The only problem with outsourcing is the perception

ARTICLE BY MATT RHODES, COMMERCIAL SERVICES MANAGER, QUISS TECHNOLOGY

There are times when I question whether outsourcing has an image problem within the legal sector. It appears to have become a negative term with many of the benefits ignored, often to fit someone else’s narrative or sales pitch, it has to be said.

There is a perception that either you’re an outsourcing business or you’re not; no grey area, just black and white. But it’s not that simple. Some aspects of a service might lend themselves to outsourcing and some might not.

For those of us that include elements of outsourcing in our service offering, a lack of good communication is where our problem lies. We think everyone understands what it is we do and recognise that buying our services will not immediately lead to job losses in the in-house IT team.

It seems that within Legal, Quiss is perceived by many IT managers and their teams, as the devil incarnate. To some we are only interested in working with organisations that want to make their in-house teams redundant and outsource all IT related activity to cut costs.

With the term outsourcing conjuring up thoughts off job losses, helpdesks overseas and problems taking longer to be solved remotely, it’s little wonder few IT personnel working within law firms want to talk to us, or recommend firms they perceive as outsourcing specialists, to their management boards.

However, I would argue that with the technology landscape continually changing, managed services specialists like us, should now be viewed far less of a threat and more a valued partner to the in-house IT team. Especially the high quality teams, confident in their abilities and the value they add to the organisation.

For more than 25 years, Quiss has offered an increasing range of services, shaped by changing technology and business practices, to support public and private organisations of every size and complexity, across a broad range of sectors. And throughout, our client’s IT managers and their teams have been central to our thinking.

No-one in an organisation understands the benefits of a robust, resilient IT infrastructure quite like the team that works with it on a daily basis, but they can become over-stretched and stuck in a break-fix cycle that doesn’t allow them to look forward.

For me, it’s important that IT managers and their teams have time to assess the future technology needs of their organisation and develop a strategic approach that reflects the ambition of their business, so IT becomes an enabler not an inhibitor.

Many IT managers within legal still regard businesses like ours with suspicion, believing our only interest is in IT outsourcing. Some continue to believe if they talk to us and introduce us to their organisation, it would be like turkeys not only voting for Christmas, but helping make the stuffing!

Typically, work with our clients involves their in-house IT manager and revolves around specialist support, as we have high quality technical abilities within our business that few organisations require on a daily or weekly basis. Our helpdesk can remove the day-to-day pain of missing printer drivers and password changes to allow managers to concentrate on the strategic aspect of this work. We already work on this basis, supporting IT managers and teams across many verticals including public sector, breweries, education, councils and manufacturing where we have managed to get the message across that Quiss can help and are not a threat to their jobs.

Of increasing interest for many organisations is our comprehensive hosted desktop solution, which offers greater flexibility and ability in this always on, always connected, anywhere, anytime, any device world – all with the confidence of fixed overheads, 24-hour support and robust disaster recovery.

It would be a brave organisation that decided to transition to a hosted desktop without their own IT manager on site to manage the process and agree the specification, integration and implementation. When businesses approach us for advice on everything from converged telephony and video conferencing to training and client portals, our conversation typically starts with the IT manager.

I’m convinced we must continue to explain IT outsourcing as we understand it, which is clearly different to the perception of many IT managers in law firms of all sizes and complexity. And again I’ll stress, IT managers have nothing to fear from Quiss Technology, if they know how to work with us, integrate our services into their business and leverage our expertise to their advantage.

Forget the perception, Quiss can help.

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