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Outsourcing for SMBs

By CIOReview | Thursday, September 21, 2017

IT Outsourcing has long been viewed as an accomplice of big business houses. However, technology percolation in almost all strata of industries has made it possible for small and medium scale businesses to reap the benefits of outsourcing. Despite such developments, outsourcing and off-shoring, in particular, remain a game that needs to be played meticulously. A thorough understanding of business is quintessential in any outsourcing endeavors, which must be coupled with strong guiding principles. To get the most from outsourcing, organizations need to underpin their business goals distinctively. All these considerations can be challenging and may invite browbeating from management. This article attempts to outline do’s, don’ts when’s, and what’s of outsourcing.

When to Outsource

For every organization the right time for outsourcing is different. Some businesses may enough in-house staff to take care of most work. However, the organization might run short of resources if a new project comes in. That's the time when outsourcing can come to the rescue.

When Budget is a Constraint

Most professionals demand exorbitant salary along with additional benefits. This may not be applicable with most SMBs that have budget constraints. In such a scenario outsourcing seems to be the best possible solution. In many cases organizations have outsourced jobs to eliminate the overhead of office space, insurance, and additional employee costs.

Secure Best Possible Data Center Support

While formulating strategies to offer high availability for an IT platform, making sure that the best possible data center support is in place becomes a must. It averts the danger of falling prey to greedy providers.

Although there is a long list of outsourcing options in today's world, many pitfalls await an organization that hastily plunges into it. Organizations must ponder upon right contracting and knowledgeable refresh planning for the benefit of both the parties.

Find the Right Outsourcing Partner

Before getting involved with an outsourcing partner, it is essential to find out if it suits your business. Technology has made it very easy for businesses to search for the right partner; however, the selection process is extremely vital. Strong guiding principles needs to be laid out to ensure that you optimize your business through this partnership. Additionally, a recommendation from friends, acquaintances, or industry experts goes a long way in finding the best outsourcing partner.

Move towards Technology Vendors

Choosing the right technology vendors could be tricky for SMBs, especially when there are many that flood the market. However, going to a vendor might be a good idea. Vendors such as HP, Dell, Fujitsu etc. offer varied support option and would take care of even hardware that isn't manufactured by them.

In spite of the benefits that vendors bring to the table with its large skill sets to resolve any IT issue, an organization might end up sharing a skilled support staff with others. In case an anomaly is detected with a particular kind of hardware, getting hold of these support staff could be difficult.

Apart from that SMBs might even fall prey to vendor bias. Some vendors frequently pitch for hardware refresh and package it as a best solution for business expansion. However, the onus is on the organization to determine if such a step will augment their business efficiency or will simply fill the pockets of the vendor. Making such decisions could be tough and might hinder SMBs to get sufficient support at lower cost.

In a nutshell, the contract with vendors should be similar to that of resellers. The contract should outline guidelines and principles that foster long term relationship and benefit both the parties and avert sudden surprises.