In the initial phase, an organisation must ask:
- Why do we want to work with an outsourcing company?
- What are the risks?
- Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
- What sort of relationship do I expect from an IT outsourcing company?
- What sort of relationship will they expect?
- Don’t take anything for granted.
- How will we measure results and whether the relationship is working?
Analyse your business needs in the areas that you are considering outsourcing:
- Are you looking to save costs/money?
- Are you looking to re-allocate resources?
- What will happen to personnel within the IT department?
Identify the right supplier.
- Use Conjungo’s ‘Find and IT Outsourcing supplier’ search on the right of this page.
- Look through magazines and online reviews.
- Talk to others who have outsourced their IT department
- Use forums, networks and personal contacts to obtain recommendations.
Ask questions such as:
- Who has the experience of working with a company of the same size and profile as yours?
- What are the qualifications of the personnel involved? Ask to see their CV’s – they must be able to have the expertise to do the job properly.
- Are any of those suppliers local to where you are located?
- How many similar installations have they made?
- Ask for references – ensure that the company is capable and reliable.
- Talk to a couple of their customers in order to see what benefits have been gained and what pains those customers went through when installing the system.
- Obtain a credit check to ensure that they are financially stable.
Request a detailed proposal from three or four of your preferred suppliers.
- Set a deadline for when you need the proposal back.
- Give out details in advance as necessary to ensure that the suppliers you have selected can give you the best proposal.
- Go and meet them in person – get a good feel for whether you will be able to work with them.
Select a supplier.
- Who best demonstrates that they understand your business and your requirements?
- Is it cost effective? Have they shown how and where you will save money?
- Does it clearly demonstrate the functional benefits – rather than just listing particular features? Does the proposal clearly show what the benefits are?
- Have you spoken to a couple of your preferred suppliers’ customers?
- Agree on financial terms – Will the service be payable monthly or annually?
- Agree upon the services or functions to be outsourced.
- Agree upon a Service Level Agreement.
- Don’t agree to anything more than a three year agreement.
- Plan a handover with your IT outsource supplier.
- You may need to run your IT department processes in parallel for a short time until the outsourcing supplier is fully aware of your IT systems and operations.
- Communicate regularly especially in the early days in order to address any questions and issues.