The emergence of disruptive outsourcing solutions, like cloud and robotic process automation, has further seen companies improve the efficiency of their operations and their business performance. Outsourcing, however, is not a linear process, but one that takes place in these cycles:
- Vendor selection and contracting
- Transition and transformation
- Operations and service delivery
- Renewal or repatriation
Before hiring an IT firm to develop your software for the first time, you need to have a strategy and know what to look for in a vendor.
IT outsourcing strategy
The first step in outsourcing IT is creating a strategy or plan. Examine your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Then, ask yourself why you want to outsource. For example, is the app or web solution you want to build a short-term project? What value do you want to gain from bringing in an IT partner? Have a clear view of what you want to achieve from outsourcing. With a strategy, you will be better placed to pick potential vendors who align with the company’s goals.
Challenges during vendor selection process
You may come across some challenges when selecting, engaging, and contracting a suitable IT service provider. For one, a vendor may push you to enter into a contract with them too quickly. In this case, the service provider tends to make all the important decisions and controls the outcomes. Another problem is that you may not know how various IT outsourcing firms work. Begin by defining your goals before contacting any vendors. Then engage with potential vendors to compare their different offers before settling one.
Key factors to consider when selecting a vendor
When selecting a nearshore partner, you should always assess these six factors:
- Their portfolio
Pay particular attention to a potential partner’s portfolio. A portfolio is a document that lists the previous jobs a company has handled and their performance in those projects.
How a company communicates with people can tell you whether they are professional or not. The vendor should not just be good at developing applications but also in communicating with customers. Poland is an example of an excellent place for nearshoring because of the high level of IT and communication skills that Polish developers have.
- Technical skills
Assess the kind of development technologies or tools an IT company uses to build software. Also, ask for code samples. That way, you can tell if the vendor can meet your expectations.
Get recommendations from other people who have outsourced software before. An example of a good website you can visit to get trusted reviews about various outsourcing companies is Clutch.
Check what each vendor’s price covers as different companies have different pricing arrangements. Some things that could be listed include research, consultations, prototypes, customer service, infrastructure, licenses, etc.
- Company website and social media
Going through a company’s website and social media profiles can also tell you a lot about its skills, experience, customer care, and public opinion about them.
Remember that outsourcing is a significant business decision. Therefore, have a strategy before you begin comparing vendors. Ask potential IT partners questions to understand their expertise, working process, tools, and so on, before choosing the right outsourcing company.
Read also: The best practices in IT nearshoring
Read more: 7 phases of the IT outsourcing process