Outsourcing has become a major practice for businesses today. Outsourcing is a business practice in which you farm out some of your business functions to a third party. Information Technology (IT) is one of the major functions that businesses outsource.
Competent businesses are marked by their ability to use technology to solve their business problems. Therefore, your business must adopt the most optimal technology.
Among the reasons why you may choose to outsource IT are lack of enough capital to invest in the IT infrastructure and lack of expertise. Some firms outsource all their IT functions. Some employ an IT firm for defined functions such as disaster recovery, Quality Assurance (QA) testing, and software development.
Types of IT Outsourcing
There are also various types of outsourcing for you to consider. You can either choose one provider for all your IT needs or different providers to cater to your different needs. Below are the types of IT outsourcing you need to know:
- Offshore outsourcing
This involves outsourcing IT to a company that is outside your borders. For example, if you live outside of India, you can look for IT outsourcing companies in India. India is the top outsourcing destination for businesses because of the perceived cost savings that the country presents.The country also boasts of a high skill level which results in quality services and time zone advantage which enables speedy services.
According to the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), about 185 Fortune 500 companies outsource their operations to India.
Other countries that are favorite outsourcing destinations for businesses are China, Ukraine, Poland, and the Philippines.
- Nearshore outsourcing
This is the practice of outsourcing to a country that you share borders with. If you are neighboring a country where the cost of labor is low, you can consider outsourcing your IT to that country. Only ensure that the technology and skill level is of high quality.
As a business, your focus should be to get the best services at the lowest possible cost.
One of the benefits of hiring a nearshore company is the cultural similarities which make it easier for businesses to relate. Also, if offshoring does not work for you because of the challenges of different time zones, nearshoring can help you overcome those difficulties.
- Domestic outsourcing
When the IT services that you can get in-house are competitive, you may not see the need to look for an IT company outside your borders. This also comes with many benefits, the major one being better communication thanks to the distance.
- Managed IT services
In this case, you delegate all or some of your IT functions to a Managed Service Provider. You need to craft a Service Level Agreement (SLA). The agreement defines the services that the IT company will offer, how far-reaching they will be, the metrics of success, and the duration of service.
Most managed services involve network management. If you have more than one computer connected to the internet or office equipment, you may need network management services. Good network management services ensure that your systems are performing well,are reliable, and secure.
Performance checks involve conducting network inventories and eliminating network bottlenecks. An IT company should also ensure that your network is reliable in that it is always available to users and the response rate to malfunctions is also very high. Security systems should also be in place to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the system.
- Cloud computing
Cloud computing is the provision of computing services over the internet. It allows convenient access to a shared pool of computing resources. These services include networking, servers, storage, databases, analytics, software, and intelligence.
There are various types of cloud-computing services available to businesses. These include Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
SAAS is a cloud-based service where you access an app via the internet instead of downloading it to your computer. Unlike traditional systems, it results in lower upfront costs.
IaaS is a service model where a cloud provider will offer you resources such as virtual machines, network devices, firewalls, raw storage, and other computer platforms where you build your platform.
With PaaS, a third party will deliver mostly hardware and software tools for app development which you can use over the internet. The provider hosts the hardware and software on its infrastructure which saves your company the installation costs.
The driving force for your business should be to optimize profit. You can only do that when you keep your costs as low as possible, and outsourcing can help you achieve that.
Technology is changing fast. Keeping up with what is happening and adapting your business is a real challenge. Hiring an IT firm to handle your IT needs is what you need to keep up with the times, save costs, and enjoy a wide range of services than you would with an in-house team or equipment.