Outsourcing IT Services: Five Steps for Business Success
Outsourcing can bring tremendous benefits when properly used and understood fully well. Organizations outsourcing their business and IT processes shouldn’t expect the strategy to miraculously act as the ‘panacea’ but a bridge to help in their search for rare talent and access to innovation. This brings us to the bottomline of our story: outsourcing customers must pay attention to knowing the main principles of IT outsourcing.
Organizations that outsource their information technology functions will continue to increase, according to The Computer Economics IT Outsourcing Statistics 2011/2012. From only 6.1% of total spending that went to service providers in 2009, the figures went up to 7.1% in 2010. The percentage of firms’ total IT spending to outsourcing is seen going up in 2012.
Here are simple tips to make IT outsourcing a true success.
Establish a clear goals. There is no shortcut to success. Make sure to share with your outsourcing partner the project goals and requirements. It will be of help for the service provider to understand your project goals if you provide all details of the project.
Define scope and schedule of your project. What you want to reach with your project must be clearly articulated to your service provider. Normally, organizations set out a clear statement containing important information such as business and schedule requirements. Project cost can quickly spiral out of proportion if you do not provide a realistic and clear project scope and deadline.
Choose provider which can offer value and quality. Some organizations rely too much on brand and price. High-price doesn’t always necessarily equate to quality nor low-price can yield more results. Most experienced mangers would tell you to research very carefully your provider and see if they can render both good value and quality output.
Review portfolios and sample works. Sometime in the past, the outsourcing company may have already done a project similar to what you currently need. Look for these works and match them with your expectations for value and the approach of the provider in doing works. If you really want to make sure your prospective outsourcing provider knows or understands your needs, ask them to provide you with a draft of their work plan. But please respect that your contractor works for a living and their services are not given out free of charge so don’t request them to provide you with a completed work.
Work with a compatible provider. As well as cultural compatibility, make sure your IT outsourcing’s employees are compatible with your organization’s culture, communications skills, experience and approach to work. Being compatible with your business partner is important because they will become part of your company.
Of course all these five steps are not complete as there may still be more that you can use to gain from your outsourcing relationship with a contractor. Because as in other types of partnerships, your organization and your service provider will need to maintain mutual respect and respect.