Avoiding IT outsourcing disasters


describe the imageMany companies are looking to third-party IT services providers to take on arduous, time-consuming computing tasks that would normally eat up valuable time and resources in IT departments. The IT services providers are able to accomplish necessary computing tasks and maintenance faster and more efficiently than IT departments, while allowing businesses to use their computing employees for other projects throughout the enterprise.

When working with an IT services provider, companies should implement certain strategies to prevent an IT outsourcing disaster that would negate all the perks of IT outsourcing and cause more headaches in the end for all departments.


Top tips

In a blog piece for Startup Smart, IT expert Lloyd Ernst outlined some easy-to-use tactics that can keep an outsourcing partnership on the right track and avoid costly problems and delays. One way to prevent an IT outsourcing disaster is for companies to create their own IP/architecture rather than leave it up to the third party provider.

One IT department employee should be in charge of purchasing the IP and architecture so the entire IT infrastructure and system is not completely maintained by the providers. From there, however, IT services providers should be given more control over other decisions regarding the operations and management of outsourced IT services.

While working with an IT services provider will accelerate the process of completing many basic tasks and projects, there are some that involve a member of the IT department or enterprise team as well.

In addition, Ernst recommends companies avoid taking a backseat to the design aspect of IT services being outsourced. Companies can connect a representative with the IT services provider so the two can collaborate on the core design layout and style guides used to create the online image and profile of the company.

Because the third-party provider has limited experiences and knowledge of the company's goals, mission statement and atmosphere, an employee will help imprint a certain message or image on the digital reputation being developed. Branding and communications with customers is key to business success, particularly in the online environment.

Thus, it is important that consistency is maintained across digital, social, print and in-person communications coming from the company, Ernst explained. Once the style details have been agreed upon, the company representative can leave the rest of the work to the IT provider and return to other projects.