Why things go wrong with IT outsourcing

By Mark Watson|8 March 2019

As any boy scout will tell you, it’s always best to be prepared before embarking on any journey. No more so than when you take the step to move from in-house to IT outsourcing. There are plenty of good reasons to outsource IT functions, but your organisation can only enjoy the benefits if you avoid the pitfalls.

Here we look at why things can go wrong with IT outsourcing and, by default, how to prevent them from happening to your organisation.

If you haven’t got time to read this article now, download our guide providing insights on how to optimise your IT support to save money and internal resources, and ensure IT support has a positive impact on the bottom line. Click here for your copy.

5 reasons why IT outsourcing can go wrong

#1: Cost drives decision making

Costing savings are a key reason to outsource IT functions, but don’t get blindsided by the savings you can make. Cheaper IT service providers (such as offshore providers) are cheap for a reason and often that means they can’t deliver any additional value.

If you make a decision based on price, the chances are you will have a transactional relationship with your IT service provider. However, if you factor in the value a provider can offer you may find a strategic partnership delivers more, including further cost savings. Expect IT outsourcing providers to explore how they can support your organisation and deliver value, including recommending how you can drive efficiencies and save money in other ways.

You may also like to read our post on How to calculate IT outsourcing ROI to learn more, click here.

#2: Not outsourcing the right functions

What IT functions within your organisation will deliver the best ROI if outsourced? Typically, functions like 1st line IT support can be delivered more efficiently by specialist provider than running an in-house team. However, that might not be the best solution for your organisation, so discuss this with different providers and weigh up the pros and cons thoroughly.

#3: Poor communication

Poor communication can very quickly sign the death warrant of any professional relationship. Make sure you’re being heard and that potential IT outsourcing companies are asking the right questions and providing answers to yours. Also, make sure you’re also asking the right questions, that you understand what the provider can deliver and that you’re providing answers to their questions. You all need to be on the same wavelength to understand each other and develop a good working relationship.

#4: The on-boarding and implementation stage is rushed

Some IT outsourcing solutions can be up and running very quickly, but others benefit from more time to ensure that the service is aligned with your organisation’s needs. Ask for information about the on-boarding and implementation process to ensure you understand what information and activities need to happen before your service can go live. You'll then know what to expect and what you need to do your end too.

#5: No cultural fit

Cultural alignment is really important for a number of reasons. If the service provider shares your organisation’s values, such as your work ethic, they’ll become an extension of your IT team. If you’re outsourcing an IT function such as IT support, where the provider will communicate directly with customers or employees, it’s even more important that they reflect your organisation’s culture and values too. Ultimately your organisation’s reputation could be in their hands, so don’t ignore cultural fit.

To discuss IT outsourcing in more detail and to understand more fully what IT functions would deliver your organisation the best ROI, please get in touch. We’d be delighted to explore your requirement and recommend the best approach.

We’ve also got a free download available on How to drive IT service desk efficiencies – exploring how to get more value from your IT service desk provider and make IT support more effective.

Further Information

How to drive IT Service Desk efficiencies

Explore how your business can streamline your IT support creating opportunities that make savings, reduce downtime and improve productivity and focus your IT team’s resources on projects that will deliver positive ROI.


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