Discover how to effortlessly transition your internal service desk to a managed service partner.

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, organizations are constantly seeking ways to optimize their processes and improve efficiency. One area where this is particularly crucial is the IT service desk. Many companies are recognizing the benefits of outsourcing their service desk operations to a managed service partner. This article explores the concept of lifting and shifting your internal service desk to a managed service partner and provides insights into evaluating the need for a partner, the process of shifting, selecting the right partner, and implementing the shift.

Understanding the Concept of Lifting and Shifting

Before diving into the process, it is important to have a clear understanding of the concept of lifting and shifting in the context of IT. Lifting and shifting refers to the transfer of all or part of an organization’s IT processes, systems, and operations from an internal service desk to an external managed service partner.

When an organization decides to lift and shift, it is essentially entrusting the management and maintenance of its IT infrastructure to a third-party service provider. This can be a strategic move to optimize operations, reduce costs, or access specialized expertise that may not be available in-house.

Lifting and shifting is not a new concept in the IT industry. It has gained popularity in recent years as organizations increasingly look for ways to streamline their IT operations and focus on their core competencies.

Defining Lifting and Shifting in IT Context

In the IT context, lifting and shifting involves migrating the existing infrastructure, applications, and support systems to the managed service partner’s environment. This includes the physical and virtual components, as well as the data and workflows associated with the service desk operations.

The process of lifting and shifting requires careful planning and coordination between the organization and the managed service partner. It involves assessing the current IT landscape, identifying the components that need to be transferred, and establishing a migration plan that minimizes disruption to the business.

During the lifting and shifting process, the organization may need to address challenges such as data security, compatibility issues, and ensuring a smooth transition for end-users. It is crucial to have a well-defined strategy and robust communication channels to address these challenges effectively.

The Role of Managed Service Partners in Lifting and Shifting

A managed service partner plays a crucial role in the lifting and shifting process. They bring expertise, resources, and specialized tools to efficiently manage the service desk operations. The service partner takes over the responsibility of providing IT support, incident management, problem resolution, and other critical tasks, while the organization can focus on core business objectives.

Managed service partners have extensive experience in handling complex IT environments and can provide valuable insights and recommendations to optimize the organization’s IT operations. They often have access to advanced technologies and best practices that can enhance the efficiency and reliability of the service desk operations.

Additionally, partnering with a managed service provider can offer cost savings for the organization. By outsourcing the service desk operations, the organization can avoid the upfront investment in infrastructure, software licenses, and hiring and training IT staff. Instead, they can benefit from a predictable and scalable pricing model offered by the managed service partner.

Lifting and shifting in the IT context is a strategic decision that involves transferring IT processes, systems, and operations to a managed service partner. It requires careful planning, coordination, and the expertise of the service partner to ensure a smooth transition and optimize the organization’s IT operations.

Evaluating the Need for a Managed Service Partner

When considering the shift to a managed service partner, it is essential to evaluate the need and benefits it can bring to your organization. This evaluation process involves a thorough analysis of your current internal service desk and an assessment of the potential benefits that a managed service partner can offer.

Identifying the Limitations of Your Internal Service Desk

Analyze the limitations of your internal service desk to gain a comprehensive understanding of its capabilities and shortcomings. Start by examining capacity constraints, which can hinder your internal service desk’s ability to handle a high volume of service requests efficiently. Consider whether your current team has the necessary resources and bandwidth to meet the demands of your organization.

In addition to capacity constraints, assess any skill gaps that may exist within your internal service desk. Identify areas where your team may lack expertise or experience, which can lead to delays in problem resolution and suboptimal support for end-users. By recognizing these skill gaps, you can determine whether a managed service partner can provide the specialized knowledge needed to address these limitations.

Scalability is another crucial factor to consider. Evaluate whether your internal service desk has the flexibility to scale its operations as your organization grows. If your current team struggles to keep up with increasing service demands, partnering with a managed service provider can offer the scalability needed to accommodate future growth without compromising the quality of support.

Rising operational costs can also be a significant limitation of an internal service desk. Consider the expenses associated with hiring, training, and retaining a skilled IT support team. Compare these costs to the potential cost savings that a managed service partner can provide. By outsourcing certain IT support functions, you may be able to reduce operational costs while still maintaining high-quality service.

Assessing the Benefits of Managed Service Partners

Consider the potential benefits that a managed service partner can offer to determine if it aligns with your organization’s objectives and IT strategy. One of the primary advantages of partnering with a managed service provider is the availability of 24/7 support. Unlike an internal service desk that operates within specific working hours, a managed service partner can provide round-the-clock support, ensuring that critical issues are addressed promptly regardless of the time of day.

Enhanced service levels are another benefit to consider. A managed service partner typically has well-defined service level agreements (SLAs) in place, guaranteeing a certain level of response time and problem resolution. These SLAs can help improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your IT support operations, leading to increased end-user satisfaction.
Access to specialized expertise is a significant advantage of partnering with a managed service provider. They often have a team of highly skilled professionals who specialize in various areas of IT support. This expertise can be particularly valuable when dealing with complex technical issues or implementing new technologies. By leveraging the specialized knowledge of a managed service partner, you can ensure that your organization receives the best possible support and guidance.

Cost savings are another consideration. While there may be an initial investment involved in partnering with a managed service provider, it can lead to long-term cost savings. By outsourcing certain IT support functions, you can reduce the need for in-house resources, such as hiring and training additional staff. Additionally, a managed service partner can help optimize your IT infrastructure, leading to more efficient operations and cost savings in the long run.

Finally, improved user satisfaction is a critical benefit of partnering with a managed service provider. By providing reliable and efficient IT support, a managed service partner can enhance the overall user experience. This, in turn, can boost productivity and employee morale within your organization.

Evaluating the need for a managed service partner involves a comprehensive analysis of your internal service desk’s limitations and an assessment of the potential benefits that a managed service partner can offer. By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your organization’s objectives and IT strategy.

The Process of Lifting and Shifting Your Service Desk

Once you have decided to engage a managed service partner, the next step is to prepare your organization for the shift and understand the key steps involved.

When preparing your organization for the shift, it is crucial to communicate the purpose and benefits of the shift to all stakeholders. This includes end-users and internal IT teams who will be directly affected by the change. By clearly explaining the reasons behind the shift, you can help alleviate any concerns or resistance that may arise.

In addition to communication, it is important to establish a clear roadmap and timeline for the transition. This will provide a sense of direction and help everyone involved understand the sequence of events. By setting expectations and deadlines, you can ensure that the shift is executed smoothly and efficiently.

Furthermore, it is essential to ensure that your organization is ready to embrace the change and provide the necessary support during the process. This may involve training sessions for employees to familiarize themselves with the new service model or allocating resources to assist with the transition. By preparing your organization adequately, you can minimize disruptions and maximize the benefits of the shift.

Key Steps in the Lifting and Shifting Process

The lifting and shifting process typically involves several stages, each of which requires careful planning, coordination, and collaboration between your organization and the managed service partner.

The first stage is assessing the current processes. This involves evaluating the existing service desk operations, identifying areas for improvement, and determining the specific requirements for the new service model. By conducting a thorough assessment, you can gain valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your current setup.
Once the assessment is complete, the next stage is designing the new service model. This involves creating a blueprint for the future service desk, taking into account the identified improvements and requirements. The design should align with your organization’s goals and objectives, as well as industry best practices.

After the design phase, the planning stage begins. This involves developing a detailed migration plan that outlines the specific steps, resources, and timelines for the transition. It is crucial to consider potential risks and challenges during this stage and develop contingency plans to mitigate any issues that may arise.

With the plan in place, the execution stage commences. This is where the actual migration takes place, including transferring data, configuring systems, and implementing the new service model. Close collaboration between your organization and the managed service partner is essential during this stage to ensure a seamless transition.

Once the migration is complete, the final stage is testing and validating the new environment. This involves conducting thorough testing to ensure that all systems and processes are functioning as intended. Any issues or discrepancies discovered during testing should be addressed promptly to minimize disruptions to end-users.

By following these key steps in the lifting and shifting process, your organization can successfully transition to a managed service partner for your service desk. It is important to remember that this is an ongoing journey, and continuous improvement and collaboration with your partner will be essential for long-term success.

Selecting the Right Managed Service Partner

Choosing the right managed service partner is vital for a successful shift. Consider the following criteria when evaluating potential partners:

Essential Criteria for Choosing a Managed Service Partner

  1. Expertise and experience in managing service desk operations
  2. Proven track record in your industry
  3. Ability to scale and adapt to your organization’s evolving needs
  4. Robust security measures and compliance with industry standards
  5. Clear communication and collaboration processes

Red Flags to Avoid When Selecting a Partner

  • Unrealistic promises or guarantees
  • Lack of transparency in pricing and service level agreements
  • Inadequate implementation and transition process
  • Poor customer feedback or reviews

Implementing the Shift to a Managed Service Partner

Once you have selected the right partner, it is crucial to carefully plan and execute the shift to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of service.

Transitioning Your Service Desk Operations

Collaborate closely with the managed service partner to transfer knowledge, documentation, and access rights. Conduct thorough training for the partner’s team to familiarize them with your organization’s policies, procedures, and systems. Establish clear channels of communication and escalation to address any potential issues during the transition.

Ensuring Continuity of Service During the Shift

Implement robust change management processes to minimize disruption and ensure business continuity. Continuously monitor the service performance and quality, conduct regular reviews and feedback sessions with the managed service partner, and address any emerging challenges proactively.

In summary, lifting and shifting your internal service desk to a managed service partner can offer numerous benefits to your organization. By understanding the concept, evaluating the need, following the proper process, selecting the right partner, and effectively implementing the shift, your organization can streamline its IT service desk operations and focus on core business objectives.

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