Your Third-Party Technology Provider Should Be An Extension of Your IT Department

The demands on your IT department are extensive. They are responsible for keeping your infrastructure running, making strategic decisions on the technology being used and supporting end users of the agency’s network. Third-party service providers play a valuable role in this environment. Instead of simply being an external partner, they should act as an extension of your IT department. This approach brings several benefits to your government agency.

Outsourcing Reduces Costs

Recruiting IT talent is a challenging task, especially if you need specialists in high-demand areas. The salary is only the tip of the iceberg in this situation. You also have to consider the expenses associated with their benefits, the resources required to attract top talent and your employer branding costs. When you outsource certain roles or tasks, you reduce how much you have to pay to get the necessary expertise for your projects.

Expanding Your In-House Capacity

When you’re managing technology in-house, you tie up resources that could be better used elsewhere. Your staff may be working at full capacity with the routine support and maintenance tasks common with any government IT infrastructure. A third-party service provider expands your available resources so that you have more flexibility for their allocation.

After a third-party provider starts handling user tickets and software updates, your in-house team has fewer distractions getting in the way of them doing other important tasks.

Accessing More IT Capabilities

A larger, private third-party solution typically has better technology capabilities than government IT. They may be early adopters of innovative technology and have extensive knowledge in the specializations you need. Their solutions are chosen as a result of hands-on work with other agencies and businesses, with plenty of opportunities for trial and error.

Achieving Seamless Scalability

Some organizations assume that growth occurs at a steady and predictable pace. They make plans around gradually increasing capacity, but the reality proves far different. Your government agency may find itself scaling up and down over the years, based on funding, new technology and other factors.

Your workload and requirements could increase substantially due to new regulations or laws. A third-party provider can fill in vital roles during the expansion while you’re recruiting long-term candidates for the positions. They can also help you during deployment when you need more people available to handle everything going on.

If you need to reduce the size of your operations, you simply change the service level that you’re getting from the third-party service provider. You won’t have to go through many hiring and firing rounds, which can have a significant impact on worker morale and retention.

Reducing Attack Exposure

Government organizations aren’t immune from cyberattacks. For example, the Office of Personnel Management suffered a major data breach that impacted 4.2 million individuals. A third-party provider gives you the opportunity to spread your risk out and make it more difficult for an attacker to get access to the resources they’re looking for.

The third-party service may also have more robust security measures, which can be particularly helpful if you don’t have the in-house resources necessary to appropriately protect your data. Data that falls under PCI compliance can also get offloaded to your external partner so it’s one less thing to worry about.

Appropriately leveraging your third-party service provider makes a significant difference for your government agency’s IT department. When you treat them like an extension of your in-house team, rather than a separate unit, you get multiple benefits.

Curtis Fease

About Curtis Fease

Curtis is a contributing author and expert in government software and technology. He earned a degree in psychology and another in criminal justice from Augusta University in 2010 before going on to gain an MPA degree and graduate certificate in disaster management.

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