“Place all your eggs in one basket. . . and take care of that basket.” Mark Twain
When speaking with business leaders I am frequently asked whether their company should outsource IT to a third-party. It is a common question, and my answer is always the same – it depends.
It depends on the company’s value creation engine, culture, and the foundation that is established with the IT provider prior to start.
Outsource IT from the Right Foundation
I have come to identify three foundational drivers that set the stage for success when outsourcing IT. They are:
- Strong understanding of your company’s core competency. Value creation is understood throughout the company.
- Culture: Values, Mission & Vision – your company culture is driven by core values, mission, and a clear vision of where the company is heading.
- Alignment with IT provider: Establish an understanding with the IT Service Provider that makes the provider responsible and accountable for results.
Companies with these three foundational elements in place are generally best able to maximize the return on an outsource investment. So, let’s say you have this foundation in place, or you’re beginning to build it. Why should you choose a third party to manage your IT, instead of hiring an “IT person” or full internal team?
Top 5 Reasons to Outsource IT
1. Liberate the organization to focus on core strengths/competencies.
IT can only become a strength when executed around your company’s business objectives. IT that is a strength allows the team to focus on carrying out tasks that bring the greatest results. Every dollar invested in technology that does not move the needle on business results is a waste. Great IT, when delivered consistently to advance business goals, becomes invisible: it consistently delivers, and you never notice it. With all the changes happening around technological growth, innovation, security, life-cycle management etc., no one person (or small team) can be expected to stay up to date on it all. Outsourcing to those for whom this is their business strength will move the needle!
2. Enable forecastable IT costs.
IT outsourcing is forecastable, and the right outsource partner will be accountable for the commitments they make. This concept has the power to transform a business from its current state into a digital leader. Becoming a digital leader has enormous performance results, including increased efficiency, revenue and EBITA.
3. Provide access to expert skills and resources
The right outsource partner is singularly focused. They have the expertise to deliver great IT for their customers. Partaking in learning opportunities that helps develop their knowledge is important to them. The right partner collects valuable information based on their research and findings and shares their findings readily with you to provide insight. Most of all, they know how to tactically execute IT so that it helps you achieve your business goals. The right outsource partner is a resource your entire business will leverage.
4. Accelerates adoption of improved technological solutions.
“Our future success is directly proportional to ability to understand, adopt, and integrate new technology into our work.” Sukant Ratnakar, acclaimed author and CEO of Systovation
Outsourcing IT around achieving your business goals necessitates the identification, trial and eventual adoption of new technologies that transform the business. The right outsource decision brings ideas, projects and solutions that transform your business. Not only that, but they train you on the new technology and provide reasoning behind the implementations. Technology tools are not one-size-fits-all. The technology your company uses should be tailored specifically for you and come with a solid strategy behind it.
5. Risk management.
“If you don’t invest in risk management, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in, it’s a risky business.” Gary Cohen, 11th director of the National Economic Coucil
The right IT outsource partner is a hedge against the ever-changing world of technology. This partner brings a deep, wide bench of expertise, 24/7 monitoring and support. The right partner will train your organization on best practices associated with each level of technology deployed in the organization. Investing in risk management has never been more important than it is now. A switch to remote work left many businesses who didn’t have the right IT partner in place much more vulnerable to threats. If you feel you may have gaps in your security, the time is now to begin looking for the right partner.
Outsourcing IT services may not be the best option for every company. But the fact is that for many, outsourcing can be more affordable, more productive, and less risky. Building the proper foundation for your business will ensure that you’re able to maximize the return on investment the right outsourcing partner will bring. If you’re convinced you need to hire a whole new internal team because you’re sick of recurring IT problems with outsourcers, read our blog here on the difference between a Vendor vs. Partner. A true IT partner will solve recurring issues at their core, and you’ll never worry about them again.