The “frustrating” world of IT outsourcing. Find the right IT Partner…and breathe LIFE back into your business.
Many companies are looking for IT support whether they know it or not. IT is one of the most costly items on any budget yet it the least understood. Whether you have an entire staff devoted to IT or have one person that takes on IT as a collateral duty, most networks need attention and most are maintained below the standards that they should be set at. Most business owners understand this, yet are reluctant to spend the money to bring in an outsourcing company because they do not see the benefit or value. You may have had experiences in the past where an IT outsourcing firm came into your network and the value just never paid off.
Anyone can sit down and figure out a way to take money from people; market services the right way to draw interest and then deliver a sub-par set of services to lock you down and restrain you’re budget. The key in any outsourcing relationship, especially in the IT world, is finding an outsourcing firm that provides “value”.
What is “value”? Where does it originate from...how do you define it? Value from an IT outsourcing company comes in the form of the intangibles they can give you. IT and the world of network maintenance and security maintain a plethora of unknowns and leaves room for many inequities. As an IT outsourcing business owner, I can say the greatest benefit any IT outsourcing firm can do for its own success and to the benefit of companies that need their help is provide services with this “value” attached to it. They must create an environment where they care as much about your network as you do.
They must provide value by giving you real world advice. They must be invested in giving proactive services that can suggest meaningful improvements in your business processes. You must change the way you think about outsourcing companies and look for these qualities in the companies you deploy inside your company and demand them; it will breathe life back into your business and compliment it instead of being a disastrous leg of impropriety. If you find the typical outsourcing company it will pay off in a typical way. Find the right company, and the outsourcing relationship will pay exponentially better than what you thought it would.
The services it can provide are only a start. They must believe in the benefits its services can give you and this acts as only a foundation…..not the quintessential purpose for its existence for your IT network.
This kind of delivery must be ingrained in the company’s philosophy (not its services) and start from the top and filter down to its employees and Engineers. It is an absolute necessity that this be evident of the entire chain of command and through the company as a whole. For instance, think of the delivery in this manner: it is not important that every Engineer be as experienced as the next and every Engineer know exactly what to do and what information to provide to the client in every situation. They just need to know that the organization as a whole cares about the client’s network enough that when a situation comes up out of his/her knowledgeable jurisdiction that the question gets asked so that the client gets the right information and the right advice. Business and doing the right thing is still a “people” issue and this resonates from management throughout the entire outsourcing model. Working as a “team” becomes paramount to this ideal.
Proceeding on through this incessant orbit of finding the right qualities, an IT outsourcing firm still must present the intangibles to a level that equates to “value”. In the IT world, there exists an overwhelming void that IT service providers can work from to create this cellar dwelling mentality that the client’s lack of knowledge is what keeps us in business. Quite the contrary I believe success in this industry still lies in communication with people and giving them everything you can in intangibles.
Intangibles come in the form of consulting, real-world advice, project planning, and answers to drive your business process questions. IT Support should exist for your business’s benefit; not it’s handicap.
Find the right IT service provider with these value-seeking deliverables and it can really pay off. IT is not a perfect world and therefore requires extra effort. It is not always the cheapest endeavor and it is not always the most predictable but a solid outsourcing IT firm can provide you the attention and the intangibles to place a basket full of “value” on your IT plate. Remember these intangibles are brought to the table free of charge and when factored in to the over-all cost of the IT outsourcing venture, it really drives the overall cost down. And that is the name of this upside-down game. Drive costs down and make your network work for you.
By: Brock Kiser
Dayton Technology Group, Inc.