For a small to midsize business there is not a large margin of error when it comes to increasing productivity through outsourcing IT activities. Even before the first meeting with an outsourcing representative appropriate steps must be taken. The goal is to create solid foundations to intelligently consider such a venture. This article will describe the key questions a business owner should work through before beginning the process of accepting proposals.
1. What Does a Productive Outsourcing Solution Look Like For Your Business?
At this stage its best to define the problem. This may seem obvious but when the flurry of complex activity begins you will be rewarded for specificity. For example if you need to cut back on employee IT expenses to save money, then the issue is saving money. However, if you need access to technology you cannot afford right now then you are making an investment. Once you have this foundational anchor lodged in your mind, it will be more difficult for others to distract or dissuade you into some other subplot that will doom the project before it even begins.
2. Will You Want A Partner or an Employee?
While both prospects can be challenging, understanding who you work best with will help you through the upcoming adjustments necessary to make your next steps successful. Of course you can do both, otherwise you would not be in your current position. However, IT services are a very personal part of a business. If you decide to farm out your IT realize you can’t change the weather. Much like a farmer depends on favorable weather, you are depending on favorable IT conditions. Yet neither you, nor the IT people can count on consistency and optimum conditions. Who will you work best with when the storm hits? Consider your temperament for a moment. Are you more skillful at managing the farmhand (employee), or working with the farmer (IT Consultant) down the road?
3. Are Productivity Goals Centered on Making an Investment or Saving Money?
This issue strikes at the very heart of your focus over the next several weeks. This critical future oriented decision demands clarity. At a very foundational level enhancing productivity is about putting product out with less effort. Equate, “product” with anything you produce to make a profit, and effort to the investments of money and human energies it takes to put products out. When you achieve clarity on which target you are shooting at, the evaluation of the barrage of upcoming information and options are much more likely to be successfully navigated.
By intimately interacting and wrestling with these three questions you will be prepared to meet with IT personal. Take your time. Successful IT management hinges on a solid foundation of built on the clarity of knowing where you going.
Julian Hartley is a small business consultant and writes on behalf of dinaliC.com. At dinaliC, “We ‘C’ Talent”.