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What is IT Outsourcing?
IT outsourcing is hiring a third-party (often an offshore provider) to design, manage and maintain an organization’s IT services. IT outsourcing is often used to save costs on operations and in-house staff.
IT outsourcing provides businesses with access to specialized infrastructure, technology, and talent. In addition to saving money, companies benefit from improved efficiency and a reduced focus on in-house IT management.
Many organizations also use IT outsourcing to mitigate risk and stay competitive with other companies that outsource their IT services. By leveraging the resources of an external provider, businesses can focus on core competencies while relying on an expert service provider to handle tasks they may not be familiar with or not have the time for.
Why Are IT Outsourcing Services So Popular These Days?
IT outsourcing has become a widespread practice among companies in different industries. The cost of maintenance and support of the IT infrastructure, which includes the team of professionals and all the necessary hardware, is very high.
For this reason, many companies decide to outsource specific services or even their entire IT departments. There are many risks and challenges associated with IT outsourcing; these include lack of control over the project, lack of transparency in communication, and little to no possibility for collaboration with a remote team of workers.
This article will focus on some of the best practices that will help you overcome these challenges and successfully outsource parts or all of your IT department.
Here are some tips to help you succeed;
Evaluate Your IT Department
The first step of the IT outsourcing process is to evaluate your IT department or team. This means that you have to understand the current state of your company’s technological infrastructure and its strengths and weaknesses.
Once you understand this, it’s time to analyse the IT needs of your business. You should do this by talking to your sales and marketing team and the human resources (HR) department. This will help you define what the current problems are and what the potential technological needs will be soon.
As an example, if you’re a small company looking to grow over the coming months, it could be beneficial for you to outsource some parts of your IT services to focus on scaling quickly and effectively. However, if your business is already established with a large client base, outsourcing might not be necessary for you because your business has already reached its desired size.
Document Current State of Affairs
If you have been outsourcing your IT department for a while and need to re-evaluate your current strategy, the first step is to evaluate your existing situation. To do so, you should document the following:
- The current state of affairs
- What is being outsourced?
- How many people are being outsourced? Is this number growing or shrinking?
- Which of these functions are internalized and which are externalized?
- Which functions are being outsourced in-house, nearshore, or offshore?
- Who is in charge of each function? Who is assigned to manage each vendor, and what are the overall responsibilities of each person on the team?
- What vendors are currently in place? What services do they provide? And how long have they been providing them for the company?
Look for a Partner, Not Just a Vendor
Outsourcing is a partnership. You should look for a partner and not just a vendor. This partner should be able to share your goals and have a clear understanding of your business objectives. It is also crucial that they understand what you need regarding quality, service, and cost.
Most companies outsource to focus on their core competencies, and this means that they don’t want to waste time or resources on IT operations that can be done by someone else (and who can even do it better). Therefore, you should choose an outsourcing partner who is already experienced in delivering the required services and who can provide evidence of doing so successfully for other customers.
Establish Clear Objectives and Expectations
When you are looking to develop an IT outsourcing strategy, it is essential to start by defining the company’s goals. The main aim of your strategy should be to enhance your business operations and increase profitability. Outsource the right way, and you will save money on IT functions while having the freedom to focus on core business processes.
To get the most out of your strategy, it is important that you clearly define what you want from your outsourcing partner before signing a contract with them. It is also crucial that you establish clear communication with your provider. This will help ensure that your IT services are delivered to a high standard and within a reasonable timeframe.
Make Sure Your Goals Are Aligned
One of the biggest problems when it comes to hiring an outsourced team is that there’s no guarantee that they will be as invested in your project as you are. You’re paying them for their time, so they don’t have any skin in the game (at least not in the way you do).
This means that you need to be very clear about what you’re looking for from them and then set up some kind of incentive structure, so they have something at stake if they don’t meet those goals. If they don’t, then it’s not worth your while–or theirs–to keep working together; however, if they exceed expectations, it’s only fair that they get compensated accordingly.
Set Up Effective Communication Channels
This step is critical for the outsourced project’s success. The more communication channels you set up, the higher probability that the message will be delivered correctly and promptly. Consider such means of communication as telephone, email, Skype, online chat, file-sharing services, etc.
Think about the time difference between your country and the country of your outsourcing partner. Most companies prefer working with partners in their time zone to avoid misunderstandings due to discrepancies in working hours or holidays. However, there are also positive sides to offshore outsourcing: you will be able to get support 24/7 while working with a company from another time zone.
Track the Progress Regularly
It is important to track the progress of the outsourced project, but you should also be aware that you may not get direct access to all the information. For example, if you outsource the work to an offshore development team, you will not be able to visit their office and observe the progress in person.
In that case, your chosen software development company or team should provide you with a project management tool to see how your project is being developed. Some examples of such tools are Basecamp, Jira, or Pivotal Tracker. These tools allow you and your offshore software developers to communicate about the project in real-time and take action accordingly.
Let’s Wind Up
LN Webworks offers a full-suite IT outsourcing solution to help clients focus on their core business. We provide professional services that cater to the versatility of your business needs from day-to-day operations. We deliver excellence in our execution, and you can see it in every task.
We are a team of highly skilled professionals with expertise in technology, communication, and organization. We focus on your business objectives and work to support you through all aspects of your operations. Our team comprises strategic thinkers, creative experts, and technical wizards who have been working together for years. We take pride in providing the best possible service to our clients.
LN WebworksYour Drupal Solution Partner
LN Webworks have championed open-source technologies for nearly a decade, bringing advanced engineering capabilities and agile practices to some of the biggest names across media, entertainment, education, travel, hospitality, telecommunications and other industries.