Gartner Research

Help Desk Outsourcing: Evaluation Process Guidelines and Sample RFP

Published: 17 March 1999

ID: G0077498

Analyst(s): Tammy Kirk


Management Summary In many enterprises, the role of IT is evolving to act as the "nervous system," coordinating and communicating resource requirements, availability, operation and output. The operational requirements of the IT infrastructure are only loosely linked to the integrated management framework. Environmental complexity, lack of predictability, limited resources and a "warp level" rate of change will drive user organizations toward attempting simplification of their infrastructures. Unfortunately, the increasing business demands on the IT infrastructure will continue to thwart efforts to reduce complexity. Through 2002, the IS community will be critically challenged by business management to deliver increasing levels of infrastructure functionality to support individual business unit application initiatives. Most IS organizations lack strong skill sets, processes and technologies to manage the IT infrastructure and meet these expanding requirements. With technology obsolescence, cost containment, and resource and skill constraints, IS organizations are increasingly investing in selective outsourcing. The acceptance of, and reliance on, external resources within the IS organization is also driven by the shortage of experienced operations specialists, field technicians, service desk analysts and other support personnel, as evidenced by the growing numbers of unfulfilled job requisitions. IT support managers must move beyond their comfort zone in evaluating and implementing sourcing alternatives to be successful in leveraging outside resources and retaining sufficient IS support personnel. Help desk outsourcing services will continue to grow at an annual rate of 35 percent, but outsourcers will begin to sign smaller deals to diversify their client portfolio (0.7 probability). However, the players and their focus continue to change, making the acquisition of outsourcing services more complex and risky. Many help desk outsourcers are now bidding for a...

Table Of Contents
  • Management Summary
  • Introduction
  • Help Desk Outsourcing Overview
    • IT Support Within Life Cycle Management Services
    • Target Candidate Tasks for Help Desk Outsourcing
    • State of the Marketplace/Help Desk Outsourcing Growth
  • Trends in Help Desk Outsourcing
    • Dispelling the Hype About Help Desk Outsourcing
  • Follow the IT Support Sourcing Road Map
    • Step 1. Internal Evaluation
    • Step 2. Benchmark Support
    • Step 3. Evaluate Options
    • Step 4. Vendor Selection
    • Step 5. Structuring the Partnership
  • Focus on the Outsourcing Evaluation Process
    • Top 10 Criteria for Help Desk Outsourcer Evaluation
    • Additional Critical Leadership Attributes
    • Weigh Vendor Criteria for Acquiring Help Desk Outsourcing Services
  • The Difference Between RFIs and RFPs
    • Help Desk Outsourcer RFI Checklist
  • The RFP Overview of Help Desk Services
    • Help Desk Outsourcer RFP Checklist
    • Managing RFP Time Lines
  • Critical Success Factors in Help Desk Outsourcing Deals
  • Checking References for Help Desk Outsourcing User Accounts
    • Guidelines for Conducting Reference Checks
    • Question Framework for Reference Accounts
  • Structuring the Negotiation Process
  • Buyer Beware: Implications of Outsourcer Acquisitions
  • Conclusions
  • Selected Help Desk Outsourcing Vendors
  • Sample RFP for Help Desk Outsourcing Services

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