10 Commandments of IT Outsourcing
In the past, leveraging the expertise of IT professionals required investing in any number of employees and additional IT infrastructure. To receive the desired level of IT maintenance from their staff, companies were oftentimes overextended and over budget. Since IT outsourcing became a dominant trend in recent times, management has been able to delegate certain tasks to remote professionals allowing more time for strategic matters.
Choosing to outsource to an IT company is the most effective way to maintain your network without running out of resources or budget.
To ensure the success of your outsourcing efforts, abide by these 10 commandments of IT outsourcing:
Have a Well-Defined Strategy
Initiatives or goals that do not meet the desired result are often those which are poorly planned. Having a well-defined and realistic objective help things run smoother and further confirms all goals and expectations with the service provider.
Ask Questions Relentlessly
Failure to question and evaluate a desired service provider is a recipe for disaster. It is important to interview various providers in order to choose the best IT company. Carefully checking references and feedback from their previous and current clients is also a prerequisite to choosing a reliable provider.
Price Should Never Be a Key Selling Point
The IT outsourcing vendor with the lowest price may provide the worst service, and the highest priced vendor may provide the best service - or vice versa. Price is never an accurate barometer for quality, reliability or experience. The best IT company will provide the best value for your company’s unique situation - but not necessarily the "best" price.
Always Educate Your IT Staff
Regardless of who is chosen as a service provider, companies should always invest in personnel training. Supporting the growth and development of your employees will help your organization almost immediately as the employees acquire valuable knowledge and experience.
Always Start Small in the Beginning
The temptation to hit the ball out of the park may be too great to resist in the beginning. However, testing the waters is a proven method to fully assess how competent a service provider is. Starting with a small project which doesn’t require a lot of time allows companies to take less risk when weighing the opportunity.
Establish Clear Boundaries
Some IT projects may evolve into problems such as issues with ownership of intellectual property. For instance, software developers may feel they own the rights to a program written during an outsourced project. Agreeing upon terms upfront is always a step in the right direction to prevent such issues.
Consider Staff Augmentation
IT managers may need additional assistance to complement their current staff, without the cost and hassle of interviewing and hiring more employees. IT Staff Augmentation allows bringing in skilled consultants as needed, to work alongside your staff.
Understand the Real Cost of IT Outsourcing
Numerous companies unfortunately underestimate the expense needed to keep their IT on-premise. Building and maintaining IT infrastructure is a substantial undertaking and companies usually always price too low when creating their budgets; a variety of unexpected circumstances and costs crop up in a short time. Evaluate your systems and decide the total cost of ownership for on-premise versus outsourced IT before making a decision.
Perform the Proper Due Diligence
Use the same amount of scrutiny when hiring an IT company as if you were hiring a fulltime employee. Check references, ask for feedback, gauge Internet presence, evaluate unsatisfied customers and demand honesty.
Ask for a Test Demonstration First
If an IT company is willing to provide a sample of their services, this allows you to conduct a hands-on evaluation of their core competencies and troubleshooting skills.