To Outsource or Not to Outsource
By now you know you don't have to be a Fortune 500 company to leverage outsourcing. It's time to get into the game. But as the IT buyer, how do you know when it makes sense to outsource and what projects should be kept at home? While there are no hard and fast rules, the following guidelines will help you make an informed decision that fits your business needs and may even make you look like a hero.
Guideline No. 1: Determine which parts of your IT project can be outsourced
Not all project components can be taken offshore all of the time. Projects that require very sound understanding of the business process-such as implementing a software for a manufacturing unit-are better done close to the business itself. For instance, activities that involve interaction with the business stakeholders such as functional design or setting up of the production environment cannot be outsourced. A well-managed process combines the advantage of both on-site and offshore development.
Guideline No. 2: Decide on your vendor
This is not a one-size-fits-all industry, and outsourcing vendors should be carefully evaluated per project. To select an outsourcer who's right for you, make sure the partner:
1. Has expertise in similar projectsIf you need a few dozen people to maintain your mainframe applications or ERP systems, go with one of the "Big 5" outsourcers who have deep benches and specific legacy application skills in-house. On the other hand, if you are looking at enterprise or Web 2.0 integration initiatives, you will benefit greatly from partnering with an outsourcing company whose DNA is the Web and these new technologies.