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5 Best Practices to Strategically Leverage IT Contractors

The right IT contractors can benefit your organization and operations in countless ways

February 5, 2021

The right IT contractors can benefit your organization and operations in several ways. By hiring external IT contractors, you can access expertise and resources that you may not possess internally. The extra support gives time back to your team to focus on core operations. Leave hardware/software implementation, help desk services, operating system upgrades, and management of information system to an IT contractor, so your team has the time they need for their essential tasks. 

Properly integrating IT contractors requires planning and best practices. Here are the top ways to integrate IT contractors for your projects. 

Reasons to Outsource Your IT

Outsourcing IT professionals can benefit your business in many ways. First, you should determine if you should outsource your IT. If any of the following apply to your company, consider hiring an IT contractor:

  • Your company is already working at full capacity, and you are struggling to handle tech problems or large projects. 
  • Your employees do not have the necessary skills or technical knowledge. 
  • Outsourcing IT can save you money on hiring an in-house professional. Partnering with the right IT company is a cost-effective solution for addressing your IT needs. 
  • Your team needs more time for core competencies. Hiring an IT contractor can free up your time for other projects and operations. 

Choose the Right Contractor 

The first step for leveraging IT contractors is to choose the right contractor. You want an IT professional that is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and easy to work with. The top qualities to look for in a contractor include:

  • Relevant experience. Look for an IT professional with experience in the kinds of projects and roles you plan to hire out. 
  • Communication skills. Successful contractors must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with team members and your organization. They should be able to communicate their progress, questions, needs, and more. 
  • Problem-solving. IT involves planning, but it also requires an ability to adapt and deal with problems. 
  • College-level experience. Your contractor should have a substantial level of experience, such as a bachelor’s in Computer Science, a degree in Management Information Systems, or real-world exposure.

Before hiring a contractor, ask questions. Cover all of your bases and use this inquiry to assess experience level and other essential skills. For example, make sure your questions address:

  • Handling tech requests
  • Availability: Hours, weekends, response time, etc. 
  • Experience and process for data backup and recovery. 
  • Methodology for keeping up with industry standards. 
  • Plan for improving or maintaining technology security. 

Allocation of Tasks

To get the most from your IT contractor, allocate the right types of work. Some tasks are suitable to give to contractors, whereas others are more suited for your employees. 

Typically, you should employees should perform high-value tasks. Allocate menial technical tasks or specialty tasks to your IT contractors. For example, it often makes sense to give your contractors tasks like:

Longterm Planning

When hiring an IT contractor, think long-term. Instead of being reactive and hiring contractors project by project, plan your contracted work over the long term. Consider your overall schedule for long-term goals, as well as your budget. 

Start by planning out your main projects every quarter or fiscal year. Assess for which projects you have enough bandwidth and specialty, and which ones could benefit from a contractor. Plan your budget for the year with these technical contracts in mind to ensure that you have the resources you need for the projects that most need it. 

Create A Statement of Work

Clarity is essential for efficiency with IT contractors. Before jumping into a project:

  1. Create a clearly defined statement of work.
  2. Collaborate with the contractor to define what must be done, by when, and by whom.
  3. Outline how you will measure progress and success.
  4. Discuss check-in points and make sure everyone is on the same page. 

Work with an Organization to Help with Project and Contractor Management

Project and contractor management can get hectic and messy. Working with a professional services organization can significantly help your organization sort out management and stay on the same page. Organizations that provide contractors can often help throughout the process. However, if you work independently with a freelancer, it may be more challenging to get help with project and contractor management.

Tips for Working with IT Contractors

Working with IT contractors can be a great experience, but it’s not without challenges. Here are some tips and best practices to keep in mind when working with contractors:

  • Split work into smaller categories. When laying out goals and objectives, split long-term goals into smaller weekly and daily tasks. This makes it easier to keep track of progress and make adjustments with contractors as you go. 
  • Give honest, helpful feedback. Remember that your contractor is not an everyday part of your company. Offer feedback to guide their work. Provide constructive feedback when necessary, but also offer positive feedback to show appreciation and let the contractor know when what they are doing is working. 
  • Check-in. To keep your project on track and address any challenges early and upfront, check in with your IT contractor along the way. Of course, you want to assess progress and make sure your IT contractor is on track, but you should also ask if they have any questions or need any help. 
  • Review goals. During the check-ins, review the determined goals and objectives. Discuss progress toward the stated objectives. 

High-Quality IT Support & Services 

Extend the capabilities of your IT operations with the IT support you need from BLM Technologies. Our organization provides your company with highly experienced, knowledgeable IT technicians that can help your organization tackle your IT needs. We’ll help you find the best IT solution for your business, including staffing, help desk support, outsourcing, and security. Learn more about our IT support solutions and how BLM Technology can help get the most from your IT contractors.

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