Opting for IT outsourcing can have a significant impact on your business on multiple levels. The costs will go down – that’s a fact; however, whether the efficiency will or will not go up is entirely dependent on how well you handle the outsourcing process. Having a good outsourcing strategy is vital, as not everything can be outsourced without crippling your business. Here’s how to shape your IT outsourcing strategy and reap business advantages.
Meet the Outsourcing Decision Matrix Tool
The Outsourcing Decision Matrix Tool is one of your most trusted companions when it comes to putting together your IT outsourcing strategy. This simple yet amazingly efficient tool will allow you to easily determine which tasks should be outsourced and which should remain in-house. The Outsourcing Decision Matrix Tool is basically nothing more than a square consisting of 4 other squares, labeled as follows: “form a strategic alliance”, “retain”, “outsource”, and “eliminate”. When you’re planning your strategy, simply place all your tasks into the appropriate square by taking into consideration two main factors: how that certain segment affects the performance of your business, and how it affects your strategic growth. Let’s have a closer look at the divisions and see what they should each contain:
1) Form a strategic alliance –this square should contain all the tasks that have a significant impact on your business from a strategic point, but do not affect the operational side. A good example is choosing an advertising partner: while this will count towards the strategic growth of your business, and the public perception of it, opting for one partner over another will have no direct impact on the way you conduct your operations.
2) Retain – this square should contain the tasks you want to keep in-house. These are the tasks that have a high importance in both the growth as well as the operation of your business, so it’s important to keep them in-house in order to maintain a better control over these aspects. When it comes to IT outsourcing, tasks such as strategic planning, supervising or security analysis should be kept in-house.
3) Outsource–this square is for the tasks that can be safely outsourced without having a negative impact on the strategic growth of your business. This is where miscellaneous tasks, such as data entry and othersimilar tasks fall into.
4) Eliminate – this is where the tasks which are not crucial to the operation of the business will fall. We’re talking about tasks that were there simply because the business strategy wasn’t adjusted in a while, and they were alive just because of the inertia, or tasks that are going to disappear because of the outsourcing process.
Classifying all tasks into these four categories should allow you to get a quick idea of what’s to be outsourced and what not, but also allow you to work on your overall business strategy, and optimize it.
There are other factors you will need to consider as well, though.
Outsourcing Approach and Impact
So you now have a list of the tasks that can be outsourced – it’s time to find the best approach. When outsourcing started becoming a trend, the procedure was simple: find the biggest provider and outsource everything in one place. However, as the popularity of outsourcing grew, multiple providers appeared, some specialized in multiple fields, and others just in one. Costs and options differ from one to another, so it’s important to check all your options and see which approach works better for you – opting for a single provider for all your tasks, or find individual providers for each task or group of tasks.While the best choice in this matter differs from one case to another, there’s an old saying which reads “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” – you get the idea.
One more aspect to take into account when putting together your IT outsourcing strategy is how will outsourcing some tasks affect others. Keep in mind that a business is like a complex machinery, consisting from multiple wheels, bits and pieces, so taking out some pieces might affect others as well. The idea is not just to adjust your outsourcing strategy to your overall business strategy, but to adjust your business strategy as well to account for the outsourced services.