Registration for East European High Tech IT Professionals

Simple Steps You Must Take Before Outsourcing

March 10, 2009

Making the decision to outsource your company’s IT services can be a stressful one.  Whenever your company gives up direct control over a project, there is some risk involved.  But luckily the global market for IT services is only getting bigger and more reliable.  Keep these simple steps in mind whenever deciding to outsource an IT project:

  1. Decide what services to outsource. Companies or IT departments have a tendency to dump their problems on outsourcers.  If you are struggling with a particular nasty IT problem, then chances are that sending that problem to be solved offshore will not produce the miracle solution you are hoping for.  Remember: outsourcers don’t have the same knowledge of your company and it’s history that you do.  If you want outsourcing to save your company money, then a good place to start would be with IT projects that are the most costly for your company

  2. Choose a service provider. Knowing whom to trust with your company’s IT needs can be tricky business.  Most companies find IT providers online or through referrals.  Before choosing an offshore IT firm or freelancer, consider the following:  Does the IT firm/freelancer have a good track record?  Can they offer you references?  Is there company stable and have a long history of successful work?  What are the qualifications of the staff? What is the range of their services?  Will they be able to adapt and expand the project if you realize you need something else?  Is their knowledge limited to IT, or are they knowledgeable about business and HR in general?

    Location can also be a deciding factor when it comes to picking an offshore IT provider.  Traditionally, a lot of IT technicians work from India, but IT freelancers in Eastern Europe are starting to make a dent in the market (See: ).  Consider time-zone differences, educational quality, languages spoken and cultural differences that may affect business when deciding what IT services company is right for you. 

  3. Set clear objectives.  This starts by making sure your offshore IT freelancer has a clear and detailed understanding of the project at hand.  The more precise you are, the more likely it is that your freelancer will provide you with a service you are happy with.  Set a timetable for progress reports and plan for a lot of back-and-forth communication.  The more you check in with your freelancer (or he/she checks in with you), the more likely the service will be provided the way you want it and in a timely manner.

    When setting objectives for your project, ask yourself:  How will performance be measured?  Have you set realistic goals for your freelancer?  Have you allowed for consequences if your freelancer fails to meet the objectives of the project?  Is your contract with the freelancer flexible?

  4. Think value over cost.  For a lot of businesses, outsourcing provides a great way to save your company money.  But sometimes people get swept away with a desire to snag a deal as cheap as possible.  Remember: if you are not paying your IT service provider sufficient funds to do the job well, he/she will cut corners.  Offshore IT services are like all other areas of business: you get what you pay for.



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