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How Important is Outsourcing IT for Australian Mining Companies?

How important is outsourcing managed IT services for a mining company? It’s very important! Here’s why. . .

Running an Australian mining company is a complex operation which encompasses rapid changes often. Therefore, it’s important to have a responsive IT system that is capable of adapting quickly when changes occur. It’s also critical to trust your IT to produce accurate record-keeping for reports for management and compliance. These are just a few of the reasons why Australian mining companies should outsource their IT management.

What Does Outsourcing IT Management Offer a Mining Company?

A third-party IT management provider can offer plenty of opportunities to mining operation by giving the management to a dedicated team of IT professionals. First, this team has lots of experience with similar mining operations and can help optimise systems for maximum impact to your operation. One effective method of assessing IT management is with an IT and security audit. A best practice for this audit is for a neutral third-party to assess the systems, because they will report what they see without alteration.

IT and Security Audit

An IT audit will assess the current effectiveness of both the IT hardware and software solutions as well as how secure they are from malware, hacking and phishing. Once completed, the assessment will include recommendations to improve IT processes, increase efficiency, ameliorate communications and reduce operating costs. The audit will include the following:

  • Technical: Network Schema, Storage, Security, Virtual Infrastructure, Network, Intranet, Remote Access
  • IT Processes: Service Requests, Event Management, Change Management, Projects
  • Helpdesk: SPOC, Service Portfolio, Inventory, Monitoring, IT/OT
  • Standards and Procedures: Policies, Standards, Guidelines, Best Practices
  • IT Team: Team Evaluation, Service Desk, IT Management, Application Development
  • Project Management: Scope/Time/Resource/Cost Management, Communications, Risks, Quality

After the audit, the team will review the assessments and recommendations with you to determine a strategy to implement and deploy them. Since the mining operations are very complex, IT management within the mining company can be time-consuming and expensive. Outsourcing the IT management can save numerous hours of company time and money, resulting in a better, more efficient IT infrastructure that effectively manages the mining operation, and collects data to help find areas to improve operations.

Outsourcing your IT management can include some or all of your IT department, enterprise systems and critical projects in the following areas:

  • Consulting IT and Telecom Manager
  • Help Desk and IT Processes Optimisation
  • Infrastructure, Storage and IT Security
  • Telecommunications (VSAT, Radios, IP Telephony)
  • Bandwidth Optimisation
  • Deployment and Migration
  • Business Process Definition & Documentation
  • Business Process Optimisation
  • Solutions / Software Architecture
  • Enterprise Systems Implementation, Integration and Migration
  • Project Management

How Do You Select the Right IT Managed Services Provider?

To learn who is the best fit for your mining organisation, interview companies and ask them questions.

1. What Kind of Office Do You Have?

Visiting the office of your potential partner is helpful in assessing their professionalism, responsiveness and legitimacy. With security a high priority, it’s crucial that your provider can meet your expectations. You can get a feel for their experience, expertise and the behaviour of their staff. Does it seem like a professional IT support office? Are they taking the time to get to know your small business or treating you to a one-fits-all proposal?

2. What are Your Specialities?

Managed IT providers train in specific systems and processes. They should have a list of certifications they have earned as well as an ongoing training plan to keep staff current with changes in the industry. Computer issues are constantly in flux, and programs require frequent updates to block new ransomware, cryptomining and other malware. Find out whether they offer an inclusive price or flat rate for each service.

3. What Won’t You Do?

Knowing what a vendor won’t or can’t do is just as important as what they will do. If your needs aren’t in the skill-set for this vendor, then you haven’t found the right fit.

4. What is Your Responsibility in the Event of a Disaster?

Disaster planning is crucial when it comes to business, and doubly so when discussing computer records and security. The disaster can be a natural one, a hurricane for example, or a criminal one such as a theft. What is the plan if a natural disaster affects your business? And what if it hits their business? And what is the protocol in case of theft or cyber crime.

5. Are You Compliant to Rules and Regulations in the Mining Industry?

Your organisation is required to comply with industry standards and government regulations. It’s important for your vendors to be aware of the regulations and be a partner with your business. Does the managed IT services provider offer service-level agreements as to their compliance rules and regulations to which you must comply? They should have a list of standards for which they are qualified to comply.