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Anne Valaitis

Outsourcing Key Areas of IT Can Make for Smooth Sailing

You can let the professionals handle it, but who is left holding the bag?

Apr 26, 2023 12:22:28 PM


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Outsourcing is primarily linked to how many hands and brains are available at any given time to complete specific one-off or ongoing projects. On top of that, IT outsourcing is also directly linked to the skillsets of its team members. Considering the complexity and fast pace of ever-changing cybersecurity challenges, subject matter experts must prevent and resolve security breaches in critical cases. Areas, such as cloud migration of selected applications, could be handled by internal IT teams (if they exist at all), but organization-wide digital transformation initiatives will most likely require assistance from outside specialists to ensure all aspects can be covered within the set timeframe.


This all leads to the million-dollar question: How many partners do you need to successfully complete your IT/IT-related projects?



Keypoint Primary Research Reveals a Move Away from Single Partners

Keypoint Intelligence IT Decision maker interviews uncovered that many IT managers are moving away from the one contractor who works alongside their teams to reputable (and smaller) teams or, where needed, teams of teams to ensure every challenge is met with the best possible solution. The one-size-fits-all days are over.


Additionally, despite the fact that many IT digital transformation initiatives are now well under way or complete, we have learned through talks with users that many of them still feel ignored and undervalued. Pay attention to users during process talks and try to establish change management plans with distinct stages since users frequently take extra time to learn any new tools and technologies. Additionally, some users might have joined a business after the transfer and never received the required training to comprehend and use the tools and procedures that were already in place. Providers are required to embrace and acknowledge these awkward circumstances.


Make Training Non-Negotiable

Training should be part of any initial outsourcing contract and deliverable, followed by support/maintenance contracts and service level agreements (SLAs). Initial training schedules should always include train-the-trainer programs, as well as "the weakest link" sessions. Refresher training, including an in-house trainer, should be scheduled regularly to protect the initial investments and achieve any productivity goals set.


Training sessions are not limited to only one part of the initial project team; the hardware-supplying partner should deliver the training if hardware was included. If software was included, the software partner should be responsible, and so on. In any case, the project lead should track initial training and any follow-up training for success, standards, and requirements met throughout the lifecycle of the project. After all, only successful review cycles can lead to more business with an existing customer.


Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

Our recommendation is that all parties involved in a managed IT service project recognize how crucial ongoing training can be for a project's initial and continued success: 

  • Buyers: Identify if training and SLAs are not part of a contract.
  • Partners: Identify if customers push back regarding training.
  • Vendors: Be ready to support partners directly or indirectly by regularly updating product training and, where necessary, offering direct customer training.


Like with any other detail during a project, it is all about reputation. If a piece of hardware doesn't work because of user error, the customer will fault the hardware first. If there are complications using the software, it's a software error. If users open a phishing email or answer a vishing call, they will blame poor security tools, training, and their IT department first. Many challenges faced with outsourcing can be mitigated by addressing basics of preparation, training, and follow through.


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