Why worry about IT?

What does IT outsourcing actually mean? Karel Fišnar, Manager of RSM CZ Customer Centre and Cloud Services answers most frequently asked questions about IT outsourcing.

What are the opinions of Czech firms about outsourcing their IT infrastructure administration?

To sum it up – the opinions are divided. Although companies are very well aware that their IT is falling behind, is snowed under with ordinary issues that are resolved on an ad-hoc basis and without any strategy, we get the same response again and again: ‘it hasn’t been so bad after all’. Well, that’s true. But if a firm is growing, it will reach a point where a decision must be made – either building up its own high-quality IT background including first-level support structures (helpdesk) and following at least fundamental ITIL recommendations. Or, the firm can embrace the outsourcing option. I am all for the latter alternative.

Key benefits and areas of IT monitoring

IT monitoring can be divided into two parts: IT process monitoring under ITIL in general, using predefined metrics, or monitoring in the sense of supervision over IT technologies. Supervision over technologies is provided by network operations centres that are part of corporate IT infrastructure or a component of the outsourced solution. The centres collect monitoring results for all components (such as servers and network components). In general, there are several hundreds of various entities monitored by cutting-edge commercial tools as well as own-developed software. As for benefits, IT monitoring clearly increases the availability of individual system components and hence of the customer’s entire infrastructure. Also, a proactive and reactive monitoring of key business processes has in fact become a type of insurance: it guarantees maximum availability and minimum idle time of sources.

Most frequent user problems addressed by helpdesk

As a typical first-level support workplace, helpdesk team members communicate mainly with end-users. As a result, it is technical expertise and soft skills that are most needed in such situations, mainly communication abilities and empathy. It goes without saying that the helpdesk is connected to the network operations centre. Consequently, incidents resulting from causes such as a mere data connection failure can be identified immediately and the response can be adjusted to the users concerned without making complicated efforts to find out why someone’s favourite websites cannot be displayed. We also use the network operations centre to pro-actively identify the condition of a user’s device and are thus able to prevent any incidents (such as a failure of a disk in arrays that goes unnoticed by the user; the disk is flexibly replaced). As for incidents, we most often assist users in avoiding pitfalls in the operating system and office applications. By giving helpful step-by-step guidance, we also ascertain which defective hardware has caused the original problem. Here we make use of our extensive and active knowledge base for troubleshooting maintained by our specialists at all levels. There is another category of situations why end users contact the Helpdesk. These are not about resolving errors (incidents) but about requests and sometimes wishes. The most frequent types of requests made by end users include requests such as data recovery from backup, defined requests for changes to access rights, requests for defined and pre-approved software installations and orders for device maintenance. If you wish to learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be pleased to meet you and discuss all questions of your interest.