Outsourcing your company’s IT project can help free up time to focus on other crucial growth areas, but making the decision of whom to trust can be tricky. Choose a company for your outsourced IT projects by understanding the scope of the project and the outsourcing process.
1. Understand Your Business’s Needs
Before diving into the pool of potential companies, you must have a clear understanding of the capabilities of your own IT team, and the areas in which they require support. Will you outsource IT projects to augment an in-house IT team or to handle all aspects of a project? Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you already have a strong vision of the results?
- Do you require only tweaking and augmentation of a project concept?
- Is there a need for improvement, but no set plan to address it?
These matters may dictate the IT outsourcing group best suited to your needs.
2. Communication and Making the Decision
As with any effective business relationship, successful IT outsourcing requires communication. Speak with your current in-house IT team to get a sense of their capabilities and what they require in outsourced work.
Having someone else do all the work may be necessary for a few, but keeping your own team involved is optimal. Combining the work of in-house and outsourced IT professionals also require careful management. However, the outcome from such collaborations is often more beneficial, since the in-house IT team has been a part of the entire process. This allows them to have a better understanding of the function of the finished product.
3. Offshore and Near-Shore Development
IT services come from places across the globe. If you outsource IT projects, the work may even include input from several different regions. India is a leader in providing offshore development for IT projects. However, according to CIO.com, there are benefits of diversifying outsourcing locations. There are several other burgeoning IT outsourcing regions to consider:
- Costa Rica
- South Africa
However exotic the locale, offshore development allows completion of your project in places where pay rates are lower and the talent pool is large.
There are drawbacks to working with groups halfway around the world—time differences, language barriers, the lack of “agility.” Near-shore development uses providers geographically closer to home, providing the savings of offshore outsourcing while allowing for easier communication due to physical proximity, which makes it easier to meet in person.
Consider just how far the “out” in outsourcing is. At the same time, recognize the value of outsourcing, no matter the location. InformationWeek.com reports that while at one time Indian IT infrastructure providers were a “last resort,” they now command a fair amount of the market—to the point of competing with some of the big names in IT such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard.
4. Evaluating Potential IT Partners
Whether they are offshore development or near-shore development prospects, much of what you need to know about prospective IT outsourcing partners is what you look for in any business partner:
- Do they understand the needs of the project?
- Will they anticipate the next steps?
- Will they communicate efficiently with in-house teams? Tip: Examine how the job negotiation process plays out; this will give some indication of their communication style.
- What is their record working with other companies? Check reputable references.
- What is their testing process, and how do they address problems revealed through that testing?
- What is their record on support and communication on completed projects?
5. Domestically Based Companies With Offshore and Near-Shore Resources
Finding the right fit for your outsourced IT projects does not need to be as daunting as it appears at first. Consider using a domestically-based group that provides outsourced IT services with established offshore development sources.
The beauty of such an arrangement is that it eliminates the hassles of directly dealing with an offshore IT developer. Near-shore development talent pools minimize many logistical and agility issues while still incorporating more established offshore development resources. An onshore IT development group that understands the importance of timely delivery of quality IT solutions provides a perfect nexus of global talent and value.