This is a guest post by Carmen Brettel, a writer and manager for Student Grants. In her spare time, Carmen enjoys gardening and volunteering at animal shelters.
Outsourcing has become a popular option for many businesses as they continue to struggle in the sluggish economy. Outsourcing can save your company money and free up valuable resources so you can focus on growing your core operations.
While it is possible to outsource IT tasks, it does require some special considerations. After all, IT gets at the heart of your day-to-day operations, and if you don’t choose wisely when outsourcing these tasks, your needs could end up unmet. Here are a few tips for outsourcing your IT to get the best possible results:
Consider Language Barriers
Overseas providers are a popular option with many companies because of the cost savings as a result of a weaker currency. However, choosing a provider in a country that doesn’t have English as a first language could present many language barriers, which would impact the quality of service.
You can outsource your tasks to companies right in the United States. There will still be a cost savings as you will not be responsible for many traditional employee benefits, such as insurance and paid time off. Consider how language barriers might affect the service you need and then consider whether choosing a company Stateside to provide the service might be the best option.
Everyone seems great if you read their website, but they might perform quite differently once you hire them. Sometimes, the only real way to gage quality is to ask others about the service they received. By researching the reputation of a company, you can find out what their previous customers had to say about their service. If you find a lot of positive reviews, it’s a good sign you can trust the quality of service you will get from that company.
Communicate All Goals
Communication is key to any successful working relationship. This is especially true when you are working with a supplier in a remote arrangement. When you begin your relationship with your outsourced provider, make sure that you communicate all your goals for the relationship, including what jobs you expect to be completed, what responsibilities you will each have, and what you hope to accomplish by certain time intervals.
Have a Backup System in Place
Many IT providers use their own proprietary software and take on a large amount of ownership over your systems. As a result, if you end the relationship with that provider, you could have a hard time accessing your system or certain files or software that you need. It is important to always have a backup system in place and to maintain access to all passwords, databases and software used to run your system.
Have Someone Available for On-Site issues no matter how great your outsourced company is, they can’t provide all the services you’ll need for your IT. Hardware issues will arise, as will other issues that can be diagnosed through a remote connection. In those instances, you will need someone available to take care of issues on site. Make sure you either have someone available on staff or have a contractor available in the local area to take care of these needs.
Outsourcing your IT needs can help your company save money and free up valuable resources to grow your core operations. However, you should follow these tips to ensure that your outsourcing relationship is a successful one and that you don’t end up causing more problems for yourself instead.