Compelite Limited

Monday, April 14, 2008

In-house vs Outsourcing for your IT Support?

As technology becomes more standardised, reliable and simpler to maintain, law firms should re-examine their IT support costs. It has been customary for many to have in-house technical staff for rapid response when needed, but now with low cost redundancy servers and advancements in hardware and software, the blue screen and network downtime are finally becoming a thing of the past (or at least should be if you have the right IT team). This means firms can realistically expect to outsource IT without worrying about being seriously inconvenienced should mishaps occur.

Studies show that there is an increasing trend to outsource, and law firms are leading the trend. So does outsourcing IT mean you are compromising? Far from it! Actually outsourcing allows law firms to concentrate on what they do best whilst your IT partners do what they do best. Below are some common areas where outsourcing your IT makes perfect sense.

Cost Savings
As you only pay for time used, outsourcing results in significant savings. Also, setting fixed costs for projects allows better budget control.

Better service quality
As IT is now handled on a client/service provider basis, service tends to be better than that provided by in-house staff.

Keeping up to date
Technology changes rapidly, and outsourcing providers will have greater appreciation of developments in other industries and be able to determine which emerging technologies can be beneficial to your firm.

Better Risk Management
Risks are reduced as the IT partner will have prior knowledge and experience on projects and only offer proven working solutions. Not only will they have far more real-world experience in many industries they will also be better at mitigating the risks involved in handling delicate tasks like upgrades and security management.

Hiring and Training services
For projects that must be handled in-house, top professional IT outsourcing companies can assist in hiring and training staff to ensure they have the appropriate skills. This training can be conducted on the job, with IT outsourcers providing secondment arrangements where their staff can work at your location.

Economies of scale
Most small firms simply can not afford to match the in-house support services that larger firms have, limiting what can be done, and when. A good outsourcing firm will have the resources to start immediately. Outsourcing also helps small firms act "big" by giving them the economies of scale, efficiency, and expertise that large firms enjoy. Sometimes far better solutions due to less internal bureaucracy...

Local outsourcing partner
When outsourcing is mentioned one often thinks of working with staff in developing countries like India. However effective outsourcing can be done locally so you have a familiar faces in the office, it's also good to know who you are working with. Choosing the right partner is the key to success. Never forget to consider the following questions:
  • How good is the company's infrastructure?
  • What is the quality of its workforce? How qualified and experienced are the employees you will be relying upon?
  • How successful has the firm been in handling projects in the past?
  • Who are they currently working with and for how long?
  • How confidentially or discreetly will the company be able to carry on your work and what are their security policies?
Once you have satisfied yourself on these counts your firm can unhesitatingly go ahead, outsource and benefit from it...

Garry Smith is Managing Director of Compelite Limited, an IT services provider with a wealth of experience helping law firms in Asia implement cost effective outsourced IT solutions.