Outsourcing IT, technical and engineering related tasks, rather than employing extra staff, is a cost effective way of staying flexible in an ever changing market and economy. However, one big question that needs to be answered is; does your outsourcing company have the right experience?
I recall one software engineering company that tried outsourcing some tasks to individual contractors, who according to their CVs could handle the work, but it very quickly turned out that they couldn’t. These experiences became a bit of a joke amongst the permanent employees who lamented that a contractor or outsourcing company was allowed to falsely claim expertise in a certain area.
Such mistakes are unfortunately costly. However, not all outsourcing resources are the same. Like builders and plumbers, once you find a good one you need to stick with them. When looking at outsourcing, it is essential to ascertain the real level of expertise held, not only in terms of qualifications (both academic and professional) but also in terms of case histories and previous clients.
There is, of course, a level of client privacy that needs to be maintained, however it should be easy enough to reveal past and current contracts without breaching confidentiality. For example, SPK and Associates dedicates a part of their website solely to success stories.
In choosing an IT outsourcing firm, it’s crucial to hire a company with a proven track record when it comes to outsourcing projects in research and development (particularly in systems engineering environments), as well as experience in a variety of industries. Your outsource team must not only be experts in the field, but also know, understand and practice the best methodologies while utilizing the best tools available.
The key to a successful outsourcing partnership is that the consultancy company has the best consultants and engineers, with the right expertise, and these resources are made readily available to its customers. This in turn means that you can easily tap into the expertise while remaining flexible. It also means you can hand over tasks, projects or parts of projects to proven leaders in their field, without yielding control. The outsourcing company takes the responsibility while you remain in charge.
It has been said that knowledge is power, tapping into the knowledge of experts gives you the power to develop products quicker, innovate more and increase profits.