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Throughout 2020, businesses in Australia have had to continually reset the ways their workforces operate, and the trajectory of business on a broader scale. As a result of this, IT teams have faced – and continue to face – new challenges and unprecedented demand.

IT support in the form of a dedicated IT help desk solution is one solution that has been used to reduce this burden, providing everything from end-user support (e.g. password resets) to the more sophisticated and skilled work typically handled by IT engineers.

To better understand the role that IT support solutions offered by Canon Business Services (formerly Harbour IT) can play in sustaining and growing your business performance, consider the following reasons proper IT support is critically important.

Staff productivity is reduced while waiting on IT Help Desk responses

Even without the demand created by remote employees and diversified working environments, slow IT help desk responses represent a tangible cost in terms of lost productivity.

Bolstering internal help desk resources with additional IT support prevents delays from impacting employees’ ability to remain productive. For example, a client we assisted through deployment of an IT help desk during the changes necessitated by COVID-19 was an organisation that supports people with physical, intellectual and multiple disabilities and developmental delays.

According to the Canon Business Services' (CBS) Account Manager who oversaw the project,

“Like most of our customers, the client needed support and assistance to react quickly during the rapid escalation of issues brought on by COVID-19. Canon Business Services immediately identified that parts of their IT environment would need capacity increases and configuration adjustments to cope with the extra workload of several thousand users beginning to work from home practically overnight.”
“Canon Business Services proactively notified the client of the requirements to these changes and worked through our standard change processes to order the required licensing and implement the uplift solutions.” 

As a result, CBS were able to turnaround a Citrix VPX license within 24 hours and implement the required changes immediately. 

IT delays or issues result in negative experiences

Beyond the issue of lost productivity, IT delays or unanticipated issues can create negative experiences for a company’s internal and external stakeholders.

Looking internally, long IT help desk wait times reduce morale on teams. Frustrated employees are disengaged employees – and although they may be unlikely to part ways with an employer over slow IT support specifically, negative help desk interactions can further colour their experience with a company.

But it isn’t employees alone that suffer when support is slow. If your company operates a customer-facing help desk, slow response times aren’t just a frustration for users. Depending on the priority of the requests being made, delayed responses may mean lost customers or revenue if the client’s solution is down or performing improperly for an extended period.

IT faces freater security demands than ever before

The security breach trends we’ve seen over the past several years show no signs of letting up. This means independent security audits remain important for avoiding attacks. The ‘new normal’ we’re seeing with enterprise security has placed additional security demands on IT teams. With many companies having moved to a more permanent remote working set up and needing to access company systems from multiple locations, internal IT teams must change the way they manage user and system security issues.

Here are two critical questions all businesses should be asking of their IT teams:

  • Do we have failover sites that are ready to roll out as needed? 
  • Are our security functions scalable and adaptable for remote workforces? 

If your IT team has not updated your internal processes and system security to reflect the change in remote workforce, then you could be at increased risk of a data security breach. Additionally, as staff continue to connect devices that they’ve had at home on unsecured networks and devices to the corporate network, your business will continually be at risk of a data breach. That’s why it’s essential your organisation acts now with preventative measures to protect your organisation from external threats.

Access to specialist skills or surge capacity to support business performance

On a related note, consider that the increasingly complex nature of product development and IT service delivery often creates a demand for specialist skills and for additional capacity that can be scaled up or down as needed to support short-term initiatives.

If you’re part of a multinational organisation with vast teams and endless resources, navigating this variable demand may be easy. However, if you have a small IT team or are part of a growing business, you need to be able to scale to support rapidly increasing business, operations, staff, and customer demands – generally with fewer resources than you’d prefer.

As noted by the General Manager ITC, 

“We gave the decision to move as many staff as possible to work from home on Tuesday and we were able to get an upgrade to support the anticipated increase in traffic within 24 hours. We have now had 3 days of working from home for over three hundred staff without any major issues.”

Partnering with an external IT partner lets you tap into pools of specialists or other skilled workers, while also minimising the operational burden associated with continually reallocating these and other resources. As a result, you get to focus instead on driving growth.

Demand for remote work support prevents IT departments from strategic initiatives

Resetting passwords, granting access to resources, and provisioning new software are all important responsibilities when it comes to facilitating smooth operations. But it’s hard to argue that ‘keeping the lights on’ for your team represents the highest possible use of your IT employees’ skill sets. 

Shifting these and other mundane administrative tasks to an outsourced IT support solution like CBS ensures that these critical functions are handled, while also freeing up your internal workers to focus on the strategic IT projects that’ll drive your company’s competitive advantage.

Choosing an IT Help Desk services partner to assist with business performance

Imagine having more than 90% of your IT support issues resolved on a single call lasting less than 4 minutes, with virtually no queuing time – and then imagine what impact this would have on your business performance. This scenario is possible with an IT help desk service, but it’s important to understand that all partners are not created equal. 

A few elements to look for when evaluating potential vendors include:

  • Rapid scaling. If you’re in a high-growth business or a company that’s been affected by fluctuating demand due to external circumstances, such as Covid-19, the ability to implement help desk support quickly will prevent technical deficit and ticket backlogs from accruing and further compounding delays.
  • The ability to customise your set up. At CBS, when we sign on a client for a managed services contract, we expect that they’ll spend roughly the first three months of their three-year contracting onboarding. As a result, we’re able to tailor our offering to their exact needs, rather than expecting a cookie-cutter set up to serve their internal and external users.

If it sounds like your organisation’s performance would benefit from outsourced help desk support, contact Canon Business Services to discuss your specific needs. Or, to better understand how you can continue to meet help desk needs, download our free IT Business Continuity Checklist

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