We caught up with David Downie, Director of Business Services at The Archie Foundation, to find out more about his experience of working with IT Hotdesk, and how outsourcing the charity’s IT work has benefited the business.
How long have you been working with IT Hotdesk, and what services does the team provide for your business?
“The Archie Foundation has been working with IT Hotdesk for 9 months now. I had already started looking into outsourcing the charity’s IT systems when I attended the Cyber Live event last October, and after hearing AJ speak in depth about cyber security, I knew that IT Hotdesk was the company for us.
“Our relationship began with a cyber security audit, where the IT Hotdesk team took the time to assess the systems that we had in place and identify any vulnerabilities. Cyber security is a big focus for the charity as keeping our service users' and donors’ information safe is one of our main priorities.
“Following our initial conversations and the audit, I then worked with Gordon to review our IT strategy. Our IT requirements had grown, and as the team expanded in size I found that the work was too much for one person and I needed to appoint a specialist. And this is where IT Hotdesk has really supported us.
“Although I work with Gordon on the strategic plans for the business, I have access to a range of professionals who specialise in different areas of IT. I have the benefit of tapping into a variety of expertise and can speak to different staff depending on my requirements at the time. This is something that wouldn’t be possible if I hired someone in-house, and is a real plus point for me.”
Are there any other benefits that you’ve noticed?
“Outsourcing our IT and knowing that we are being looked after has been a major benefit for me, as I have quite a busy role and IT is only part of it. This has allowed me to focus on other parts of the business.
“Having a solid IT strategy in place has been hugely beneficial too. Gordon has been excellent at allowing us to put an effective step-by-step process in place. We first started with cyber security then managed services, which later led into devices and users. We are now currently focusing on developing our Sharepoint software and making sure that our systems are built for purpose, allowing access to only relevant users.”
What value does the IT Hotdesk team deliver, and what have you been impressed with?
“ I am beyond impressed with the value that the IT Hotdesk team has brought to our business - we essentially have a range of experts on tap whenever we need it. Working with the whole team rather than an individual member allows us to gather knowledge from a variety of IT specialists in different fields.
“The team is very friendly and is always on hand to give advice or help when needed, making our team feel comfortable to ask any questions - no matter how big or small. Their response time is second to none and this has significantly reduced pressure on myself, allowing me to focus on other high priority tasks.
“Their flexible and honest approach allowed us to build a bespoke package, really catering to the needs of our business. This has been particularly important when working with The Archie Foundation and is something that we have been very impressed with.”
Why did you choose to outsource your IT?
“We decided to outsource our IT for a number of reasons, one of the most important being that we wanted to take our IT processes to the next level and outsourcing was the next natural progression as our company began to grow.
“As a team, we also identified that we didn’t have a specific IT expert in-house, so it made sense to outsource the work to the true specialists. Additionally, I found myself becoming more and more busy with IT related issues and decided I needed more free time to focus on the core parts of my role.”
What is your top tip for someone thinking about outsourcing their IT, or switching service provider?
“My top tip for those looking to outsource their IT is to really focus on searching for companies within your local area who offer a breadth of knowledge within their team. You want to maximise the areas in which you are exposed to in order to cover as many bases as possible. I would also recommend finding a company that has the capacity to react quickly - there is little use in finding a team which does not have the time to respond to your requests.”
Not-for-profit organisations' main priority is to help others. The difficulties that organisations working in this sector face are heavily impacted by their lack of resources.
Although budgets are tight, the importance of quality IT support should not be underestimated. It's important to maximise the support that you have by hiring a team of industry professionals.
“I am beyond impressed with the value that the IT Hotdesk team has brought to our business - we essentially have a range of experts on tap whenever we need it.”