Very few regional or global enterprises function with all in-house resources, and there’s good reason for that. Outsourcing can be highly beneficial for businesses that want to trim costs and unburden their company’s innovators. But it can be difficult to decide what to outsource in IT and other departments. Then there’s the question of how to choose the right outsourcing partner.
Keep these strategic outsourcing guidelines in mind:
- Outsource routine tasks and commodities: For example, a large manufacturer may outsource shipping and invoice processing – but not central tasks like R & D and production. Another example would be a technology company that outsources to a trusted partner so they can offer a commodity service like 24-hour help desk.
- Outsource for specialized knowledge. Sometimes a business process is critical but not time-consuming enough to require a full-time employee. Other times it’s difficult to quickly find and train the right person. Outsourcing is a great way to access specialized knowledge fast.
- Fully evaluate partners before outsourcing: Strategic outsourcing requires you to look past a vendor’s low or high price tag and into their proven experience. (The next section discusses how to choose the right outsourcing partner.)
- Don’t expect to be totally hands-off: When calculating how much time outsourcing may save your enterprise, don’t forget to factor in some in-house hours, especially in the beginning. Even the best end-to-end vendor will require your communication as goals, timelines, data sources, and other factors shift.
- Outsource management of outsourcers: A great example of choosing a partner to manage outsourced services is enterprise IT service management outsourcing. You have multiple technology services and suppliers making your business tick. To manage your IT assets, orders, and expenses, you can outsource to a partner like Tangoe.
How to Choose the Right Outsourcing Partner: 9 Critical Steps
If your enterprise is preparing for potential business disruptions or slowdown due to a contracting economy, strategic outsourcing could help you save money while working smarter and more efficiently.
When looking for an outsourcer, evaluate candidates with these steps:
- Measure specific experience: Does the provider have other customers who use them for the same purposes you’d hire them for? How comprehensive is their portfolio of similar customers? How experienced are they?
- Consider their reputation: How long have they been providing services, and what is their maturity in the particular area? Can they point to specific customer success stories? Do they have reviews, certifications, awards, and more?
- Ensure scalability, both up and down: As economic circumstances shift, does the outsourcer allow flexibility in the services they offer? As your business grows, do they have the capacity to keep up?
- Look for global reach (if needed): Can the provider operate where your staff, customers, and other vendors are, wherever that may be?
- Weigh market leadership: Where does the provider stand among their competitors?
- Consider financial viability: What is the provider’s own financial reality? While startups have a valuable place in the technology space, going with a company that itself is financially stable can bring some peace of mind during uncertain times.
- Choose flexibility: Are they able to work with your business as circumstances change, or do contracts lock you in? Many organizations see seasonal spikes in their business, or they require short-term support.
- Measure cost versus value: What is the cost versus the benefit of the service(s) you need? As with any product or service, the most modestly priced option may not yield the most value. Customer satisfaction, both internally and externally, is a critical factor when considering costs.
- Ask if they can own the entire process: Will the provider give end-to-end support across the entire process you need them to own?
What to Outsource in IT
If you’re a CIO or other enterprise leader, it’s likely that you already employ plenty of external IT services. While you’ve likely heard IT outsourcing horror stories, responsible outsourcers have the appropriate protocols and security processes to support IP, financials, security, and general data protection laws.
What to outsource in IT depends on your business’s specific technology environment and goals. Commonly outsourced services include web and software development, application management, telecom, mobile, technical support, and infrastructure.
But what about managing all the IT vendors you have and the associated devices and assets? Does that burden need to be shouldered entirely in-house? Not if you have a good partner for that too.
Tangoe specializes in enterprise technology management – bringing you full control of your IT invoices, assets, orders, and expenses all in one automation-powered platform under the care of our experts. Learn more about our complete solution for managing telecom, mobile, and cloud technology environments.
Benefits of Outsourcing with the Right Partner
When you find the right providers for your enterprise, these are common benefits of outsourcing:
- Cost savings
- Quick accommodation of additional workload
- The ability to reallocate staff to focus on strategic priorities
- More time to streamline workflows and gain confidence in operations
These benefits pay dividends for an enterprise anytime. And during challenging economic times, outsourcing becomes even more valuable.
Benefits of Outsourcing in an Economic Downturn
Outsourcers are often large enough to provide cost efficiencies and reduce overlapping payroll costs. Many have shared services models and are purposely designed for the work functions that overburden your employees.
Turning to outsourcers in times of economic downturn creates a more cost-effective alternative to hiring in-house employees, as they provide flexibility in their level of service and, therefore, cost.
And it’s a high-reward, low-risk option. With the right outsourcer, enterprises don’t need to be concerned about the security of their financial information or intellectual property. In today’s largely regulated climate, all outsourcers must have current protections in place and be able to demonstrate the security of their offerings through specific audits and unique customer/industry requirements.
If your organization is looking for more information about enterprise technology management, including masterful expense optimization, learn more about Tangoe’s managed services or schedule a demo of the Tangoe Platform.