There is no denying that in today’s ever-changing business world, outsourcing comes as a blessing. An opportunity to find an easy way out of any unpleasant IT project by outsourcing it seems especially tempting. Still, although IT industry discovered how to take even the most mundane human activities and turn them into automated apps, some kind of solution that will magically solve all the IT outsourcing-related problems is sorely missing. That is why we will have to tackle this problem in the old-fashioned analog way, and give you a short list of the most dangerous mistakes you should avoid when outsourcing IT department.
Strike the Right Balance Between the Negligence and Being a Control-Freak
First and foremost, the whole point of outsourcing is to let the people who are more competent at some area to solve all related problems instead of you. If you are constantly crossing the boundaries, and squash vendor’s efficiency by over-dictating the way how the IT department should be run, you are dooming the whole project from the get-go. This, however, does not mean that you can outsource your whole brain. Don’t think even for a second that your job is over once your company signs the outsourcing contract. You are the only person who knows how the project’s end product should look like. If you deprive vendors of your valuable input and feedback, you are doing equally bad thing, as if you micromanaged everything.
Don’t Outsource Things That Can Be Easily Automated
Do not get us wrong, outsourcing IT projects can be immensely helpful, but take a break just for a second before signing anything, and ask yourself is there any real need to outsource some activities that can be easily automated. Even if you are not aware, there are dozens of things which can run on autopilot, so do your research before you make any move. We will give you a few of them to get you started:
- Approving Twitter followers
- Sending out campaign emails, postcards, and newsletters
- Sorting through spam comments
- Responding to opt ins on the website
Don’t Skip the Thorough Preparation
Using outsourcing as a quick remedy for some unexpected IT problems without proper preparation usually leads to subpar results, at best. It is not that uncommon for small business owners to start negotiating contracts with vendors before even evaluating the scope and the end goals of the project. Involving the existing staff as much as possible and preparing them for the future IT tasks will cut the devastating “job loss” rumors from the start. Finally, you should make sure that you and your vendors have all the necessary tools to make the completion of the project possible. If you, for example, do not have proper remote access software, chances for such outcome will be reduced.
Don’t Rely on Outsourcing the Things You Don’t Understand
As we mentioned above, outsourcing can be a great short-term solution for exploring new business areas. Still, if you do not cast some light over them at some point, you are running a risk of leaving a large chunk of IT related decision-making to strangers. You will not even be able to provide some basic guidelines and feedback because you are still in the dark. Today’s technology makes outsourcing a vital tool for building leanness, efficiency, and competitiveness. If you are using it as a cheap way to offload some work, you are doing it wrong.
Take Care of Your Intellectual Property
Intellectual property has always been a moot point of the whole outsourcing game. That does not mean, though, that you should abandon the game completely. Just be sure to double-check all the ambiguous issues and write a solid, failure-proof contract protecting your company’s best interests. Your IP can also be hurt as a result of accidental leaks, or cyber-attacks. Making sure that your vendors are equipped with secure facilities and computers devoid of any kind of removable media is recommended.
With all the things said, we can only conclude that first and the most important prerequisite for successful outsourcing lies in being careful, and re-examining all of your decisions. If you manage to stay clear-headed and with two feet on the ground through negotiations, we are sure that your IT project will be nothing short of successful.