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Evaluating IT Outsourcing Vendors
Category : Managed Services 12 Jun 2009 09:35 AM
Introduction.
Evaluating IT outsourcing vendors before making a decision on which one to work with doesn't have to be a headache for you, with you feeling that you're just going to have to take a 'shot in the dark' as to which one will the best. By the very fact that you're seeking to outsource IT functions probably means that the expertise you require is not available in-house. However, having said that, the better IT outsourcing vendors will let you decide whether you want to outsource some or all of your IT operations.
The main considerations for finding an outsourced IT vendor.
Having determined a selection of IT outsourcing vendors to chose from - how might you arrive at your final decision? One thing, above all others, can help you to assess the worth of an IT outsourcing vendor's bid is to look at the comments made by existing clients about them. Having said that, don't just accept any statements that might be on the companies website or promotional materials - but actually contact some of the clients they list to confirm their comments. Also, if any information hasn't been included in the bid they submit to you; ask the IT company directly about the qualifications and experience of their employees, exactly how they will manage your project, etc. In other words finally awarding an IT outsourcing contract goes far beyond just getting a low/cheap price. Remember the old adage - "pay peanuts, get monkeys"; of far more importance on something as critical to your business as your IT support is getting good value for money. So, as well as looking for flexibility in their pricing - what quality assurance can they offer and does their domain or technical expertise match your needs. In an ideal world you’ll be able to test out the IT vendor with a pilot project, before agreeing to a longer term or bigger contracts with them.
Offshore IT outsourced vendors.
Some areas of IT make offshore outsourcing a real possibility. However, using offshore IT outsourcing is not usually appropriate if you need regular visits to install hardware; unless you outsource to more than one company; one offshore and one locally. Alternatively you might be able to carry out hardware installations using an in-house team, leaving the offshore IT company to take care of your software and systems. Whilst looking for an offshore IT outsourcing vendor will give you access to highly competitive international bids, you will also need to consider the ability of offshore companies in some countries to deliver their services, if they are reliant on external power and telecommunications suppliers. For example, do they have their own back-up electrical generators and satellite links. Finally, there are cultural and legal implications to consider when outsourcing internationally; namely ensuring that both countries laws are compatible with one another and that communications will be fully understood, as well as those communications being delivered at times to suit yourself.
IT outsourcing vendor contracts.
Having found a reputable and established IT vendor, like DuaL Layer IT Solutions, that you wish to work with you should arrange formal contracts to be drawn up, so that it is very clear as to what you expect and what they have to deliver. This 'Service Level Agreement' (SLA), including performance measurement techniques and protocols, should include a 'Non-Disclosure Agreement', so that your business integrity is kept secure.