It is nothing new that businesses of every kind have a wide range of IT requirements. And, so the demand for IT Specialists are increasing. But then the question arises that how to fill such IT needs; whether to hire one IT specialist for your own company or look for professionals outside. And, the decision is surely tough to make. But you know what outsourcing remains to be very popular among businesses all over the world despite some open criticism.
According to some researchers, 80% of the respondents will continue to outsource from the market, while 43% are planning to outsource more. Even one report says that around 59% of businesses use outsourcing to reduce their expenses.
In case if you are also thinking of outsourcing your professional needs, then here is a piece of advice to follow. Yes, let’s take a look at the main reasons that prove outsource is the best way to move ahead. But let’s first understand what IT functions businesses may need to be outsourced.
To perform various tasks, Outsourcing uses the developed workforce of an outside organization and the resources of an outside organization for manufacturing and services products. And, cutting costs on projects is typically the motivation for outsourcing work to another company. There are several industries, for example, telecommunications, transport, travel, media, and retail, which usually rely on outsourcing to complete important tasks or projects.
When using outsourcing and insourcing, the organization's control over operations and decisions will differ because organizations that are doing outsourcing for a particular service or manufacturing process have the least managerial control over the methods of the outside organization that was hired for the project.
For example, an organization that is known for friendly customer service may not have the ability to enforce or manage how an outside support center interacts with customers.
IT Functions That Businesses May Need to Outsource
There are several thoughts that business comes across through the stages of its set up and evolution when you talk about outsourcing IT support. Some companies like to have infrastructural setup along with application development at the beginning only, but others may be needed application development during their digital transformation journey.
Even others like to have maintenance and support services for the smooth running of the business. So, here is a list of some of the most commonly outsourced IT functions for businesses.
a. Web development
b. Software and application development
c. Web hosting
d. Website/application maintenance
e. Database development and management
f. Infrastructure setup and maintenance
g. Technical support
i. Information security
Besides all these options, the kinds of services one needs for their business are based on the size, growth potential, type of operations, and other requirements. There are several ways you can try outsourcing like you may outsource services from providers located in the same area or even from other countries (off-shore), based on your needs.
And, though these will be hired personnel rather than professionals on your payroll, you can even have an outsourced team working for you at your office. Well, what matters is that you get expert professionals delivering quality services at optimal cost. Yes, several things go in favor of the former when you compare IT outsourcing with in-house teams.
10 Reasons Why Outsourcing IT Support is a Better Choice Than In-House Support
1. Reduced Labor Costs
This is an undeniable fact that maintaining and training a large in-house IT department is costly. If we talk about the United States, the most basic tech support specialists earn an average of $46,420 annually. Plus, Systems Analysts earn upwards of $80,000 every year, with Data Administrators and Network Administrators earning nearly the same.
So hiring IT employees almost every time, ends in disappointment given the limited investment, both financially as well as mentally. On the other hand, employing a company dedicated to providing IT support services brings highly skilled workers at a fraction of the labor-related costs.
2. Provides an Uninterrupted Flow of Service
Hardware and software management has become notably more challenging as technology grows increasingly complex. With a saturated industry, businesses need to have innovative hardware and software solutions, particularly in sales and marketing.
Besides all that, they also need end-to-end networking and a continuous flow of functionality for the intranet, internet, and extranet. And, coming as rescue, Professional IT network service providers can completely manage such technicalities.
3. Reduced Anxiety
Employees tend to be less anxious when disaster management and recovery are tackled with competence. And, the challenges are evident, especially when a computer crashes or the internet goes.
Besides all that, workers also worry about lost productivity, disappearing information, and threatened security. And, guess what, all such worries subside with a skilled IT services provider because services are up and running smoothly.
4. Enjoy Expanded Resources
This is a fact that large businesses almost every time have the resources required to maintain cutting edge technologies and services themselves, but at the same time, smaller businesses do not need to have such resources forever.
Well, outsourcing plays out in numerous ways, such as mobility and efficiency of the company, the level of productivity a company enjoys, and the means available to reach out to prospects. Hence for both small companies and large organizations, outsourcing services offer a more equitable environment.
5. Decreased Risk
Almost every business investment carries a level of risk, and there’s no way to get over it. An ever-evolving palette of government regulations, economic conditions, competitors, and technologies ensures this is the case.
Many companies that offer IT system support assume much of this risk. They foster specific industry-related knowledge—most importantly, those about compliance and security issues. They can better ascertain and avoid inherent risks with this knowledge.
6. Increased Competitiveness
It is one very clear concept that the companies that try to maintain and implement all of the IT work themselves many times have to dedicate substantially more to research than development implementation. It ends up as two problems for the company: higher costs and huge time.
And somehow, the costs are further passed on to the customers, which means that the business becomes less competitive concerning product prices. Their competitiveness also suffers by taking longer to bring new products to the market since other companies are moving faster.
7. Focus on a Unique Selling Proposition
There is one common reason for which many start-up companies fail, and that is they all don’t have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This refers to what differentiates a company from its competitors and can take many different forms, such as having the most innovative products or having the lowest prices.
We all know that one’s relevance is determined by the ability to grow and innovate in the market, and businesses that fail to do so go out of business directly or become redundant. Hence, it is a must for business leaders to focus on nurturing and identifying their USP and delegate other time-consuming tasks to those who have expertise in doing them.
Yes, it’s much more cost-effective to outsource IT services rather than waste time trying to learn the intricacies that a skilled IT team already knows or figure out what went wrong. And, as we already mentioned that doing so enables leaders to focus on what they do best and also on their organization’s Unique Selling Proposition.
8. Remain Focused on Core Business
Not everyone is multitasking. Similarly, almost every manager feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to handle all the challenges. And so giving more attention to IT-related concerns instead of core business functions is becoming more hectic.
So, again, Outsourcing helps a lot as it enables employees to stay focused on what they are skilled at, trained for, and paid to do because other things can be done by outsourcing services
9. Reduced IT Costs
Installing IT infrastructure with networks, security, servers, storage, and a whole host of other components is extremely expensive. At the same time, Outsourcing IT system support converts fixed IT costs into variable costs and lets us make budget accordingly.
In short, you only need to pay for what you have used, and that can be a huge cost reduction. So we can say outsourcing seems wiser choice as it helps in reducing the cost of maintaining and servicing
10. Fast Turnaround
By adding more resources to your team, you can speed up the development process due to increased flexibility. Additionally, in place of helping a company with organizational issues, outsourcing providers usually have streamlined processes and professional project manager
Yet outsourcing is not a silver bullet. If you choose to outsource your IT tasks, there are still certain pitfalls to avoid to make sure your project will be successful. That is why you need a solid understanding of outsourcing best practices.
Practices to Minimize Risks While Outsourcing IT Support
Well, the lack of trust and reliability between a vendor and a client is one of the most common concerns about outsourcing. And, there is no doubt that the Software product development is already very risky by itself, especially not to mention the scenario when your project is handled by a remote team.
So, follow these best practices to minimize the risks while Outsourcing IT Support and ensure smooth cooperation with your outsourcing vendor.
1. Conduct Thorough Assessment
A crucial aspect of outsourcing success is choosing the right provider. So all you need to do is to evaluate potential vendors thoroughly to find the best fit for your project
Additionally, pay close attention to a proven track record of similar projects and also specific expertise your project requires. Be assured that to speed up the development and avoid potential pitfalls in the process, the team can apply the domain knowledge and previously gained skills.
A common mistake that almost many do is choosing an outsourcing provider is based solely on the price. Keep in mind that quality comes at a cost, so going with the cheapest option may disappoint you at the time of results or also in between the development process.
Well here is a tip that the companies that typically provide outsourcing offer several cooperation models to choose from: fixed Time & Material, Fixed Price, Dedicated Team. So, choose the one that fits your needs best by taking into account your project specifics.
2. Set Realistic Expectations
Make sure you define the project scope and schedule beforehand to improve transparency and avoid painful surprises. Also, if you want to get what you want, the Project definition phase is a must because it enables you to sync with the team and identify the deliverables as well as your expectations.
Break the project into smaller milestones for better convenience, and also set realistic deadlines. Your requirements and expectations should be properly agreed upon and documented. Plus, to avoid miscommunication, any changes to the initial specifications should be put into writing.
3. Start Low, Go Slow
Consider a trial project to test the waters before you commit to a long-term partnership, especially if you are starting a cooperation with a new provider. It will act as a small test task for your future project or trial period because that will help you understand if the team is efficient enough to build the software you need. And, you can hire them for ongoing product development if you like how the team works.
This is important because switching the development in the process of development can be costly as well as painful. Also, if you need to do this anyway, then be assured that the deliverables and code are properly documented so that the new vendor or your in-house team can work with the assets further.
4. Protect What’s Yours
To make sure that you don’t have to worry about ownership or confidentiality, you will need a bulletproof contract and NDA. Also, ensure that you negotiate general terms, including payment options, overtime costs, deliverables transfer before getting down to the contracts.
Plus, try that there will be no subcontractors on your project. Because the outside freelancers are harder to charge with breach of confidentiality when the outsourcing company is legally bound.
On a concluding note, we must say that at last, the choice is yours. But we have mentioned most of the advantages of Outsourcing IT support for sure. So, follow the best practices and tips listed above and maximize your benefits.