Outsourcing may not be favorable to most businesses, but it can, in many cases, lead to enhanced productivity and reduced operational costs down the road. This is true especially for information technology (IT) outsourcing, being that not all organizations are capable of accessing state-of-the-art equipment or skilled professionals.
In business settings where there’s not enough in-house resources, outsourcing is an attractive and practical solution. Organizations may not be able to maximize operational efficiency if they decide to do everything while lacking the resources to do a great job.
Before contacting a potential IT provider whom you think is the best fit for your business needs, consider the following points.
1. Determine Your IT Support Needs
Before seeking the services of a third-party IT support Sydney provider, have your in-house IT staff or a consultant conduct a thorough inspection of your resources and set-up. Have the said IT professional determine the specific services you may need to outsource.
Otherwise, ask your prospective IT company to do it instead, if possible. Do ask for a quote for minimum, medium, and maximum IT requirements, with explanations on what each service can and can’t do for your business.
Apart from being clear about your company’s IT support needs, it’s equally important to set explicit goals relative to your decision to transfer this specific business operation to a third-party.
2. Decide The Services You Want Contracted Out
Be clear about the services you wish to outsource and the set-up you wish to take. It’ll probably take less time once you’ve done the first step, as it may be less complicated than outsourcing human resource services .
If you decide to contract all your IT services, consider whether your current business set up can handle sharing or passing on the information and procedures, as well as possibly training the remote workers briefly.
Are you planning to outsource only a portion of the actual IT processes? Do you want to remain in control of the actual processes done by third-party workers, through your own managers? If the answer is yes, consider whether your in-house staff is willing to lead the team in this unconventional working arrangement.
Finally, you may be most amenable to have a complex setup that mixes both working modalities. This will allow you to keep control over a few things that your organization is already good at.
Each has its own benefits and pitfalls, so do consider all the points thoroughly.
3. Your Outsourcing Partner’s Reputation
Cost-cutting is one of the most compelling reasons for companies to outsource. And more often than not, IT services are passed on to offshore companies.
However, don’t jump at every chance you get to hand out this business function. Consider your partner well by ensuring its impressive, or at the very least, positive reputation in the industry. This is quite easy to do, as the internet is rife with information about customer reviews and testimonials or brand mentions. Take the website testimonials with a grain of salt, though, as they may be paid reviews intended to boost an IT firm’s reputation.
If you can, consider other means to find out what people are saying about the IT firm you wish to partner with. Ask the IT company for references and keep in touch with at least one. Hear what the previous client has to say.
4. Ask How Your IT Partner Ensures Data Protection And Security
Data protection is another important topic that shouldn’t be left out when you’re thinking about outsourcing IT solutions. There are concerns about giving third-party companies access to company data and customer information, which may expose sensitive data to cyberhackers and make you more vulnerable to other forms of cyber fraud.
To work around this, identify what safeguards and measures the IT company will take to protect data and shield it from cyberattacks or unauthorized access. You may also determine and control the type of information you need to share with the IT contractor. Chances are, they only need minimal information in order to operate efficiently.
5. Be Ready For Kinks In Communication And Collaboration
Another point of contention between those eyeing to outsource and those who are on the fence about the move, is the efficiency of communication and collaboration.
These two essential elements for business growth may be disrupted when contracting IT firms located offshore. This may lead to language barriers, cultural, and time gaps that could cripple and otherwise seamless operations. There are fears that the off-site team may not fit the culture, values, and overall efficiency of the IT processes.
On the other hand, remember that these firms have been teaming up with companies like yours, and this experience can’t be downplayed. Often, they have strict standards in order to stay in the game. That being said, third-party companies have skilled and trained employees who are culturally-sensitive and multi-lingual, to break down communication barriers.
To ensure that nothing’s lost in translation, write down all the minutes of the meetings, agreements, and memos. Ask your IT service provider for feedback and remain open to hear any questions to clarify the points raised during the discussion.
6. Ensure That Your Internal Employees Keep A High Morale
Anything that threatens job security and tenure, such as outsourcing IT services, can result in low morale among your employees and this can’t be avoided. Those who get to keep their jobs will get depressed about why their colleagues were let go, and they will face uncertainties over the new set-up.
Additionally, some employees who may be transferred under the helm of your new IT partner may find it hard to adjust or fear that their entire work environment will substantially change, along with their salary scale.
Consider easing your employees’ fears by calling for a meeting, explaining the need for outsourcing your IT services, and assuring them that the move will not endanger their positions, if such is the case. For those whom you need to let go, make sure to provide all the packages such as separation pay and other benefits entitled to them.
7. Consider Hiring A Professional To Guide Your Outsourcing Path
Outsourcing your IT services, or any business process for that matter, is a costly undertaking, especially if you’ve made serious mistakes in the pre-screening and the actual selection process.
Rather than spending your precious time, effort, and financial resources towards damage control, consider hiring a consultant to walk you through the entire outsourcing process, especially if it’s your first time. Hiring a professional may be a sound investment if you don’t want to deal with problems that crop up at a later stage.
Businesses may benefit from outsourcing, considering that it can enhance productivity, among other advantages, if they choose the right partner. Before agreeing to contract your IT services out, take heed of the seven points discussed in this article so that you can focus on developing your business and perfecting in-office processes.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.