Crawfords look back on five years of outsourcing
Crawford Solicitors, a law firm specialising in commercial and employment law, outsourced its full IT department to Sovereign Business Integration in 2007 in order to upgrade the IT operations in line with rapid company growth.
Prior to the contract with Sovereign, Crawford Solicitors had an IT structure that wasn’t implemented to full effect, leaving the organisation vulnerable to potential weaknesses in security and performance. Sovereign was brought in to upgrade Crawford Solicitors’ existing IT system, enhancing security, maintenance, assist on future strategy, speed and most importantly offering 24 hour support.
Caroline Crawford, Founder, Crawford Solicitors comments, “We are a small organisation and our IT infrastructure is the lifeblood of our business. If our IT infrastructure fails, we can’t service our clients and, therefore, we simply cannot afford for our systems not to be 100% secure and operational. With the rapid growth that our organisation has experienced since its conception in April 2005, the need for a fast but secure and supported IT system was great.”
As a small business, Crawford could not justify the expense of employing a full-time IT consultant to handle its in-house IT requirements, hence outsourcing being the most attractive option.
Caroline continues, “It is difficult to put a figure on the value of utilising outsourced IT as the issues that are prevented do not bear thinking about in terms of company down-time, loss to productivity and such like, should Sovereign not have been on hand when they arose. What is clear to us though is that employing a full-time IT consultant is just not a justifiable cost to the business. There is no way a full-time IT employee would be fully utilised by us, which is another reason to the combination of factors that led us to outsource. It is comforting to have the reassurance of ad hoc support available 24/7, without have the overhead of employing someone to do it, who may not be as readily available as our Sovereign consultants.”
An additional benefit that Crawford is realising through its now long-term contract with Sovereign is the wide-ranging expertise and breadth of knowledge of the consultants. Caroline continues, “If we had an in-house IT consultant, we’d only be able to benefit from their limited knowledge base when it comes to their areas of speciality and their work on our specific IT infrastructure. By outsourcing our IT, we get a plethora of experience from the entire cross section of the Sovereign team who have worked across a number of other businesses and have varying specialities. We find that being able to summon up that knowledge bank when we need it and for our continued and future IT strategy is invaluable to our business.”
Crawford also benefits from Sovereign’s experience of working in the professional practices sector through its recommendations for ongoing change and reviews of the current infrastructure, based on what is working or has previously worked in other firms. Caroline explains, “We feel that our relationship with Sovereign is more than just support and fire-fighting, they also offer consultancy based around what they have come to know of our business and recommend to us what we should be looking at in order to make the way we work a little easier. Having a relationship like this with an outsourced agency is key to keeping us ahead of the game when it comes to improving our business processes and continuing to deliver a high quality of service to our clients.”
• Sovereign Business Integration Group is an independent IT services & business solutions specialist. Through implementing strategic and proactive IT solutions, Sovereign has achieved a proven track record of successfully collaborating with its clients, helping them maximise business processes and IT resources. Sovereign’s solutions are specifically designed to positively impact on the bottom line, while the managed services provide consistently reliable support offering clients a high level of confidence in all associated and integrated systems. Headquartered in Cockfosters and operating internationally, Sovereign provides a broad range of services tailored to clients’ needs across a range of open and proprietary platforms: business & IT consultancy, through IT systems & software development to Colocation, Hosting, Managed Services & Outsourcing. www.sovereign-plc.co.uk