto

January 16th, 2018 by admin

Before you decide what to outsource and what to bring in-house, get some help analyzing a few critical areas:
  • Your core technologies – Which areas are strong? Which are neglected?
  • Your everyday users and VIP users – Do they need lots of help from IT? How patient do you expect them to be when their problem is not “the main priority” for a few hours?
  • Your in-house IT staff – Which areas of IT are they most likely to take care of? To neglect?
  • Your proactive care toolsets – How strong are your backups, antivirus, patching? What about remote support tools and asset tracking?
You don’t want holes in your IT team that allows problems to slip through. For IT teams, each individual’s skills and personalities are like Swiss cheese, no one is perfect and there is not a single piece that will cover everything. If you get the right pieces layered together, suddenly each member's strengths bolster the others weaknesses and you have an incredible support team. This is how we formed our teams at Equinox, and it’s been one of our greatest assets. Whether you are going totally in-house, finding an outsourced team, or putting the two together, the goal is the same: awesome coverage, by filling each needed role. To help you do this, we’re outlining each role that you’ll need in your team to get the most out of your IT support. To keep your day spicy, we’re going from the bottom to the top. Each role is incredibly important, but the day-to-day issues are what you notice first. If you’ve lost a limb and you’re bleeding out, the first step is to stop the bleeding. The doctor isn’t going to run a lab to see if you have an infection that might kill you in a week. In the same way, if you have a lot of major IT problems every day then you need deal with those before you can make big improvements. The day-to-day roles below are really the first-aid of IT, and need to be in place before even attempting to make big improvements and progress on the technology front.

Help/Service Desk

This is the role that stitches your businesses IT back together when things start falling apart. You need an individual or a team that can step in when your internet crashes, computer freezes, or printer starts reciting the complete works of Shakespeare (in Egyptian no less), and stop the madness before it’s too late. At Equinox, this role is primarily filled by the First Responders team who are trained to react quickly and competently to put out fires, clean up the mess, and leave things better than they found them.

Proactive Care (aka “Toolsets”) Manager

Like a mix of a primary care physician, a personal trainer, and a nutritionist all rolled into one, a Toolset Manager helps you as your technology takes the leap from “getting by” to actually thriving. They take care of thousands of details in a methodical, concerted, consistent way, so you stay healthy and recover quickly from any infections or other hiccups. They take care of your security software, patching and backups, and work with much more proactive mindset than the helpdesk team. Toolset managers nip problems in the bud before they can grow into catastrophes. Our toolset managers are also deeply integrated with every other team at Equinox, and also prepare fantastic reports that help you see what needs attention and budget dollars so you are staying up-to-date and secure.

Network/System Administrator

Their job is to make sure that your network, servers, switches, wireless, firewalls, routers and more are all functioning correctly and running smoothly. If it’s network infrastructure and it’s on your site, your network administrator needs to know it like the back of their hand. You need a mix of admins – some need to be great at proactively preventing problems, and others need to be great at troubleshooting complex infrastructure issues. Equinox TAMs fill this role – often along with help from LOB Specialists – and they work seamlessly with our other teams to ensure a strong bridge between the day-to-day issues, proactive care, and IT projects, such as expansion or upgrades that your business takes on.

LOB Specialist

Line of business specialists know everything about the specific software your business uses and how to integrate and manage it to fit your needs. Whether its proprietary software for your business specifically, or software that needs to be customized to your business, LOB Specialists work to have a full comprehension of your specialized apps and programs, the workflow of your employees, and helps you get the most out of all the software you use.

Special Projects Team

Changing and upgrading infrastructure, and expanding your business to new sites and locations are just a couple of examples of what good project designers can perform seamlessly for your business. Without solid project management, you will find even small changes and expansions can drag out and disrupt the workflow of your employees. Our SWAT team is focused on designing and implementing these kinds of projects to ensure that your business evolves the way you need it to, with as few disruptions as possible.

Bringing it all home

There is no one size fits all solution for IT. These roles are important for every business to have, but the specifics won’t be the same across the board. Different businesses will find success with varying levels of in-house management, and special focuses in different areas, but nearly every business can benefit from outsourcing. No individual, or even several in most cases, can cover each role fully, but by outsourcing some of the work and coverage, you can make sure there aren’t any Swiss cheese holes in your IT team.   -Kender Ostlund

Posted in: Protection, Security, Meet Equinox, Productivity, Technology, Teams, Toolsets