C-BIA FLEXIBLE IT SUPPORT Service : Are ALL your applications feeling the love?

The C-BIA FLEXIBLE IT Support Service

You may not be ready to outsorce the support of business critical applications essential to your strategy and commercial success. But what about those systems that are important but not business critical? What can be done to ensure these systems and their users also feel the love – are managed, maintained to a higher standard AND at lower cost? This is where our FLEXIBLE IT Support Service is targeted to deliver cost savings and improve service-levels and user satisfaction – and all with you staying in control.

“The top reasons for outsourcing remain cost reduction (66%), more scalability to business needs (56%) and increased focus on core business (51%).”

PA UK IT Outsourcing Study 2021

Are ALL your applications feeling the love?

You’ve probably got your business-critical or core application portfolio covered for cloud-migration, support, development and maintenance. But how about those applications that are left behind? Those that never ‘feel the love’ yet can be equally critical if the timing of a failure is particularly poor. Maybe it’s the ageing database that supports Sue in Finance with her annual VAT return. Or the bespoke interface from the CRM system that feeds data to your advertising agency? Were these written by Steve in IT who left 2 years ago without leaving any documentation? Are they using outdated (or unsupported) technology and also a pending security risk? And do they also need to be integrated with newly migrated cloud-based systems?

“Running outdated software may make your organisation more vulnerable to viruses, malware and ransomware attacks and compromise the integrity of your data. Even if the software in question holds no data or limited information, the outdated software vulnerabilities may provide a route for an attacker to gain access to the remainder of your systems and data.”


The problem and how you could deal with it

Let’s take a look at the challenges these systems can bring. At the core of this is a talent shortage but user frustration, slow incident response times and poor service levels are also a challenge. This is not something a CIO or CTO likes to see, or something business users should tolerate. Maybe you’ve tried solutions, such as:

Get an in-house developer to pick it up

Alright in theory but in the middle of a talent crises, can you recruit or retain someone with the right skills? And a backup option to cover for leave and sickness? Do you think they will like being allocated this sort of work? And what chance is there they will be spirited away onto higher priority work at the earliest opportunity, never to return?

Of course, you can re-write the application IF you have the funds and management bandwidth. But that’s rarely an option given more strategic business priorities.

Find an external specialist at short notice

Great in theory but there are common problems with this approach. Who wants to work on undocumented legacy code in an unsupported technical environment? Well, almost nobody. An external resource will be hard to find and even if you can, they are typically unavailable at short notice. And they will ALWAYS be expensive and a short-term fix, with no retained knowledge reusable for the next time.

If these don’t work for you then it’s time to take a closer look at our unique FLEXIBLE IT Support Service designed to cover both predicted support and ad-hoc develoment and integrations, all under a single contact.

What C-BIA can do to help

From providing dedicated support cover where it’s needed, through to upgrading applications that utilise outdated technology or integration with core systems, we have the answer. And we can work in both Agile and DevOps modes as needed. Here’s how we go about doing it:

  • Initial Scoping Study – Before entering into a contract, we review each application in the proposed portfolio and recommend and cost a support plan for each. This scoping study may be chargeable, but any costs will be off-set against a signed contract, typically 3 years.
  • Knowledge acquisition – If contracted, we invest in acquiring up-front knowledge of your applications.
  • Core and Flexible components – Typically there are two categories of service we provide – Core and Flexible.
    • The Core component overs the base support effort required to document, maintain and fix systems. The Core component is planned and fully committed each month.
    • The Flexible component is reserved for ad-hoc urgent activities that may arise over the contract period. Unused amounts of this flexible component can be carried-forward, up to the end of the Quarter. This provides flexibility to deal with unpredicted or changing user and business needs.
  • Dynamic reporting – We provide a single overarching support, development, and reporting framework for the entire portfolio with both generic and application specific KPIs (where required).
  • Dedicated management – Our dedicated account service manager handles all resources and ensures KPI and contract compliance. They also publish a monthly performance dashboard online for review and feedback. And we offer quarterly review meetings (onsite or remote) to identify improvements and new requirements (see Keeping the CIO Informed for more on this.)

The C-BIA Services Portfolio

Our Flexible IT Support Service (FITSS) is a managed service and an integrated part of our full service portfolio. It shares resources and with and enables access to other service expertise as and when needed. A good example of this is our .NET migration service.

Is any application too small, too old or ‘clapped out’?

Not really! As for technology, well we’ll look at pretty much anything, including Microsoft Excel, Access, SQL, .NET, PHP, JavaScript, Oracle and other database applications, including Open Source.

Want to know more?

Take a look at Keeping the CIO informed to understand how we ensure we communicate value. And contact us at info@c-bia.co.uk to find out more and request a scoping study and no obligation quote!