Vladimir Fedak


5 Mistakes When Сhoosing an IT Outsourcing Provider

Many companies decide to outsource their IT tasks to better use their resources and get access to an external talent pool. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when choosing an IT outsourcing provider.

The biggest asset of a company is its human capital. Building an all-around capable and motivated team is the task of utmost importance for any business. However, this is a task that might take years to be completed, and certain tasks (like designing, managing and maintaining the IT infrastructure) must be done from the day one. Outsourcing such work to a trustworthy contractor is the way to go in the modern fast-paced business world.

IT outsourcing is not merely an option anymore, it is rapidly becoming the main way of doing business for many companies, both startups and established enterprises alike. IT outsourcing benefits are multiple and cannot be underestimated:

  1. An IT outsourcing company can provide a ready team of highly experienced professionals that can begin working on your project at once
  2. When working with an IT service provider, the businesses are protected by SLA and NDA, meaning the issues will be solved in a timely manner and no information leaks will occur
  3. Outsourcing helps saving costs and shortens the time to market for your product, as an experienced contractor provides the team with an established workflow and honed skill set, which increases the chance of finishing the project in time and within budget.

These benefits might seem too good to be true, aren’t they? Well, this all applies if the IT outsourcing provider you choose is a trustworthy partner, able to fulfill their obligations. Alas, sometimes this is not the case and there are the 5 mistakes the businesses must avoid:

  1. Don’t go for the cheapest offer
  2. Don’t go for the shiny brand
  3. Don’t go for multiple contractors
  4. Don’t split the workflow and tasks
  5. Don’t expect the contractor to do the work forever

Let’s elaborate on the meaning and the possible harm of these mistakes, so you will better understand how to choose the right IT outsourcing provider.

Mistake №1: Going for the cheapest offer

You want the outsourcing tasks to be done by skilled specialists for a fraction of the cost. However, paying too little implies a great risk of employing a sub-par team. Thus said, choosing a reputable IT service provider with an affordable pricing is the wisest move to make.

Mistake №2: Going for the shiny brand

It’s good and sound to be working with the managed services provider that boasts delivering support to Samsung, Toyota or Deutsche Bank. The point is, these enterprise customers will always be a priority for the outsourcing team working with them, so if something major happens with their systems, this case will receive the utmost attention. Naturally, all the other tasks will be halted or postponed until the major client’s crisis is resolved.

The only way to avoid this situation is avoiding working with the shiny brands altogether, opting for middle-range companies instead. In this case, the partners do not turn into numbers and all the requests are treated with equal attention, thus ensuring fulfilling the obligations under SLA.

In addition, working with industry leaders makes their contractors used to large checks and they quite often raise their prices substantially. Mid-sized contractors don’t fall for such approach and keep their pricing reasonable.

Mistake №3: Going for multiple contractors

The older representatives of the C-suite might choose not to store all eggs in the same basket and hire multiple contractors. While this approach might work with providing the office supplies or purchasing the uniforms and helmets separately for construction workers, this can never work with the IT services. To ensure there is no interruption in the user’s experience, one IT service provider should handle all IT-related requests.

In addition, the contractor might hire subcontractors so your requests will go through a rather complicated chain of intermediaries before being fulfilled. Partnering with a company that provides the full range of the needed services is the best way to streamline the workflow and ensure the stability of the service delivery.

Mistake №4: Splitting the workflow and siloing the tasks

For example, let’s take DevOps-as-a-Service realm and imagine your servers are provisioned, run, backed up and maintained by one trustworthy contractor, while the code QA is performed by another reputable firm.

When a new batch of code is submitted for testing, the DevOps engineers provision a build environment for it and create a ticket for the QA team to test the code, and the process is on halt until the QA specialists either approve or reject the code due to bugs. This can take merely a few minutes, but any delay on the QA side impacts the workflow of two other teams.

This is why going for end-to-end services when one team is responsible for the whole workflow is the only way to ensure the services are delivered without unneeded bottlenecks and delays.

Mistake №5: Leaving all the work to the contractor

While outsourcing is a powerful tool, it does not remove the need to build an in-house team over time. You can rent the skills of the specialists to do the one-time job, yet if your project aims to be a long-term one, you will need to have a team of talents who know all the nuts and bolts of the system and are able to work on its maintenance and continuous improvement.

A hired workforce will perform their duties according to the SLA, yet they will not devote any more effort than necessary to your project. A good contractor will surely put some effort in training your in-house specialists to use the systems they provide, or provide some advice on their improvement, as removing the cause of problems once and for all is better than continuously dealing with the consequences.

Final thoughts and a free advice on 5 mistakes to avoid when choosing an IT outsourcing provider

Even keeping in mind all these points, it is still rather complicated to find a trustworthy IT outsourcing partner. How to choose the right IT outsourcing provider then?

We recommend looking for unbiased reviews from reputable rating companies like Clutch, Glassdoor and others. Asking for the reviews from the customers mentioned in the portfolios of said IT service providers can also help, as the unsatisfied customers are quick to tell the truth of an unreliable contractor. It is also wise to look for the IT outsourcing market leaders, as these companies are sure to work under SLA, NDA and provide 24/7 diligent support.

We wish you the best of luck with finding a suitable and reliable IT outsourcing provider for your business. Just avoid the aforementioned 5 mistakes and you will be on the right track!

Initially, I’ve posted this story on my company’s blog — https://itsvit.com/blog/5-mistakes-%D1%81hoosing-it-outsourcing-provider/

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