Outsourcing IT functions are more popular now than ever. Organisations can manage IT in-house, but that takes staff, time and resources away from growth and customer-focused services.
In the age of cloud computing, the prolific use of smartphones and apps - even in larger corporations - and big data, outsourcing IT is proving smart and cost effective.
However, IT isn’t something business should rush to outsource. Hardware, software and connectivity are essential for multiple mission critical functions, which is why savvy business leaders should develop a strategy before selecting the right IT partner.
Here are five factors to consider before outsourcing IT functions.
5 Tips For Developing An IT Outsourcing Strategy
#1: What are your objectives?
Outsourcing has been a common practice for decades, across a wide-range of business functions. Perceived benefits include cost flexibility, lower fixed overheads, a lighter payroll burden and more focus on primary objectives.
Experienced IT partners should be adept at tailoring a strategy and service deliverables around the changing needs of a client. But first, potential clients’ should approach IT companies with a series of objectives in mind. Simple service desk functions are only one area IT partners can assist with.
Long-term value can be created when businesses work with IT companies to design and implement strategies that serve the objectives of the organisation. Look beyond the obvious.
#2: What resources do IT staff need?
An effective IT strategy is about balancing short-term, immediate needs with long-term goals. Get feedback from in-house IT teams and staff to determine where they require help. How to make their jobs easier so they can focus on their core competencies and increase their performance. What extra resources do they need? That can evolve into an open-ended wish list; so apply the caveat that extra resources - especially cloud computing, storage and other services - should serve long-term objectives.
#3: How to make the business more efficient using IT?
Another way to describe making businesses more efficient is ‘digital disruption’; a phrase you may have heard bouncing around the Internet. It simply means looking at operational functions, such as customer service and accounts, and then finding ways to save time and money using technology. Most IT providers should be able to connect objectives with the right, most efficient software and services for your needs.
#4: Is digital already disrupting your sector?
There’s an easy way to tell. Take a look at your closest competitors: consider size, location, their customers and revenues. Have they already embraced digital services and processes? Are you losing or gaining market share?
Very few sectors are immune. Change is inevitable. Businesses that haven’t embraced this yet will lose customers to those who serve their needs more easily. The right IT partner can guide a company back to a place where they can more effectively serve the needs of their customers.
#5: What financial benefits are we gaining from not outsourcing?
At some point, the costs need to be weighed against the gains. CFO’s and financial directors will want to know where’s the ROI from outsourcing. Firstly, consider the savings. Secondly, these should be weighed against actual and potential gains from greater efficiencies and new revenues.
IT partners that think about long-term objectives should always seek to generate increased revenues for clients, rather than just save resources over the financial year.
The best decision you can make is to work with an IT partner that cares about the success of your business. This isn’t only a financial decision. IT is integral to business functions and processes. The right provider will align their resources around your goals, team, assets and aims. Pick carefully, with those in mind and you can’t go wrong.
You may also like to read – Is Your Service Desk Delivering Value?
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Information Technology (IT) has revolutionised the lives of individuals and organisations. Innovation in this sphere has created business opportunities that did not exist five, ten or twenty years ago, both in the way companies operate as well as the services and products they sell.