Planning to outsource IT? Here’s how best to go about it


Outsourcing tends to be difficult, at least for me. I like to have more control over the end result. When I do outsource, the feeling of losing control eventually creeps up on me. But it doesn’t always have to be like that. It can be smooth sailing so long as it is done the right way.

Why and why not?

What reasons would you need to warrant parts of your business to be outsourced. An important reason to do it is if you don’t have the time for a project that you want to do. Another reason would be that you don’t have the knowledge in-house. But there are also reasons to choose not to do it, even though there are benefits. This is often a matter of setting priorities.

Often certain steps are important to your business, and can yield a lot, but missing them doesn’t hurt yet. You may have a great idea that could increase sales, but never get around to developing it since you don’t have the time or there are more pressing matters. And you never pursue it because you’re not yet aware of the potential of your idea, which becomes a missed opportunity.

If you have an innovative idea but you don’t have the capability, then you should consider outsourcing. Focus yourself on the things that will hurt the business if not managed properly, while another team can get to work on innovating.

A second possible reason not to do it is the fear of losing control. And that’s a mistake. If you want to avoid losing control, and eliminate that fear in yourself, then more work is needed. There are certain things you can think about ahead of time so that outsourcing goes as smoothly as possible.

Determine your scope

Here is something you might want to consider, what do you think is the most important aspect in the end result? What steps in this process are the most crucial? Is it time, and meeting deadlines? Is it the budget? Or do you think it matters who works on it? Because that can be arranged. In government, for example, within projects, it is a requirement that it be carried out by local developers. Or in certain team compositions you might want it to be fifty percent female.

In any case, before you start outsourcing, it is always wise to consider: what must the final process meet? And what in the process must be done in what way? You can then look at each component in the process: is this outsourceable? Do I want to outsource this? Is it fine with me if I hand control of this aspect to somebody else? If you aren’t able to visualize a tangible end result, it will also be hard to answer these questions.

So it is important to have a clear scope. In addition, it is good to consider whether you expect things to change in that scope, that vision of the end result, during the process. If you expect that, how are you going to communicate that to the person you are outsourcing it to? How are you going to manage that properly?

Put it on paper and compare

Basically, any project is outsourceable. But the question is: How much preliminary work are you willing to do? Put the process on paper, and check for a clear plan that allows you to keep control of the factors. Outsourcing is often an advantageous option, even if it may feel scary.

I’m a big proponent of putting things on paper first. With a clear concept, you can more easily consult with a potential party who you want to outsource to. You can also compare more easily at that point. Am I better off developing it in-house or outsourcing? Do I have the knowledge? Do I have the skills, the experience, the management capacity? Could I do it myself? If you find that you can’t do it in-house, take a serious look at where you can outsource. Nothing is less unfortunate than an opportunity missed.

When working out the plans, it is of course always possible to ask for help. For example, to look at your scope, and to test plans for feasibility. At Wise Minds we are always willing to think along with you.


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