With the growth of business complexity, changing laws, emerging disruptive technologies and progressive digitization, organizations must be able to drive innovation to preserve and increase their competitive advantage. You can maximize operational excellence and drive rapid business growth with IT outsourcing services.
Below you will find a short and practical IT outsourcing guide highlighting best practice. Of course, the list is not comprehensive, and should be treated as a guide. Much depends on the specifics of your company, its size, and the services that you can outsource. In order to get good advice, it is worth considering taking an IT outsourcing journey. This will help you to prepare, and to minimize the risk of potential failure.
- Determine whether your project is suitable for outsourcing. The most important rule: not all projects can be outsourced. What to outsource depends on the company’s objectives. Start by establishing whether your project is suitable for outsourcing. If yes, you need to decide not only what you’re outsourcing, but also why. Additionally, you should establish clear, objectives with realistic timelines. This gives you more control over whole project and allows potential vendors to create realistic, well-defined proposals. Building on incomplete knowledge and under time pressure often leads to a lack of clear project frameworks.
- Choose the right provider. Due to the strategic nature of outsourcing and its critical importance to the functioning of the company, it is very important to choose the right provider and establish a partnership in such a way that both parties will benefit. Key success factors include industry background, knowledge of company’s culture and business objectives. Your potential partner should also have the appropriate experience, communications skills and working style, and be aligned with your objectives and business culture. Remember, they will de facto become an active part of your organization, and will definitely need to fit in.
- Establish a dedicated team. In the case of large, long-term projects, it is important to have dedicated resources.
- Don’t base your decision just on price. Many companies are turning to outsourcing to reduce costs. Although outsourcing is cheaper than in-house options, this should not be the only criterion. The key is to find a supplier that is cheaper than the internal team and offers the same level of knowledge and services. The most successful projects are those in which the seller offers a balance between good value and quality results.
- Stop viewing IT as a cost center. A company’s IT is one of its major profit drivers, because IT teams play a key role in moving businesses forward as agents of change and innovation. They create new, more efficient processes and provide solutions to improve everyday operations.
- Get the communications right. Communication really is the key to a healthy relationship, because it ensures the commitment of both parties and awareness of project updates. No matter how you do it, keep collaborating.
- Get the SLA metrics right. Quality control and management take center-stage when outsourcing all or part of your IT.
- Do not expect the impossible. Companies usually discharge their problems to outsourcers and then are surprised that the result is bad. If the company cannot get the correct systems, how can an outsourcer be expected to do so? Clean up before you start thinking about outsourcing, so that you can provide your outsourcing partner with the appropriate business knowledge.
- Do not put all responsibility on the outsourcer. Outsourcing does not mean that you give up responsibility. The success of the whole project still depends on your involvement, so you must actively participate in the work with an outsourcer, manage them and audit them.
- Stay on-site. If possible, budget to keep an on-site presence at your service provider, even if only for some of the most important services or locations. This will facilitate control and management, and will improve communication significantly.
- Defined outsourcing contracts adequately. A good outsourcing contract will define SLAs, penalties and rewards, timeframes and measurements, escalation and communication processes, regular reviews, and exit strategies.
- Take the time to train. Remember, you needed years to master the tasks you are currently planning to give to an external supplier. If you want an external supplier to deliver at the optimal level, you need to take the time to train their representatives regularly and provide them with the necessary knowledge.
Do you outsource any part of your IT business? What insights can you share? What advice would you give to people who are just starting their outsourcing adventure? Read our practical guide: How to upgrade your business with it services. Take some time to share your thoughts with us. If you are also interested in other ICT topics, please visit #nextisoneplace.