Taking the IT outsourcing plunge is nothing to take lightly. But what's really holding you back? Often it's fear of the unknown, along with fear of losing full control, that keeps you from experiencing the many benefits outsourcing can bring. But if you look around, you'll likely see your competitors are doing it — and doing it rather successfully.
The key is finding a provider that will work with you as a true partner, which means understanding your specific business needs. When you find the right match, you also find that your fears soon dissipate. Yes, keep your strategies intact. Don't relinquish all power or lose your voice in the process. But do examine the possibility of handing off the more fundamental or mundane elements of your IT service and support. By choosing wisely, and being open to a true partnership, a host of outsourcing benefits may be just around the corner.
10 common outsourcing benefits you should expect
- Gain access to the most current applications without high up-front licensing costs
- Ensure the best quality of IT service, with fewer failures and minimal downtime when you specify service level agreements
- Reduction in your service and support expenses as a result of a more managed budget
- Access to the industry's cutting-edge professionals, regardless of your staff volume or expertise
- Reduction in your company's risk of loss due to employee turnover
- 24/7/365 access to assistance, ensuring quick resolution to those unexpected problems
- Greater assurance that regulation and compliance issues are being met, and in timely fashion
- Higher levels of data security due to the expertise of remote, hosted data centers
- Measurable results and high levels of accountability stemming from contractual obligations. Your third-party provider/partner wants to keep your business.
- Whittle down your budget-draining IT staff costs. Get what you need, when you need it, versus maintaining a larger full-time staff requiring larger annual budgets.
The double-digit percentages of companies choosing to outsource across all business sectors continues to grow. It is not only a bottom-line-friendly option in terms of dollars, but it also brings greater flexibility, greater production efficiencies in many cases, and certainly increased access to assets not always readily available in-house. These factors also contribute to an ability for companies to focus on their core products and services that they can do best.
Craving some savings?
Outsourcing allows you to use your in-house resources for the elements of your business unique to you. When you reach this level of support, you eliminate or significantly reduce your costs to maintain entire departments of highly skilled (and deservedly highly paid) employees requiring strong application-based credentials. You eliminate or significantly reduce your risk (and related costs) of employees lost to competitors and even other industries after you have invested in their training and high-level skills for the betterment of your company. Not to mention the ongoing costs of training, even if they don't abandon ship. Get the most out of your valued employees by allowing them to apply their expertise to the components of your business that make you stand out, that make your business unique. Let others manage the general business processes that are a perfect match for outsourcing. What are those processes? A good IT service provider will help you identify them.
Then there's the savings that result from using a third-party's servers, layers of networks and miscellaneous hardware. That savings, alone, can be significant. And your IT partner can expand or minimize these processes as needed, based on the current demands of your business.
Although not as easily measured, you will also save yourself a lot of worry when it comes to risk factors such as data security or disaster recovery issues. Let the experts help you in these areas and provide the assurance you need to keep your focus on the core processes of your business.
Effective negotiation is critical to establishing a healthy, successful relationship with your IT service provider — one in which you receive the benefits you expect. This should start long before a contract is signed. In addition, your IT service partner should be able to show you from the start that they understand your business and exactly what value they intend to bring to your operation. Keeping the lines of communication open between you and your selected provider, you should be able to assess their ability to match your goals and ensure they will provide complete service performance visibility — including measurable indications of performance quality — so you can join the ranks of those who have successfully become shining examples of the benefits of outsourcing.