The first half of 2020 has been extremely challenging for most businesses. COVID-19 pandemic has caused a handful of irreversible implications for business conduct. The companies worldwide are undergoing severe pressure to quickly adjust to the new workflow that will merely damage the established processes. Whilst the medical staff is fighting the disease at the frontier, organizations from other spheres are doing their best to recover the economies.
IT outsourcing 2020 outline
IT outsourcing has remained on top of business models for over a decade now. Many companies consider it as an effective means for cost saving meanwhile focusing on other important issues in-house. Within the period from 2000 to 2019, market share of outsourced services varied between $45.6 and $92.5 billion. Among the most outsourced IT functions are software web development, mobile app development, software app maintenance, datacenters, IT infrastructure, helpdesks, networks, integration, HR. The list is changing due to a growing demand for other services such as accounting, cloud-based platforms, etc.
COVID-19 vs. Business
Global pandemic caused by coronavirus has changed the perception of people’s everyday activities drastically. Economies worldwide have suffered and, unfortunately, there is no quick solution o this problem. Flexible businesses have shifted to remote work as soon as the lockdown started, yet, not everyone could have done that. Despite the quarantine, organizations have performed their best to stay afloat and continue their operations. The IT outsourcing industry has had it possible to switch most of its staff to work from home to keep businesses running. Unfortunately, many ongoing processes were put on the stop, as clients were uncertain of their future. Another draw-back lies in partial lack of necessary equipment and environment, therefore, employees had to immediately arrange their workspace at their homes.
On the opposite, some organizations have found outsourcing models applicable to their businesses in the current situation. In huge demand are cloud services and applications.
Today, as the quarantine restrictions are slowly changing and allowing people to go back to work, companies are considering their back-to-office policies to create a safe environment for the employees. International Labour Organization prepared several guides on how to return back to offices and workplaces and what steps shall be made towards restoring and ensuring secure environment.
How to choose your IT outsourcing service provider?
In order to stay on top of a company’s business niche, the following should be properly indicated while choosing a service provider that will meet your targets:
- Indicate your prerequisites and needs. It is necessary to mention whether you are looking for a long- or short-term cooperation, hence you will receive feedback on how much time your service provider will need to do the job.
- Flexibility and openness to changes. It is not a new thing that within the work process changes or updates may appear. Therefore, you have to make sure that your vendor is willing to add them without a significant issue or, at least, discuss them and provide a solution to the occurring enhancements.
- Communication gap based on location and cultural peculiarities. Global IT industry has made a huge step forward toward the elimination of boundaries when it comes to cultural differences in client-vendor relationships. Such things as time-difference, official holidays, etc. shall be discussed in advanced, therefore to make work process smooth and easy for both parties.
- Ask for as much information as you think you need. Often clients, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that only start their business process outsourcing (BPO), tend to be shy to ask too many questions which is a huge mistake. The more cooperation info and details you receive and analyze at the beginning from your vendor, the fewer risks and failures are expected to happen in the future. Hence, the communication process shall exclude the fears and worries and will provide a solid background for successfully accomplished tasks. In case you have any trust issues with your vendor’s policy or there appear to be too much of a sole appraisal, you should think twice before starting your cooperation.
- Discuss the budget. This is one of the key things to be reviewed. Only after you communicate the costs and analyze the market offers, you can make your final decision. If during the development process you have additional requirements or ideas, that fall behind the setup budget, that shall also be discussed prior to introducing the enhancement.
- Contractual obligations/SLAs. No business today is done without signing a contract between the two parties with all the obligations indicated. Service Level Agreements are the contracts between a customer and a vendor that measures and defines the level of services provided, quality and timing, process monitoring, penalties for non-compliance with the regulations, etc.
Of course, the items above are only a few of the long list; however, they will help you to carefully think prior to getting down to work with a new service provider. Organizations-clients shall also remember that it is not only the vendor, who has responsibilities. The obligations are incumbent upon both parties; therefore they are both liable for any violations, non-compliance, or breach of the agreement signed.
Despite the rather uncertain economical situation in the world today, many organizations are continuing to work even harder to keep in business. The IT outsourcing industry has managed to quickly switch to remote work due to its specific nature as such. COVID-19 has brought significant challenges businesses are learning to cover one day at a time. Organizations have to carefully analyze the potential risks, challenges, and opportunities prior to finalizing a deal.