There is nothing very new or radical about the concept of outsourcing. Organisations have relied on external contractors and partners to provide non-core services for many years. These have typically included cleaning and maintenance activities, but over time more and more complex activities have been handed over, with few companies now owning and managing their own vehicle fleets for example.
The outsourcing of ICT services is a relatively recent development, however. This is due to the critical nature of ICT systems to the overall operation of a business and a natural caution on the part of managers when it comes to handing over responsibility to an external partner. But ICT outsourcing has become a means of gaining competitive advantage in the marketplace. “What we say to our customers is that if their business is in the healthcare area, for example, they should focus on that and shouldn’t be distracted by their IT systems,” says Ergo managed service solution manager George Dowling.
“We work with our customers to understand their businesses and support them in outsourcing their IT needs in a way that meets their current and future requirements and business objectives.” He points out that outsourcing
is good for both the organisation and the staff involved. “The organisations are able to devote more resources to their core businesses and this has clear competitiveness benefits. IT staff can sometimes view outsourcing
with some trepidation because they are moving to a new organisation but this tends to open up a lot of new opportunities for them to work in different areas and with different organisations, improving their skills along the way.”
One customer which has benefited from choosing Ergo as its ICT outsourcing partner is the Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry. With 200 staff, 30 consultants, 20 day beds, and 50 in-patient beds the clinic has developed an international reputation in the specialist field of orthopaedic surgery and the treatment of acute and chronic sports injuries. “Like any hospital today, this is actually quite a complex IT environment,” says chief financial officer John Farrell. “We had a small team of three ICT people with regular difficulties in covering a seven-day hospital week if someone was off sick or on holidays. We also had servers and other elements of our system which were nearing the end of their life.”
Today Ergo manages all of the clinic’s ICT with the exception of some specialised software and diagnostic imaging. This spans all hardware from servers to 60 printers, a significant storage area network, seven-day support, including help desk provision, and the management of new ICT projects.
“The fully managed service has proven a very good fit with our ICT needs,” says Farrell. “We also have an experienced and expert team to advise us on planning for the future and maintaining state of the art excellence in everything we do.
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