Managing IT Costs During Coronavirus | Using Scalable Services
Video by: Richey May, Jul 16, 2020
Many company leaders struggle with managing IT costs in the wake of Coronavirus. In March, we all rushed to get employees working from home. Now, with the future of work looking to be a more blended approach, leaders face an onslaught of questions, including:
- Will I need more equipment? How do I manage inventory long-term?
- Do I need new software like VDI or remote IT programs?
- How do I protect company data?
- How do I ensure proper usage of company materials?
- And, most importantly, how do I staff for this?
CEOs, CFOs and CIOs out there probably notice that each one of those questions may represent a new cost. Further, the cyclical nature of many businesses, including mortgage companies, means that hiring FTEs based on short-term problems can result in layoffs down the line. In the mortgage business specifically, the swell of forbearance and the uncertain future of stimulus programs means controlling costs flexibly is more important than ever.
Surprisingly, working from home has resulted in an uneven workload for IT teams. The majority of our clients saw a spike in tier 1 and tier 2 tickets (think password resets, connecting to VPNs, video conferencing glitches, etc.) right after work-from-home was implemented which quickly nose-dived as employees began to self-help. Conversely, higher tier IT demand, such as cybersecurity maintenance and larger system implementations, has not slowed down. Therefore, many companies find themselves with overtaxed high-skill staff and a glut of lower-skill IT resources with little to do.
Consequently, many companies are turning to are outsourced or co-sourced IT solutions. The pandemic has increased the comfort level with remote resources and the need for speed has had many company leaders looking to their trusted partners to overcome challenges as quickly as possible. Outsourcing and co-sourcing has also helped solve the talent shortage and continuity of service concerns for organizations that need a flexible staff. Most importantly, company leaders can look for service agreements that meet their needs, resulting in a flexible cost dial that can be turned up or down based on company performance.
If you’re considering outsourced or co-sourced solutions for help managing IT costs, our team recommends you look closely at the following:
- Look carefully at the contract terms. While this may seem obvious, some items in the contract terms can trip company leaders up. We commonly see contract terms with a long lock-in period and auto-renew clauses (occasionally with set fee increases). Make sure you know the details of what’s required to cancel the agreement in case you’re not satisfied or need to change course.
- Make sure the SLAs meet your needs. Your demand may look different than what we described above. Understand your internal environment and demand to the best of your ability to make sure you are getting a right-sized solution.
- Look for software/hardware requirements. Some outsourcing firms may expect you to replace software or hardware to meet their expectations. This can be disruptive and might be a deal breaker for some company leaders.
- Look closely at the whole team. Do they have diverse experience and certifications? Do they have deep experience and integrity? Are they experienced in your industry? Don’t be afraid to ask detailed questions about the team structure and composition.
- Protect your experience. Your IT services firm can be a valuable partner. If they are resistant to vetting and unwilling to explain their methodologies to you, it’s unlikely they will be good communicators long-term. Make sure your services partner can “play well” with your existing team or technology leadership.
If you’re looking for scalable IT services from an experienced and professional team, reach out to us. We will work with you to customize services to fit your needs, both during the pandemic and in the long-term. We also work with companies to combine IT services with cybersecurity, governance/risk/compliance & privacy and more to help build a holistic solution.