Articles | November 12, 2020
Organizational culture in an IT outsourcing company
How to find a trustworthy IT provider – should we judge a book by its cover? Navigating through a service provider’s website and reading their story might seem an unnecessary effort at first glance. Read on to find out which aspects to pay attention to and why they are increasingly important in the IT world.
Why does corporate culture matter?
When searching for an IT outsourcing provider, CEOs, CIOs, project managers and decision makers often focus on such aspects as contractual agreements, competences, technologies, pricing and the cooperation model. These are certainly very important, but there is one more aspect you should pay attention to: the organizational culture of your future IT partner. The culture of your IT provider is important because it allows you to find out more about:
- the company’s values
- the maturity of the organization
- the internal processes of the provider
- added value
Key elements of organizational culture
Organizational values are the principles that allow each business to grow. Companies often identify with values closest to their mindset, which strengthens employees’ identification with the employer. It also allows companies to recruit talents that are on the same wavelength, and establish business collaborations based on a similar philosophy.
For example, at JCommerce we believe in Enthusiasm, Professionalism, Development, Teamwork and Flexibility and identify with these values on a daily basis. How to ensure that values matter to the provider and aren’t just PR claptrap? Ask the provider how they cultivate a given value in their organization, and make sure to get specific examples of how it is developed and taken care of.
Do you check out a company’s website to search for information about who they are and what they do?
Apart from familiarizing yourself with the “About” section and references, search for their mission, describing in a few words who they are and what distinguishes them from other companies on the market. Mature and conscious IT companies will have a mission outlined, going beyond “Providing IT outsourcing services”. Expect something other than the usual, as during cooperation it will turn into added value.
E.g. JCommerce’s mission is to “Support companies in the ongoing process of digital transformation. By sharing the knowledge, talent and skills of our specialists, we offer our partners development and cooperation based on trust.”
According to research, there is a relationship between effectiveness and team spirit. A comfortable, friendly working environment, allowing for good understanding and cooperation, is a crucial element of building highly effective teams. How to check if there is positive energy in an outsourcer’s team?
- Browse their photos, showing them at work and conferences. Make some effort to ensure that they show real people, and are not stock photos downloaded from some gallery.
- Also, search for videos to see how the outsourcer’s employees communicate. Would you like to have them in your team? Check whether they are active members of the IT community.
- Don’t underestimate the role of social media. This is especially important nowadays, when remote work is becoming more and more important, and in most cases we no longer have the opportunity to meet face to face and get to know someone in person.
Internal and external initiatives
How to ensure that a given company offers something more than IT services? Companies who set their hearts on being a responsible employer will transparently communicate what internal and external initiatives they support. Check if they:
- support their employees, e.g. by offering dedicated development programs
- support work-life balance
- run a company blog, where their specialists can share expert knowledge
- participate in or organize IT meetings, webinars and conferences
- build a community of experts, e.g. by creating online groups for IT people
Smart development is becoming increasingly important as we all realize that running a business is more than simply providing IT services. While doing research on a particular IT outsourcing company, check if they are a responsible member of the community. Do they participate in pro-ecological activities? Are there any charity activities in place? Or maybe they have their own original program? Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives are a measure of IT companies’ engagement in building a better world.
What distinguishes a mature and trustworthy organization is the vision of what their role should be. Knowing your future partner’s mission, values and initiatives can make it easier to decide on cooperation with that company. It will also allow you to check if your organizational cultures are similar and if the provider’s culture corresponds with your own. This is crucial, since a similar mindset and corporate culture facilitate the start of new projects and it is much easier to entrust work to people who have similar values and cooperate in a similar style.