Large global companies tend to have large, highly skilled IT staffs. So it’s understandable you might wonder what outsourcing consultants can offer that you don’t already have. However, IT outsourcing is a specialized world, and a highly complex marketplace. Navigating its waters isn’t the same as organizing and managing day-to-day IT operations, no matter how big your enterprise or your data.
Outsourcing consultants offer fresh eyes, unbiased insight and recommendations. There are actually several types of expertise they can bring your company.
Professional IT and business management experience.
The right consultant isn’t someone who simply has a lot of what Grandma used to call “book learning.” They do have strong educational background, but they’ve also had considerable practical experience implementing that knowledge in actual business situations. That’s why they’re so helpful -- they know what they’re talking about as well as what you’re talking about.
Look for outsourcing consultants whose IT and broader business experience comes from your own industry, or a similar IT environment. You won’t waste time explaining the nuances of how you work or why. They’ll understand your customers, too.
Familiarity with solutions alternatives.
Technology alternatives just keep becoming more complex. That’s good news because your options are expanding accordingly, but on the other hand, it’s harder than ever to figure out what’s right for you. Who has the time to keep track of it all, let alone intuit the ramifications for your enterprise?
It can feel like opening a brand new jigsaw puzzle – where do you even start? The big difference is that in the case of IT solutions, you can fit the puzzle pieces together any number of ways to create a unique configuration for your enterprise. Outsourcing consultants help you understand which puzzle pieces belong in your big picture.
Familiarity with service providers.
Now that you’ve assembled your puzzle pieces, who’s going to put them to work? Choosing the right provider depends on factors beyond simply who can perform specific services. And depending on the details of your delivery solution, you could be better off with more than one provider. Again, it’s complex. And if you thought identifying the best transformative alternatives was confusing, evaluating providers can be even trickier.
Thankfully, outsourcing consultants know all the players – their particular strengths or shortcomings, how they approach working with clients like you, whether their business is stable and growing to support a long-term relationship with you and whether their long-term capabilities and interests align with yours, so you develop a great working relationship.
Strategic contract negotiation.
You haven’t achieved your current level of success without being a sharp negotiator yourself, but this is one time you’ll appreciate the special expertise your outsourcing consultants bring to that process. The right IT contract actually starts with the right RFP, one aimed at supporting achievement of your overall business goals.
Realistically, you want a contract that does more for you than outline a list of boilerplate performance standards. Should you include incentives? Based on what? What about penalties? Outsourcing consultants really pay off here as they can recommend details from SLAs to pricing options that can make a significant difference in your company’s future performance.
But even before all that …
Outsourcing consultants can help you dig deeply into your current situation, so you have a rock-solid foundation for decision-making. You can’t build a reliable high-level business case unless you’re armed with complete, accurate data.
It’s entirely possible you have all or most of that data on hand already, but a consultant’s outside perspective can help you view information in new ways. That includes computing your true total cost of ownership. You need all that to attain the three fundamental goals of outsourcing – filling gaps, capturing opportunities and controlling costs.
Outsourcing consultants can direct their expertise toward very narrowly-defined projects, too. They’re knowledgeable. They’re experienced. They can bring your company much-needed expertise.