How to identify the best IT Outsourcing partner?

Information Technology is a fundamental activity in every organisation irrespective of its size and industry. Given that all modern business processes or activities rely on technology in some way, shape or form choosing the right IT outsourcing partner is more strategic than you might initially have thought. Investing in the correct technologies right away translates to a cost saving in the longer-term progression of your organisation avoiding costly system migrations and disruptions.

Large organisations usually have an internal IT team to cater for some or all their needs. This gives them the flexibility to outsource selected projects or tasks from their full spectrum of IT tasks or projects. For small to medium organisations, usually the only viable option is to fully outsource their IT function.

Choosing the right IT outsourcing companies for your managed IT Services can be a challenge for small to medium sized organisations especially if you are not tech-savvy. You need to choose the right partner in terms of budgetary requirements, technical skills, and professionality. Moreover, you will also be constrained by time, which let us face it, everyone is these days.

If you want to identify the best IT outsourcing firm, you should follow the below tips:

Technological Capabilities

For the non tech-savvy decision makers looking to partner with an IT outsource firm, a short term one to three month trial is an ideal way to observe and learn about your potential engagement.  An outsourced IT cloud environment assessment is a good way to initiate such relationship.  Gauge how your IT outsource partner can enable your business growth. Be result oriented not brand oriented.  The IT landscape changes rapidly.  Look for outsourcing teams that are adaptable to meet this pace and that can demonstrate growth to your business by understanding your current business processes and enhance them through their IT solutions.

Focus on the people

Having the right skillset and personalities onboard is a clear sign you have a viable contender.  Examine the individuals who will oversee your IT function on both their personality and their skillset.  Having both is a good indication you are in the right company!  As with any function, be sure they have synergy with the rest of the organisation and passion on their core competence. Being software outsourcing is a complex business, flexibility and accountability are desired characteristics to bring onboard.  Flexibility should give you peace of mind during those unplanned changes that disrupt your delivery.  Accountability ensures your solution delivery and expectations are aligned.

Onboarding With the Best IT Outsourcing Companies

During the onboarding phase, your IT outsourcing services company should set up a dedicated meeting through a dedicated person of contact to review your current IT environment and needs.  The best IT outsourcing companies will engage with you and reveal improvements they feel will have the best return on investment whilst also providing expert IT solutions for your individual needs. Have them invest in you by offering them an opportunity to demonstrate their IT skills and work ethics.  Moreover, the best IT outsourcing groups will plan with you both short term and long-term goals into their planning.  This is a good sign you are in the right hands!

Starting the Project

A lot of planning is required into this stage.  The process of explaining your requirements and your organisational workflows is critical to implement a successful IT solution.  The team needs to understand your expectations against how you do things.  Your IT partner will have vast knowledge on how they can help improve your business workflows and IT environment through their previous experience.

Security & Compliance

Security must be discussed as part of the implementation and not as an afterthought.  Industry standards security best practices suggest security is approached in layers.  Firstly, make sure security controls are designed in your organisation workflows.  Secondly the IT solution provides the necessary information on authentication, authorisation, and auditing to ensure all access is recorded as per your requirements.

Further to that, specific industries might have to mandatory implement regulatory compliance requirements.  In such cases, ensure the IT solution is compliant to governance bodies and regulations.

Choosing the right tools

A critical step for your success.  Choosing the right system and tools to enhance your business workflows is of utmost importance.  Good providers will give you an overview of options for the best IT solutions on the market instead of selling you on one solution.   They will also provide you with recommendations to specifically address your business needs and as to why such IT solutions capabilities are a best fit to your organisation. 

Be open to change

Prejudgment is a killer to innovation.  Sometimes we develop prejudice with a specific IT solution that bias us into believing there is only one solution to a problem.  Avoid thoughts or comments like “This is the way we do things”.  It is important to keep an open mind and experiment with different options to best suit your unique needs. Benefit from the vast knowledge an IT outsource provider can bring from their experience in implementing IT solutions.

Implementation & Change Management

One of the biggest challenges for any IT Outsourcing engagement is effective change management.  Be sure collaboration workflows are discussed in detailed and strictly implemented as part of the engagement.  Both teams will be involved in managing the project delivery contributing to the success of such partnership.  Enforce testing and approval workflows and processes that will help early detection of defects and approve IT solutions deliverables, respectively. 

An Ideal IT outsource firm can provide such a workflow or even integrate into your current change management tools to facilitate your success.  

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