Currently, companies have multiple options for hiring external services, from highly industrialized offers such as cloud services to more personalized engineering services for analysis and consulting, hardware integration systems, application development, and technical support.
The reality is that companies are at a time where they must invest more than ever in IT solutions for multiple areas of their business, including hardware, telecommunications, software, and of course IT services. For this reason, they must know well which activities should be outsourced and which should not.
In this situation of multiple knowledge, activities, and facets necessary in the daily operations of an IT department, the process of finding, selecting, evaluating, and hiring an external service can be very complicated and requires a set of good practices to achieve the best service.
From a practical standpoint, IT O&M service contracts are generally more applicable to existing installations, particularly if the IT manager is planning to use contracts for most operations.
FOLLOW ALTERNATIVE METHODS:
1. The IT Facilities Manager can keep operations and maintenance employees working on these tasks, both day-to-day and during peak loads, and outsource some specialized work.
2. The IT manager can have operations and maintenance employees perform day-to-day tasks and hire external services to handle the highest workloads, ie emergencies, reviews, etc. In this case, the contractor’s workers would be specialized engineers responsible for making changes, improvements, maintenance, and repair tasks.
3. The IT facility manager can have its small internal operations and maintenance workforce handle a portion of the day-to-day tasks and can employ outside services to balance daily work and take care of peak load needs.
4. The IT facilities manager may choose not to have assigned operations and maintenance staff and is entirely dependent on the service company’s employees.
TIPS FOR FINANCIAL MANAGERS WHEN SELECTING AN IT OUTSOURCING:
• The first thing is to analyze the demand for IT services by the company and define clear objectives on what outsourcing should achieve.
• Analyze the new alternatives offered, especially those of the Cloud type.
• Request success references with previous similar clients in a) types of problems that need to be solved, b) people, c) processes, and d) technologies. You must pay close attention to qualitative and quantitative details.
• Analysis of return on investment and long-term viability.
• Ask other financial managers and their degree of success. You can use social networks like LinkedIn for this.
• Ask the equipment manufacturer.
• Ask if the outsourcer has adequate insurance coverage, and try to make the coverage involved part of the contract.
• The contract awarded must guarantee during its validity that the contractor will correct the faults due to its workmanship. verifies that a penalty clause exists. verify that your commercial contract is adjusted to the success metrics of your business.
TIPS FOR IT MANAGERS WHEN SELECTING AN IT OUTSOURCING:
• Evaluation and selection. Evaluates providers’ capabilities to deliver quality services, operational efficiency, consistency, process expertise, and appropriate pricing. Choose those providers that are most likely to meet the operational needs of your business in the short and long term.
• Verify that they have adequate personnel to support the project. Check if this person has experience in contracts for IT operations and maintenance projects in your industrial sector.
• How big and deep is the outsourcing experience?
• What does it offer in terms of supervision and the skills of specialized engineers and their assistants? This is a very important consideration.
• The negotiation of the contract. The first step in negotiating the contract comes long before the contract agreement is put into writing. More specifically, the IT manager should try to express IT needs before starting negotiations with outsourcers. In fact, it would be a good idea to spell out those needs in writing. The objective is to offer the outsourcing your expectations about the service. When negotiating the price, you should seek to compare your internal costs of doing that work with what the contracted service represents.
• You must have a good understanding of the tasks and responsibilities of each of the parties: For example, who will have to provide the ancillary equipment and services. Establish very well what the costs will be included in the agreement and what is the extent of the labor included.
It is always a good idea to specify the scope and nature of contract performance monitoring in order to avoid potential problems.