You’re thinking of hiring an IT outsourcing company to help you manage some or all the IT functions your business depends on to smoothly run its operations. Having the right IT team in place is essential, and choosing an outsourcing company is an important decision.
Outsourcing your IT can include everything from the strategy of creating, establishing, and maintaining your company’s technological infrastructure, to day-to-day support, to staff augmentation of your own internal IT services team for additional support when demands change. Choosing to outsource these services to a company that can act as either a fully managed service or participate in a supplemental back-up capacity to your internal IT department can help you take the necessary steps to ensure your company will always be ready to compete in the marketplace.
When start your research to find the right IT outsourcing company, you’ll discover there are plenty of options in the marketplace. As the IT needs of your company may be drastically different from others, you will need to first decide how an outside IT company can benefit you best.
What are your IT outsourcing options?
There are many different forms of IT outsourcing, each one built around a specific type of foundation designed to get you the service your business absolutely needs.
The following are the most common types of IT outsourcing companies you can hire:
- Offshore or overseas outsourcing: Offshore outsourcing, meaning the IT services are outsourced to a company that is in a country different from your own, was the most popular form for many years. Some of the most common countries that U.S.-based organization outsource to include India, the Philippines, China, and Brazil. These regions offer US-based companies’ lower costs for the implementation of IT services as well as tax liabilities savings. However, it’s also vital that you hire within countries that are in a comfortable, politically stable position with your own country of origin. This will help give your organization a greater sense of security that local affairs will not impact your IT department and services will be available when needed.
- Near-shore outsourcing: This type of IT outsourcing company means the IT services are placed at a company that is closer than on offshore company yet remains outside of the United States. Typically, these are Latin American-based outsourcing companies. Given that these service providers will be somewhat nearer to where you conduct business, it can help making it easier to keep lines of communication accessible and even offer the opportunity to travel to these places to conduct training or for strategizing your IT support needs.
- Domestic or onshore outsourcing: As our world becomes increasingly complex from an economic and political landscape, this type of IT outsourcing has become increasingly popular for US-based companies. Domestic outsourcing companies that are based in the United States typically provide two options, do the work in a remote capacity, or come to your place of business. This arrangement is still different than hiring an in-house IT department, the contractors can visit your company location, but they are not solely based in your facility.
- Cloud computing outsourcing: The final example of outsourcing companies is cloud computing. These companies offer external IT contractors that can supply your business with virtual remote IT support via the Internet. This can include supporting many essential information technologies that are commonly needed, including infrastructure and common software support.
With so much of your day-to-day business needs dependent on IT services that can become increasingly complex or specialized, having an excellent IT support staff in place is critical. However, employing a large, highly skilled IT support staff in-house to monitor your IT functionality may not be cost-effective or within your available financial resources. Outsourcing provides a way to conserve your resources while maintaining a reliable IT support system.
The Top 4 Benefits of IT Support Outsourcing
Financial savings: The most compelling argument for outsourcing IT support is financial concerns. Choosing an IT outsourcing company is often a far more cost-effective alternative to hiring an in-house staff to do the work. Internal IT staff are typically salaried positions, while you can hire an IT outsourcing company at a fixed cost per month or through a pay-per-use arrangement.
Prices for outsourcing can fluctuate based on the specific demands of your business, which is why you need to have a clear understanding of exactly what type of IT support and staff augmentation you need to best run your business. The most important factors to consider when building an accurate budget for outsourcing IT are the number of users connected to your IT infrastructure and the level of support you need to handle any potential drops in service.
Anytime convenience: One of the most important benefits of outsourcing IT is convenient access to 24×7 dependable support. Typically, IT outsourcing companies provide a communication channel to contact your IT support team provider during off-hours or even during holidays. This circumvents the challenges of managing in-house IT support absences and holiday schedules that play a role in internal availability.
Experience and expertise: Staffing is a challenge across many fields and IT support is no different. You can search to find the most qualified and experienced personnel to hire for your in-house IT support staff but hiring an IT outsourcing company means that someone else has done that work for you. Instead, you can focus your energy on finding the right outsourcing company and rest assured they have done the proper due diligence in hiring the best staff to support your organization’s exact needs.
While you will need to research the various IT outsourcing companies that exist in the marketplace, there are plenty of tools to help you determine which company is the best fit. Explore customer reviews, trade testimonials, the company’s vetting and hiring process. When you find the company that works best for your IT needs, you know you are getting a diversely talented team of IT technicians with a full range of knowledge and expertise. Additionally, you can rely on having an excellent range of experts addressing your IT matters, which is more likely to result in quicker, positive outcomes vs one analyst who may not know how to address certain issues.
Short-term vs. long-term support options
Having a long-term IT outsourcing company at your disposal versus hiring short-term contractors that are hired at higher-than-average day rates, means when there is a problem, they can typically fix it faster at a lower cost. Your long-term outsource support team is also better acquainted with your IT infrastructure, and they are aware of the problems and issues that have arisen in the past. Armed with that knowledge, the support team might have an easier time diagnosing and repairing any emerging issues. In contrast, a short-term contractor will need to go through a lengthy process of trial and error to determine what has gone wrong.
Choosing the Right IT Outsourcing Company
While there is much to consider as you begin this process of selecting the right IT outsourcing company for your business, you will want to take a measured approach to your decision. The following are the factors to consider as you conduct research:
- Quality of work: Do your due diligence. Look into the personnel that each of the outsourcing companies offers. Confirm employees have all relevant certifications, strong experience, and any specialized capabilities you require. The talent pools in these companies may all be reliable and worthwhile, but your business may have unique requirements for IT support. The skillset you select should be completely in sync with your IT infrastructure.
- Price quotes: You want excellent quality service that meets your needs and budgetary constraints. When you are shopping around for the best IT outsourcing company to fit your needs, ask to see a thorough and transparent breakdown of what you are getting for the costs outlined. All costs should be fully justified and easy to understand before you enter an agreement with any IT outsourcing group.
- Choice of location: The outsourcing company location should be a factor when weighing your options. Are you comfortable with and overseas or near shore model closer to your border, or would you benefit from having a domestic outsourcing company located in the same country that is just as affordable? Choosing the right company in the right region to support your organization’s needs is critical, especially when this team will also likely be supporting your customers as well as your infrastructure.