Help Desk Outsource and Software World  
Help desk outsourcing and  
IT outsourcing  

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Help Desk Outsourcing and IT Outsourcing

A growing trend in recent years has been to outsource either the help desk function individually, or the whole IT operation inclusive of the help desk. This is certainly not appropriate for all organizations, but does bring measurable benefits to some.

Obviously the major areas of benefit relate to economies of scale and the advantages of utilizing a specialist and focused provider. However, it is important that there is no illusion with respect to help desk management: ultimate responsibility for the help desk is retained. Poor help desk provision will adversely effect the help desk provider, not only the outsourcing firm.


Because the running of the help desk is still of substantial importance even when it is outsourced, appropiate management structures and agreements must be firmly in place. This process is critical and must not be overlooked... there is no scope for short cuts.

The outsourcing arrangement must be properly documented and controlled. The service should be strictly defined, and a formal service level agreement should be in place, with of course a legal contract. Equally, the operation must be planned carefully, with a formal transition plan. Full audit capibilities must also be available.


Some organizations create all the above from scratch at considerable cost, and of course at the risk of missing key issues. Fortunately, this approach isn't mandatory! Templates, guides and blue prints exist for many of these processes.

The IT Outsource Toolkit is probably the most complete and well known offering. It comprises an introduction to service management, a pre-written service level agreement to use as a base, a benchmarking audit kit, a generic outsourcing contract, a transition plan guide and a service level requirements (SLR) template. All are fundamental items with respect to outsourcing.

If outsourcing is to be considered or embarked upon, we do recommend that something like this is used. For your convenience we have produced some sample pages below:

IT Outsourcing
Transition Plan
Sample Page

Help Desk Outsourcing
Outsourcing Service Level Agreement
Sample Page

IT Outsourcing
Outsource Contract
Sample Page

Full information on the product can be viewed on its own web site: IT Outsourcing


Outsourcing decisions are rarely straight forward. There are usually both benefits and risks involved in the equation. The latter can be mitigated to a large degree via sensible planning and by employing some of the suggestions above. Whether it is the right course for your organization, however, can only be decided following specific study and consideration. It is not a matter to be rushed.

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