Working With External IT Suppliers – Why, When, And How

License: Creative Commons image source

License: Creative Commons image source


As enterprise-sized companies and organizations continue their charge to achieve efficiencies on cut costs, many are turning to outside vendors that can deliver results in key business areas, such as IT monitoring. Why should you work with external IT suppliers? Here’s a quick rundown of why, when to do it, and how to work with them.

Why:

Working with external IT suppliers can enable your business or corporation not only to reduce costs, but could actually lead to improved service within your organization. If you are having trouble with a lack of internal resources or reduced expertise with a certain technology, outsourcing the services can ensure the job is getting done right. By finding an expert that is dedicated solely to providing that service you can also guarantee your in-house team won’t get tied up with duties beyond their skill level. This will furthermore reduce resource bottlenecks and you can even reduce your project team size (or increase the team size with the costs that you save.

Some companies may argue that it’s cheaper to just hire someone and train them in house, but then you run the risk of spending all your resources on someone who could leave and take the knowledge with them. Instead of relying on just one specialist within your company you can gain access to a multitude of experts at an external IT company.

When:

If you have encountered an IT project within your company that may require specialist skills that are not readily available in house, NOW is the time to contact an external IT supplier. By working with a flexible team of experts, you have the option of starting your IT project now rather than searching out someone to work full time at your company. You can meet your business objectives faster, minimize disruption of the project timeline, and avoid delivery failure.

Whether you need assistance with a short-term project or your need long term monitoring of a function (such as enterprise network monitoring), there are suppliers that will be more than happy to work with you. In the latter scenario, IT monitoring does require expertise that you may not have in-house, but it’s not a full-time job (most companies will do IT monitoring for many companies at a time), so you can still avoid staffing an expert full time.

The important thing to remember is that if you’re already wondering about outsourcing IT, NOW is the time to do it. The more time you spend thinking about it, the less time that is being dedicated to your IT project or service.

How:

When working with a supplier, IT Vendor management (ITVM) is essential – That means planning, controlling, coordinating, and maintaining long-lasting vendor relationships with your external IT suppliers.

Planning is the first step, which means mapping out what exactly you need out of your external team, and setting standards for who you hire. Do you require a full external company or are you comfortable outsourcing your project to just one contractor? Does your external supplier need to show evidence of credentials or previous work? Do you have some way to ensure they have the skills they say they have? How will you ensure your project is completed on time? All of these things are important to consider before you even hire, and they will set the groundwork for your relationship.

By selecting the right IT vendor for your project or service you can minimize the potential business disruption, avoid failure of delivery of services, and ensure more-sustainable multi-sourcing. Take the time to find the right external supplier for your needs, and you’ll wonder why you ever considered hiring someone in house.

About the Author: Tom Callway is the Marketing Manager of Opsview Ltd, a leading provider of Network and Application monitoring software.  Tom has been working in the IT industry for many years with experience of networking, hardware, software and information management.

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