Best practices for IT outsourcing

3 minutes read
on 22 October, 2017

Best practices for IT outsourcing

For many IT departments, outsourcing projects is a common practice used to help manage the workload, however, for many organizations, outsourcing doesn’t happen very often so when it becomes  a consideration they may be unsure of how to go about doing it the right away. Here are a few important considerations and best practices for making the best of your IT outsourcing experience.

Set clear objectives

Know exactly what needs to be accomplished by the IT team to which you will outsource. Make sure objectives are clear from the outset. Don’t make outsourcing decisions for the wrong reasons. For instance, don’t unload the projects you don’t want without considering what projects make sense to outsource. What to outsource depends on the company’s business objectives. If the goal is to save money, then start by outsourcing the projects that cost the company the most money.

Find the right partner

Be sure to pick the best partner to work with. Your service provider should understand more than just how to code or deploy projects. They should also  be compatible with your company’s culture and business objectives, as well as possess the right experience, communications skills, and work style. They will become an integral part of your organization and need to fit in as seamlessly as possible.

Make sure you will get what you pay for

It’s important that once the papers are signed you get exactly what you pay for. Make sure what is negotiated is delivered and executed. Make sure the budget is fair so that your outsource partner is not under too much pressure and cuts corners.

Communication is key

Also, be sure that your service provider clearly understands the project specifications. Be detailed and precise in what your expectations are. A high-level of coordination is required when  outsourcing and particularly when you distribute it across your internal organization.

Have an on-site presence

If possible, try to budget to have an on-site presence at the service provider so that you can see what is actually happening.  And so that your representative there can stay connected with you as well.

Maintain ownership

Outsourcing doesn’t mean that your giving up responsibility for the IT project.  You are still responsible for the overall results, so you should plan to be actively involved in working with and managing the company to which you will outsource your work.

Obtain C-level approval

It’s critical to make sure you have approval and buy-in from senior-level stakeholders like the CIO on the client side and CEO on the vendor side. It’s important that everything doesn’t rest in the hands of middle management.

Organize before you outsource

Don’t “dump” your issues on the company with which you outsource and then be surprised if they can’t deliver

They will likely face the same challenges.  Additionally, it will likely be harder for the outsourcer because they aren’t necessarily privy to your history, culture, and the business context when making decisions about the project. Consider deploying new systems yourself and then outsourcing them to someone else to operate and maintain.