Ask the Experts: What are the Benefits of Outsourcing IT?

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle discusses the benefits of outsourcing IT tasks to the cloud with Matrix’s CEO Neely Loring. Find out more about ITaaS and cloud solutions from Neely and the Matrix team here:

Andrew: OK, guys. Well, welcome back to another Ask the Experts session. You’ve seen a lot of these. This one probably looks a little unique to you. Usually, I’m interviewing somebody remotely via Skype, and we’re talking about some specific question.
Well, Neely is a special guy. He was in the office, and we decided, “Why not do this live? This is perfect, right in person.” Neely, I got a question for you. I wanted to chat about it quickly, and just in a few minutes.
We’ve been talking about IT as a service and cloud outsourcing. This concept of outsourcing can tend to make some people nervous. They might be scared by it. What kind of tasks are we talking about? What kind of daily tasks can be outsourced to the cloud that might not be as threatening to IT as what we might think? Why is it a good idea? Give us your thoughts on this.
Neely: Yeah, I think the bottom line is you’re outsourcing the tactical. We’ve talked about a lot in the past about IT people in an enterprise have to shift to becoming strategic. The tactical pieces that they don’t want to do anyway. We’re talking about loading patches. We’re talking about workloads that–we’ll call them commodity workloads–so like Microsoft Exchange is a perfect example. It should be outsourced because it’s gotten so complex over the years that you have to have a specialist. And I think many customers that our Partners have are looking to get the piece to leverage it towards the business to make the IT person actually strategic.
Outsourcing all on its own–each business is a little bit different. I think that’s real important. To slow down and kind of take a look at the whole picture before we come in firing saying, “This is what you outsource or that.” But there are pieces of the business that are hyper-critical that you may want to be outsourced. It used to be email was a luxury. Today it’s business critical.
Andrew: Sure, no doubt. That’s a great example. Are you finding that IT leaders are, they don’t enjoy that piece of it or they’re just not good at it? They don’t have the expertise in-house necessarily so outsourcing it is a faster, cheaper, better way to do it?
Neely: I think what you’re finding is IT leaders today have different kind of demands on them than they used to. They have a different level of accountability to the business enterprise. Where instead of just making the computer stuff work, there’s some attachment to the success. To be able to move out things that are easy, very easy to do on the outside that aren’t critical to the workflow process, and then focus probably on their ERP. That’s probably where the focus of internal IT ought to be, because that’s the inflows and outflows of what the business does.
Andrew: Got it, makes sense. Touch on this for me real quick. You guys are big into managed services, and specifically do a lot around mobile devices and mobile device management. Is that another area that is causing a lot of heartache, if you will, for IT leaders and outsourcing it might be a much smarter way to go?
Neely: Yeah, if it’s not causing heartache, then they don’t realize the risk factor.
Andrew: Interesting.
Neely: Because there’s company data on the phones. Whether it’s corporate-owned or whether it’s bring your own device, it’s happening. To get their arms around that, they have to have some type of policy. If they don’t, they need to be asking the question.
The other thing is the people that support mobile devices really well are not the same people who build and support PCs, and servers, and networks. It’s a different kind of person. It’s not just throw it all in with the rest of the stuff. It’s special.
Andrew: Got it.
Neely: That’s another great example of outsourcing. It’s a small component that if you ask is probably one of the most hated things that an IT department has to support, and takes the most amount of time. The return on investment for the internal IT department is very low on that.
Andrew: Got it. Interesting. It sounds like outsourcing for certain tasks can be absolutely the right thing to do. The fear factor around that. Any advice on how our Sales Partners can get past that fear factor with an IT leader when it comes to outsourcing?
Neely: I think to have the real conversation about where control is. That’s really what the fear factor is, right?
Andrew: They’re afraid they’re going to lose control.
Neely: Right. Either of what they’re responsible for, or their job. To get people real comfortable about it, one of the things to realize is that most companies do outsource certain components because you need a specialist to do that. They’re outsourcing something anyway. Then to really dive into, “Here are the control points,” because desktop as a service is a word that we use that can mean lots of things, right?
I mean, there can be customers that have the ability to spin up their own VM’s, add their own users, still control the day-to-day, or the security concerns, or whatever it is. It’s not throw the keys on the desk and walk out. It’s a little gray, in that you can decide what part that you do have control over and what part you don’t.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Got it. Great stuff. This is really valuable insight. You always bring that. We appreciate that. Guys, this is Neely Loring, he’s the President of Matrix. Columbia, South Carolina. Cloud provider in our portfolio. One of our “go to” providers. We’re big fans. Thanks, my friend. Thanks for jumping in.
Neely: Great. Thank you.
Andrew: Neely Loring, he’s one of our faculty members here at the University. Make sure you check out the Matrix learning center here at the University and go deep there, guys. Lots of great information that can answer more of your questions, can really help equip you to have these types of conversations with customers, and help you close more deals in the cloud. We’re big fans, you should be, too. Agreed?
Neely: Yup.
Andrew: All right, good deal. Guys, good selling.