The Economics of Help Desk Outsourcing
Progent's Help Desk outsourcing and co-sourcing services offer substantial business value in comparison to going it alone with a Help Desk staffed solely by in-house personnel. Many of the advantages of outsourcing, such as increased computer uptime, have obvious productivity benefits but are not easy to evaluate in dollars. Other areas, like in-house salaries vs. the per-minute charges for outsourcing support, can be misleading at first glance. This discussion is intended to clarify some of the key cost issues associated with choosing an in-house or an outsourced/co-sourced Help Desk.

If you currently have an internally staffed Help Desk, you may have to decide whether you should take on additional head count or outsource/co-source Help Desk services. You could reach this point for a variety of reasons. These include:

  • Business and workforce growth are swamping your Help Desk
  • A member of your Help Desk support staff has left
  • You are opening a new branch in another city
  • Adoption of Work-from-Home networking has increased call volume and introduced new support issues
  • Your Help Desk staff members are needed to help with strategic IT initiatives
Any of these situations can create serious strain on your Help Desk and consequently disrupt worker productivity. If some of these events happen concurrently, your IT management group can be in a lot of hurt.

The Cost of an In-House Help Desk Employee
It's tempting but misleading to compare the base salaries of internal personnel with the hourly (or by-the-minute) charges of an external Help Desk team. Although costs for an in-house IT support person differ from state to state and city to city (e.g., Atlanta vs. San Francisco), most areas in the U.S. fall into this range:

  • Average Base Salary: $45,000-$65,000
  • Taxes, Benefits, PTO: $18,000-$26,000
  • Equipment Costs: $2,000
  • Software Licensing: $1,000-$4,000
  • Office Space, Supplies, Furnishings, Utilities: $4,000-$10,000
  • Continuing Education: $1,000
  • Total: $71,000 - $108,000
As with any salaried, full-time employee, the real annual cost of a Help Desk support person can be in excess of 50% above the base salary. These expenses do not include one-time costs for recruitment, vetting, signing bonuses, onboarding, or job training. They also do not account for the expense of hiring new employees who quickly leave.

The costs of Progent's Help Desk outsourcing or co-sourcing service should be weighed against the benefits in order to make a fair comparison between the business value of in-house vs. outsourced/co-sourced Help Desks. Issues to consider include:

  • Progent bills Help Desk clients by the minute and at a discounted rate: Typical costs to Progent clients for outsourced Level 1 Help Desk services start at around $18 per user per month. Granular billing means utilization is virtually 100%. You only pay for services delivered. Salaried in-house workers invariably encounter dead time and the meter is always running.
  • Progent offers extended hours support: Progent's standard service coverage is 14 hours per day on weekdays. 24x7 service programs are available. In-house Help Desks are usually open only during normal working hours. This can impede productivity if serious problems occur during off hours. Also, exfiltration attacks like ransomware are typically launched over weekends when IT support teams are understaffed.
  • Progent's Help Desk scales easily: Hiring new in-house staff can take weeks or months. By leveraging Progent's nationwide team of IT support experts you can right size your Help Desk capacity on demand. You don't have to worry about filling in for technicians out sick, hiring new staff to meet new demand or to replace workers who leave, or reducing your permanent in-house IT staff. You can easily adjust to business cycles associated with your industry or with the economy in general.
  • Guaranteed responsiveness: Progent offers Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to ensure that service requests are handled promptly. In-house Help Desk teams have no practical equivalent of an SLA.
  • Breadth of technical skills: Progent's IT support experts are steeped in a broad range of new and legacy technologies running in a wide variety of industries. This expertise allows Progent to save time and expense by providing fast fixes to issues that might otherwise be escalated to a higher and more costly level. In our fast-changing IT landscape, it is costly when unfamiliar technologies have to be mastered on your dime. In addition, Progent's experience makes it possible to anticipate and correct looming technical problems before they have a chance to disrupt productivity.
  • Fast access to subject matter experts (SMEs): Progent's Help Desk outsourcing services also allow fast access to Progent's team of subject matter experts to provide quick resolution of Level 2 and Level 3 technical problems that are beyond the skill set of Level 1 Help Desk technicians. Progent's ability to identify and activate the appropriate engineer for a high-level problem can minimize costly downtime.
  • Enterprise-class multi-tenant ticketing and tracking system: Progent securely shares enterprise-class service automation software that allows Progent and clients to create and track trouble tickets, assign responsibility, follow the status of issues, document activity, and generate management reports.
  • Help Desk co-management shares the work: Progent's Co-managed Help Desk service transparently shares service requests between your in-house IT staff and Progent's nationwide pool of support technicians and subject matter experts. You determine how trouble tickets are distributed, but Progent typically deals with Level 1 and Level 3 issues. The Help Desk software seamlessly handles ticket creation, escalation, tracking, and reporting. This solution allows you to provide hands-on support when you need it and also permits fast on-demand scale-up.
  • Let your in-house IT teams focus on strategic issues: Your in-house IT support team knows more about your business than any external support group. Utilizing Progent's Help Desk outsourcing services frees these valuable human assets from being consumed by Level 1 troubleshooting like recovering passwords and gives them the chance to work on marshalling technology to deliver competitive advantage.
In the end, the greatest benefit of Progent's Help Desk service is the minimization of computer downtime. Whether for one worker or an entire organization, waiting for the right IT solution is an expensive proposition.

Find Out More about Progent's Help Desk Outsourcing and Co-sourcing
To learn more about Progent's Help Desk outsourcing and co-sourcing services, visit Progent's Help Desk outsourcing and co-sourcing services. To find out how to get started with Progent's Help Desk services, call 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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