Information technology outsourcingIT outsourcing is becoming more and more common in both big companies and small firms. The reason many businesses prefer to outsource is because it reduces costs, it’s efficient, and it’sobviously far more convenient then running an internal IT department.

In fact, early last year the smeweb.com news website reported that businesses have raised their outsourcing to 134% annually.  Here’s an overview of what IT outsourcing is and how it might benefit your company.

What is IT Outsourcing?

IT outsourcing is the delegation of specific services (such as customer care support, email support, help desk support, technical support, data entry, and chat support) to a service provider who is a specialist in that line of work – in this case IT (Information Technology support).  The expectation is that he or she will efficiently manage the day to day running of the IT service.

In the UK and US the majority of the big businesses have utilized this cost reducing strategy effectively, but as a small business owner, do you think you can harness this strategy efficiently? In my view it is possible if you choose the right IT outsourcing supplier.

Three Factors When Choosing an IT Outsourcing Company

As a business owner, you should consider these three factors before hiring the services of an external firm to become your outsourcing supplier.

#1 Work Quality: First, consider the level of quality of work that you need. This is very important because if the firm that you hire cannot measure up to the standard that will satisfy your customers, then this strategy will be costly rather than pocket friendly to you and your business. You can even lose your customers. I’ve seen it happen with many businesses that I have talked to over the last couple of years.

#2 Customer Satisfaction: Secondly, consider customer satisfaction. What kind of IT services do your employees (or customers) need? Is the firm able to offer the services exactly the way your company needs them? For an IT firm to offer a service that delivers satisfaction, they must have a deep understanding of the systems and infrastructure you have, and how your business operates generally.

#3 Cost Reduction: Finally, consider the cost reduction factor. Compare the cost of hiring an outsourcing service provider with the services that you get from him or her and see if it is worth the effort.

How to Get the Best IT Outsourcing Services

In order to get the best out of an IT outsourcing service provider, you must have a business plan with all the details of services that you need and how you want them to be done. You should prepare this business plan before hiring the firm.  The following should be considered for the plan preparation:

  1. The minimum qualification of the employees of the firm for the service that you want to outsource.
  2. How and when to do a thorough training for your product or service to your service provider.
  3. You should set the minimum quality level of the services that the firm should offer you.
  4. You should plan how and when to conduct surveys concerning customer satisfaction. This is important because this is how you measure if the service of your service provider really satisfies your customers.

Take it Slowly at First

There will always be an element of risk associated with outsourcing so I recommend that you always start off by hiring one firm for one service. Do not outsource more than one initially, but as your business grows and confidence in the strategy works then you can increase this number further.

Also make sure that you consider the professionalism of your service provider. For example, are they registered with the relevant authorities, do they have valid certificates, and are they a member of the relevant professional body suited to your industry.

Conclusion

Getting the right IT service provider who will fit your needs as a business is never an easy task, but with the right information and procedure on how to go about it, outsourcing can really grow your company and profits. When you outsource a firm for a service, ensure that you have a professional in your company whom you can delegate the job of managing the services delivered by the firm.

Credits: This advice comes courtesy of the IT Support London HQ. They offer a range of technical support services including IT outsourcing in London.  Visit their website if you are a small business in the London area of the UK that needs any form of technical support and assistance. 
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