IT is increasingly vital to business performance, though it remains a blind spot for many firms. In alignment with 2020 core business priorities, many firms are augmenting their staff with IT consultants to get more done. Your company’s IT outsourcing choices should match its reliance on information and technology.
Consider the following criteria when staffing your IT function this year:
Think of your IT system as a car that’s always running, and your IT team as the mechanics who work on it. Handing the keys to the wrong team can be disastrous. To mitigate risk, confirm security controls when selecting your IT staff.
A security control is a safeguard that ensures the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of information assets in an IT system.
Trustworthy IT outsourcing businesses should have documented certifications for their consultants, including, but not limited to, HIPAA certification, drug testing, background checks, and security protocols. Additionally, they should have client references that can speak to the quality of service.
It’s also important to secure a comprehensive service-level agreement (SLA) with your IT staffing partner. An SLA describes the critical security details and processes that guide your IT function, including:
- Security responses and alerting processes
- Patch remediation timelines
- Regularity of maintenance checks
Ensure that your IT team is certified and ready to proactively implement the best practices in IT security.
To properly address IT needs, an IT staffing partner must be properly briefed about your company’s operations. This requires consistent, comprehensive communication— a responsibility lies with your company.
Create a communication plan that outlines the expectations and day-to-day communication between your company and the IT provider. Be clear about what communications you expect, when communications are expected, and for what types of projects. For example, do you want to hear from IT about every ticket or just major IT projects? Should communications be exchanged via email or phone? What about monthly recap meetings?
The plan should also define who receives these communications. Consider that IT staff will need to reach different people in your company with different issues. Your company must establish a reliable point of contact at the IT vendor. This way, someone at your company can ensure that expectations are met, and that work is well-executed.
Picking the right IT provider is just the first step – you also need to be able to effectively communicate and work with them.
Be selective when partnering with an IT staffing firm. An ideal IT partner should handle the responsibilities of their assigned role without adding to your workload. In many cases, it’s best to find a partner that will staff your IT team, manage any associated projects, and take care of the administrative side. While there is a period of adjustment, the sooner you can establish continuity with a new partner, the fewer disruptions you’ll incur. Look for a staffing partner who can meet your specific needs, fit your operations, and grow with your company.
Outsourcing options are plentiful, meaning it's increasingly important to vet a potential partner. Conduct your own research into a company’s reputation instead of relying on the references provided. Resources like ratings, reviews, and your network can help you find a partner that’s experienced in the ways you need. For best results, choose a flexible partner with a history of success with companies similar to your own.
Considering IT Outsourcing
To ensure a positive experience, select an IT staffing partner on the basis of their security qualifications, adaptiveness, and communicativeness. Additionally, establish security controls and create a thorough communication plan before you hire. This framework allows an outsourced IT team to join your company productively and without undue headaches.
Emily Clark is a Content Developer at Clutch, a data and content-driven research and reviews platform in Washington, D.C. She researches business process and technology enablement topics.