Internal or Outsourced IT Services?

Άρθρο από Lefteris Karafilis Fri, 29/10/2010 - 13:32

“Every business must grow, evolve and remain competitive; integral part of this is technology”

For any company the right choice of an IT department, undoubtedly leads to the path of success. But what are the criteria for selecting the right team? What technology spectrum should they cover? How do I know the right choice?

It is understood that an internal IT department, is well aware of the requirements, needs and established technology of the company they supporting; but the spectrum and tremendous speed of technology evolution requires an extraordinary effort to stay up to date.

There are so many areas to cover and growth rates to keep up to, that simply makes impossible to handle. Hence one of the best ways to cover a broader spectrum is through outsourcing.

What options do I have?


It is not necessary to dismiss an internal IT department in order to meet your needs with the use of external collaborators exclusively. You can evaluate your business requirements along with your support team, in order to conclude to the areas you will delegate to external partners. You can, for example, choose to keep internally the daily technical support, user training and administration; and adopt outsourcing services for consulting, project implementation, network security and support of your ERP system.


This way you can combine the benefits of both your internal team and the expertise of your external partners. If you think you don’t want to maintain an internal IT department, there are service providers that can manage your everyday technical issues,new projects, consulting services, communication, etc.

Comparison

  Internal IT Outsourcing Combination
Pros

-Knowledge of business
-Response time

-Range of Expertise
-Flexible Resources
-Management tools
-Cost
-Expertise in project implementation
-SLA
-Applied solutions in different environments

-Knowledge of business
-Response time
-Range of Expertise
-Flexible Resources
-Management tools
-Expertise in project implementation
-SLA
-Applied solutions in different environments

Cons

-Cost of personnel maintenance
-Range of Expertise
-Expertise in project implementation
-Applied solutions in different environments
-Flexible Resources

-Response Time
-Service cost evaluation
-Service cost evaluation

 

What should I consider when choosing a partner?

During the assessment and selection of an outsourcing team you will benefit if you take into account:

  • Related projects executed in the past: It is not necessary for a service provider which has successfully executed a project regarding the implementation of an ERP system, to perform the same success with a project concerning the security of a network
  • The availability of experienced staff: It is reasonable for a company to try to cut costs. Many service providers, maintain large groups of inexperienced staff led by a single senior engineer, project manager or consultant. The problem comes when that inexperienced staff, which are not always able to assess, manage and execute a project properly, take the wrong decisions as a result of the unavailability of their manager, who may be over allocated because of the poor relationship between senior / junior staff.
  • The cost VS performance: It is obvious that a high-quality service of 700€ is advantageous compared to a low-quality service of 600€. I do not imply that expensive means better. You should take into account all factors related to quality (previous projects, experienced staff, etc.) and cost, compare your options and decide your final approach.
  • Satisfaction guarantee: Service satisfaction is somehow subjective and always end up to how happy is the customer. A service could be technically correct, but do not meet all of the business requirements. This may be a result of poor communication. But it is important that the result is not desirable and that’s where you should have a framework that defines it. In project cases, the metrics and the rules of acceptance of deliverables should always be defined in the "project definition". In cases of support contracts, along with the terms (SLA), it is good to ask for an evaluation (trial) period before sealing the deal.
  • The range of technologies covered: There are many companies that are product oriented. Sometimes this means that whatever your needs, they will try to implement their own product to your case, regardless of whether it fits or not. This may be a solution which does not cover all your requirements or is extremely advanced.
  • Availability and response time: Usually response time is ranging from 2 hours to 2 days depending on the SLA and the seriousness of a request. Timetables vary from 8 hours to 24. Support costs vary depending on response and availability.

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