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IT Outsourcing: Expectations vs. Reality — Lessons from the experts

IT Outsourcing: Expectations vs. Reality — Lessons from the experts

IT outsourcing, i.e. outsourcing computer services, is becoming increasingly widespread. Some of its greatest advantages are reducing costs or gaining access to qualified professionals.

Companies of all sizes — ranging from small SMEs to technology giants — resort to IT outsourcing services either on a one-off or recurring basis to round their teams off.

In this article, we’ll see what the expectations and the reality are when it comes to IT outsourcing because these services do not come free from risks despite being able to prove very helpful. Find out what their greatest dangers are and how to avoid them to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

IT outsourcing: expectations vs. reality

people writing on a whiteboard
Project meeting. Source: Unsplash

IT outsourcing services entail some risks worth anticipating yourself to. It’s the only way to foresee and avoid complications. We’ll now discuss some of the most frequent IT outsourcing risks that some of our customers had and how we have solved them. Please, read on!

Lack of trust in the subcontractor

Expectation: When outsourcing IT services, it’s best to get these new partners integrated as if they were part of your in-house team. Communication must be fluid and work must be aimed towards achieving shared goals.

Reality: Many companies fear a lack of commitment when their team is working remotely, regardless of whether it’s from different parts of the city or even another country. Will the team know how to respond adequately to the company’s needs? Will it adhere to the budget?

Solution: To avoid such a lack of confidence you’ll have to make a sound selection of IT outsourcing companies before hiring.

  •  Make a list of IT service providers featuring objective information such as:
    • The company’s history and how many years it has been in the market.
    • How many projects it has addressed and its success stories, including information about the customer, the project addressed, the IT outsourcing challenges faced, and the solutions implemented.
    • References on professional social media are also a good indicator of a company’s reputation.
  • Define very clearly what work you are going to outsource: establish the company’s KPIs, the project’s milestones, and the knowledge and experience that will be required.

 

👉  You may also be interested in: The 10 most in-demand IT jobs as companies rebuild after COVID-19

 

Doubts about non-disclosure and legal consequences

Expectation: All your team members must guarantee the project’s confidentiality.

Reality: Most likely, you and your employees have agreed upon non-disclosure measures in a written agreement. Nevertheless, you are not entirely certain about how to make sure that all the recently hired members comply with these non-disclosure measures and about the legal consequences of resorting to IT outsourcing companies.

Solution: 

  • Enter into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the IT service provider.
  • Make sure to include terms and conditions that thoroughly set out aspects such as intellectual property rights, non-disclosure, liability, and data protection. This is especially important when working with companies located in other countries.

Cultural, communication or time zone differences

Expectation: The entire tech team participating in the project must share common objectives and communicate fluidly to be able to complete it successfully.

Reality: Cultural or language differences may arise if the outsourced team is located in another country. These differences can make common understanding harder. In addition, large time differences can lead to coordination problems and hamper advancing in the project together.

Solution: 

  • Before opting for an outsourced team, inquire about your provider’s corporate culture to make sure that you share working values and systems.
  • Whenever possible, choose suppliers whose time zone is similar to yours, so that the working days of in-house and outsourced teams may overlap as much as possible.

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Lack of preliminary analysis

Expectation: In big projects, the preliminary work of a business analyst is essential to ensure that the project’s functionality is in line with your business objectives. It is therefore important to have a business analyst that’s well embedded in the team throughout the entire process.

Reality: Now and then, the business analyst is left behind once the project has started. This can give rise to delays and cost overruns if the product does not meet the company’s needs.

Solution: The business analyst must be present in all phases of the project to ensure that the entire team enjoys good communication.

Companies outsourcing IT services

Google's logo on a wall
Google logo. Source: Unsplash

IT outsourcing services are not limited to large companies; they can also be helpful to all kinds of companies. Let’s have a look at some examples.

IT outsourcing for start-ups

IT outsourcing companies can be a great ally for start-ups when it comes to their development. Especially in their early stages, they can benefit by outsourcing development from the experience and expertise of seasoned developers without having to bear directly the monthly wages, office costs, and other expenses entailed by direct hiring.

WhatsApp started as a start-up in 2009 and one of its first decisions was to outsource the original app’s development to a Russian iOS developer, Igor Solomennikov, who would later join the company as CIO.

 

🔎 Related content: Most innovative tech start-ups revolutionising their industries [2020]

 

IT outsourcing for SMEs

IT outsourcing can also be a great ally for SMEs. Companies can rely on external support for many services: software development, technological support for customers, cybersecurity, etc.

Some of the advantages for SMEs lie in having fewer employees and gaining access to already instructed professionals whom your company needs not to train. On the other hand, by outsourcing some of your services, you’ll be able to focus on growing your business because as for the outsourced work you’ll just have to be in charge of supervising it.

IT outsourcing for big companies

Although large companies often have huge IT teams, they can also obtain great benefits from IT outsourcing services. Some of the main reasons for technological giants to resort to IT outsourcing is that having external professionals join project development works or supervise the quality of new products brings in new perspectives.

For companies such as Google, Alibaba, Pinterest, Salesforce, or Github, for instance, having external developers on board from time to time helps them round off internal development projects and carry out new ones.

Bottom line

As we have seen, IT outsourcing services are more commonly sought-after than you could expect by all kinds of companies. It’s a very versatile tool for companies to enhance their projects, accelerate their development processes, and reduce costs

There’s also a series of IT outsourcing risks to take into account, but you can avoid them and reap only the advantages if you are a tad cautious and rely on having an experienced digital partner by your side. Get in touch with Yeeply and find the professionals you need, who are just a click away in our platform.

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Yeeply

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