Do you need 24/7 IT support?

Not all organisations need a fully staffed IT service desk 24/7 but increasingly many businesses find that they can’t shut up shop and the end of the working day without having some IT support in place. To explore whether you need 24/7 IT support, this post provides some key indicators that’s it’s time to implement that support.

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Why your organisation might need 24/7 IT support

#1. Customers demand it

A very compelling reason to install a 24/7 IT service desk is when your customers demand it. If your business supplies technology products or services that customers may access out of office hours, they may need more IT support at any time of the day.

Out of hours support doesn’t have to involve a staffed 24/7 IT service desk. If customers are in your time zone you could simply extend your IT support into the evening and weekends, and maybe start earlier in the morning to allow customers to speak to an analyst before they go to work.

Self-serve solutions should also be part of your out-of-hours support service, enabling end users to find solutions to some issues without needing to speak to a human IT service desk analyst.

#2. Your employees need it

If your organisation has employees working in different time zones or remotely, they may need support when the rest of the office has gone home. Employees who travel often require more support than those that work from an office or home; for example, connecting to your organisation’s VPN from a hotel room can often be challenging.

Again, you may not require 24/7 IT support if employees work in the same time zone, or the difference is not significant. Out of hours support in the evening may be enough. Self-serve solutions should also be implemented for problems that can be resolved easily by an employee.

24/7 IT service desk vs. self-serve

Having identified a need for out-of-hours IT support, the next question is ‘how much and what type of support?’ To understand this you need to speak to your IT support team to find out what the most common issues they face are. If the majority of tickets raised can be resolved with a comprehensive knowledge bank, you could simply point users to your self-serve options.

If tickets are more complex such as network-related issues or systemic bugs, a staffed 24/7 IT service desk (or evening / weekend service) may be needed. Of course this option is expensive, you’ll need to weigh up the opportunity cost to assess the consequences of not having support available and whether that’s acceptable against the expense of evening, weekend or overnight IT service desk staffing.

However there is an alternative, which is to outsource your IT service desk. Some people think that outsourcing is an ‘all in’ option where you hand over your service desk 24/7. However, many organisations staff their own IT service desk during business hours, and have an IT service provider offering support out-of-hours.

A common scenario is to outsource 1st line tickets to the IT provider overnight or at weekends, with the internal team picking up any tickets that have been escalated to 2nd line when they clock in the following day.

This option is naturally much more affordable that employing in-house service desk analysts to work out of normal office hours.

Whatever decision you make, start with an in depth analysis of the demand your organisation has for out-of-hours / 24/7 IT support and the type of assistance needed. If your IT department has a reputation for being ‘those guys who only work 9 to 5’, there are flexible options available to help you provide the support needed without negating opportunity costs.

Download our guide to get a better understanding of how outsourcing to a specialist IT service provider can help your organisation.

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