Outsourcing Desktop Support a Low-Cost Option

December, 2013

Desktop support outsourcing has regained some of its popularity in the past two years, and one of the reasons for that is the ability of outsourcing to reduce desktop support costs.

In fact, desktop support outsourcing has the highest cost-success experience rating of any outsourcing service that we rate. As shown in Figure 5 from our study, Desktop Support Outsourcing Adoption and Customer Experience, 34% of customers find that desktop support outsourcing costs less than performing the same function in-house.

Desktop Outsourcing Fig 5 - Outsourcing Desktop Support a Low-Cost Option

There is a cautionary note: Nearly one-quarter (24%) find that outsourcing costs more than internal desktop support operations. Nevertheless, 76% of IT organization that outsource desktop support find the service costs about the same or less than when they delivered the service with in-house resources. We consider that a successful cost experience overall.

The question of whether to turn over an organization’s IT desktop support function to a service provider is a critical one. Our research shows there is a strong cost advantage to outsourcing the desktop support function. Even so, the percentage of organizations that outsource this particular function is relatively low, according to our findings, and there are a number of reasons why organizations choose to maintain their own support services, chief among them being a concern about service levels and user satisfaction.

While the PC may have lost its luster as a focal point of innovation, the importance of desktop support has not diminished. Desktop support technicians today commonly support local networks, phone systems, and printers, as well as IP networks that carry both voice and data to the desktop. The relationships that desktop support technicians form with users also can be instrumental in improving user satisfaction, and the presence of desktop support technicians in the field improves communications between users and the IT organization.

To help IT executives understand their options, the full study examines adoption trends in desktop support outsourcing. We measure desktop support outsourcing activity through outsourcing frequency, outsourcing amount (level), overall volatility, the net growth trend, outsourcing cost experience, and outsourcing service experience. We also compare desktop support outsourcing frequency and level by organization size. Finally, the report examines the sectors that are most likely to outsource the desktop support function.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Desktop Support Outsourcing Adoption and Customer Experience. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).