As the corporate world becomes more and more fast-paced, it’s vital that companies are able to work fast to maintain a competitive advantage. An increasingly popular way of coping with this challenge is to make use of outsourcing to handle a range of different tasks, bringing more expertise to the table and allowing staff to work on growing the business. However, there are many things to think about when considering IT outsourcing – and this article will help you decide whether or not it’s the route for you, and what sort of outsourcing arrangement you will need.
Firstly, outsourcing can be extremely useful if your employees lack the expertise needed to get work done. Drawing on the expertise of others through outsourcing is a great way to handle this issue without resorting to hiring a whole new set of employees. It might be the case that this expertise is only needed for a single project, in which case outsourcing allows you to take on customer requests that are a little out of the ordinary. Or, employees might be equipped to handle certain tasks, but their skills can be put to better use elsewhere. In this case, outsourcing will take care of less pressing tasks, so that your staff can focus on increasing profits and helping your business to grow. If either of these situations sound like something which could benefit your company, then outsourcing is certainly a smart choice.
Not only does outsourcing help improve efficiency, but it can also save you quite a bit of money, too. To calculate that saving, though, you’ll need to compare the costs with the benefits that you’ll get. Performing work in-house rather than outsourcing it involves a variety of extra costs, from labour and materials to the associated overheads involved with housing potentially a whole extra department of your company. All of this can result in resources being pulled away from higher value work, and costing your business a lot of money as a result. If the benefits of outsourcing outweigh the costs, then it’s clear that the smart choice is to let an outsourcing vendor take care of things for you.
You’ll also need to figure out just how frequently you will need the outsourcing vendor’s assistance. A one-off project is easier to manage, since you’ll have a clearly defined end goal and deadline. On the other hand, if you are planning on drawing on their services on an ongoing basis, then you will need to make sure you have a system in place to ensure that your team are easily able to work with the outsourcing service provider, and that things always run smoothly.
If you do go down the outsourcing route, then it’s vital that you have clear and open communications with the IT outsourcing company. When your needs are clear and well defined, then there is less chance of confusion leading to a delay in your project. The more complicated the project, the more important it is to ensure that there is no miscommunication- otherwise, there could be friction between your staff and the outsourcing vendor, which will have an impact on the results of the project.
Building on from this point, you should also assess how likely it is that your needs will change during the project. If they do, then you will need an additional buffer time to communicate those changes. Again, it’s essential that this process is properly managed, so that there is no confusion which could lead to errors. In general, it’s less demanding to outsource routine work which usually stays the same on a month-to-month basis.
Although you are ultimately in charge, it’s important to note that some aspects of how the outsourced work is carried out will no longer be directly controlled by you. However, it’s up to you when you make the agreement with the vendor as to how much input or quality control you will have over the project. Ultimately, though, you have to be comfortable with giving up at least some measure of control over the work which you are outsourcing if you are to take full advantage of what the service has to offer.