Supporting hybrid working practices out of hours
The professional services sector has embraced flexible working patterns for many years but as it increasingly becomes standard practice, staff expect to be able to work as they would during working hours at any time of the day, night or weekend.
To make this happen a responsive and technically capable IT user support model is a must. Therefore, businesses are left with a choice of either building the capability in-house or finding an external provider.
The In-House Option
Building an in-house out of hours IT support model has its advantages – you have full control and can track tickets and resolutions, as well as choose what methods of access to support your team can have available.
However, for many businesses the downsides far outweigh the benefits. Setting up out of hours support in-house is a time consuming and costly process. If you opt for a shift-based model where there are IT support staff on shift 24/7, you’ll most likely need to recruit extra staff members and pay for the additional working hours. Or if you choose an “on-call” model, your IT team will quickly be worn down and the risk of support requests being missed is high.
For many, choosing an external provider is a simpler and more cost-effective solution. But how do you pick the right provider? What should you be looking out for?
Here are our top 4 ‘must haves’ for an out of hours support model
1. Do you have access to the data?
One of the advantages of setting up your support in-house is that you have access to data on all of the support tickets raised and can analyse this data to identify trends that might lead to system-wide problems.
When working with an external provider, make sure you can access analysis on the support tickets that your team are raising. Check that each ticket is logged and tracked, and that any patterns or recurring issues are reported to you.
This can help you to identify any problems or bugs within your system that need to be addressed, or areas where further training might be beneficial for your staff.
2. Is there an SLA in place to ensure response & resolution?
It’s important to ensure that a Service-Level Agreement is in place between you and your support provider, to ensure not only that each support request is acknowledged and responded to, but also that some sort of resolution is reached.
Some providers guarantee a response but can fall short of providing truly useful service if the issue requires further investigation. Ensuring that resolution of issues is written into an agreement gives you extra peace of mind that your teams are receiving genuinely useful support.
3. Do staff have easy access to support?
How your teams access support out of hours needs to be easy and effective. Check that your provider has multiple ways for your staff to contact them, whether via phone, app, or email. While some members of your staff might be comfortable using an app, others might prefer to call, especially if the issue is urgent.
4. Can the service be scaled?
As your teams begin to gain confidence in working out of hours, your support model might experience increased demand. It’s important to ensure that your support provider service can be scaled to meet the needs of your business, especially if you’re growing.
Do your research
As with any scenario in which you’re looking to purchase services, it’s important to conduct thorough research into what’s available and ensure that the model you choose is a good fit for your business.
At TSG, we pride ourselves on being an extension of your business, providing the best support from a team of dedicated and highly knowledgeable experts.
Get in touch today to find out more about our out-of-hours services.