Article written by:
Director of Information Technology
IT needs for an organization change over time. As these needs change, the support you receive from third-party vendors should change as well. Like a biological lifecycle, everything moves through stages and the lifecycle of outsourced IT is no different.
I. Service Strategy
The first stage of an outsourced service provider lifecycle is Service Strategy. Like an egg being laid, it sets the foundation for not only what service they will be providing (outsourced IT, copier, cloud services, etc.), but also where you want to go. A key component of this stage is to create criteria by which you will judge all potential providers.
II. Service Design
The second stage is Service Design, where you are metamorphosing your Service Strategy into real work actions. Your foundational idea would grow into a fully-baked service that will help solve some need for the organization. All the work performed in this stage is to prepare the organization and the provider for the next stage of Service Transition.
III. Service Transition
The Service Transition stage begins with user education. Training your users to fully utilize this new service is key to ensuring full adoption across your organization. Your organization will be evolving as they onboard this new service and expand the in-house abilities. Like a caterpillar entering its cocoon, it is evolving to its new reality. If it’s done properly, all of the foundational work will emerge and be able to fly.
IV. Service Operation
When that caterpillar emerges it is not the same organism it was originally. It has now evolved and is able to perform actions it couldn’t before. Your organization is now in the same state. It has emerged from Service Transition in the Service Operation stage. It has new abilities and the organization has grown as a result. Ensuring clear and consistent communication with your new provider is key during this stage for continued success.
V. Continuing Service Improvement
While it would seem that the process is over, that is only partially true. The final and ongoing stage is Continual Service Improvement. The purpose of this stage is to always be evaluating the service provider and your organization’s use of them to ensure you are getting everything you are contractually supposed to be getting. Referring back to your Service Strategy, is the firm meeting all of your objectives and are you getting everything you are paying for? It is always a good idea to re-evaluate your vendor and the contract to see if they continue to be a good fit or if you have outgrown them.
To learn more about the lifecycle of an outsourced IT team and how it may benefit your business, we invite you to join us for part one of our 2019 CyberTrends webinar series taking place Wednesday, May 15th. For additional details and registration, click here.