Why do you hire anyone? After all, it costs money. Considering whether you should hire IT sourcing consultants follows the same reasoning as hiring additional permanent employees – you bring them in because they embody broader or deeper expertise your enterprise needs but doesn’t have, and the benefits you derive from that will be greater than what it costs to have them on board.
In the case of IT sourcing consultants, they can bring you some additional benefits an in-house hire cannot, making their cost-benefit ratio even higher. That’s definitely worth considering. Let’s look at three advantages.
Deciding if you should outsource any of your IT functions – and, if so, what and how – is a highly complex process. Even for the largest companies with substantial IT staffs, the details are typically outside the normal scope of work. You need specific knowledge and insight you simply don’t possess internally.
IT sourcing consultants have the expertise to fill those gaps, and then some. Staying abreast of the very fluid IT marketplace is their entire focus. They know the latest technologies, and they know the suppliers – their strengths as well as their limitations. They understand the potential ramifications of choosing one outsourcing location over another, whether it’s onshore or off. They know how to structure a deal and negotiate a contract that will serve you well.
Not all IT sourcing consultants are the same, so you can choose a team whose approach to assisting you with assessment and solution development fits your corporate style and culture as well as your project-specific needs.
Because of the complexity, outsourcing considerations are time-consuming. It’s a major commitment to assemble and evaluate information, let alone find and vet potential providers and finalize your transaction.
Can you really afford to pull your key people away from the work at hand to deal with this instead? The loss of momentum could cost you dearly in weakened competitiveness and delayed time to market for new products or other plans.
Working with IT sourcing consultants is a collaborative effort, so you can certainly make use of your in-house expertise to help speed the process. Consultants are there to augment and complement your existing resources, so your limited participation keeps costs down and keeps you involved. You’ll be in control without being distracted.
It sourcing consultants are unbiased. They are interested solely in helping your company address the challenge(s) at hand, with no stake in what you decide to do or not do. This can be as important as the technical knowledge and marketplace familiarity they offer, because what goes on behind the scenes can determine success or failure for your IT transformation. Change isn’t always popular.
You might have staff who aren’t entirely thrilled about a possible new corporate direction, seeing it as a threat to their job or their department’s perceived power. They can drag their feet or, at worst, sabotage your project with incomplete data or self-serving arguments and recommendations. Your consultants can help allay suspicion or hesitancy, and replace them with a more enthusiastic anticipation of change. They can help you plan a positive transition.
IT sourcing consultants can bolster C-level support for exploring outsourcing, too, even if it points toward a radical transformation. They can validate any assumptions you’ve already made about outsourcing, or if outsourcing is not right for your company, or your pre-conceived ideas are off-base, they’ll tell you. Their reputation is based on quality work, and that starts with honesty and integrity.
All these advantages come from choosing the right IT sourcing consultants. With well-defined roles and a good personality match, you have the makings of a top-performing team. You’re assured of better outcomes than you could accomplish on your own, and you can complete your planning phase faster and move on to reaping the benefits.