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IT Outsourcing 101

Article by our International Sales Manager Simon Blanchard

Your business is probably doing just great right now. You are
not overwhelmed by work, but you do not have so much free time.
Why would you consider outsourcing? Well, ask yourself why you
started your business in the first place. Okay, the real reason
is because you love to do what you do, but making more money is
always an issue. Then, just like this, you received yesterday an
outsourcing partnership offer by e-mail. From India? Russia? Or
even Canada?
It can sound a bit scary to think that you will involve people
in your company's success and you will not even to get to know
them. When talking about outsourcing, the same concerns are
expressed:
§ Quality of the work
§ Reliability
§ Time efficiency
§ Cost

Quality of the work
The quality of the work is not so much of a concern anymore. You
can find thousands of companies across the web that will
perform any service you might need. Look through reverse-auction
sites (i.e. E-lance.com), they provide companies for you to
choose from. Of course, you will have to be cautious. Everyone
claims to be the best at everything. Simple, ask for references.
Take the time to contact them.

Reliability
A good way is to contact their previous clients. Even better,
contact another partnering company that worked with them.
Another great way is simply to test them! Give them a small
project or to work on a small part of an ongoing project which
you could still catch up if the result is not satisfactory.

Time efficiency
Again, give yourself some margin. Delays in communication can be
due as much to time zones as to misunderstanding. There is
nothing better than the phone, but keep in mind that if they
offer you their cheap prices for the services, it is also
because they cut down as much as possible on non-development
features. So get used to work with instant messengers and be
ready to check your e-mail more often!

Cost
Ah, the main meat. It is most likely for this why you consider
outsourcing your work. Many counties are now involved in the
game. India has been the leader for a while, but many other
countries are earning recognition, especially those in Eastern
Europe. Many small companies (10-20 employees) in these
countries are not even registered, so they can offer you the
cheapest prices possible. On the other end, India is still a
good choice, but do not fall in the cliche. There are Indian
companies outsourcing to Eastern Europe as well! It depends
more on each studio specificly. You will have to send many RFPs,
use reverse-aution sites (as mentioned earlier) and you will
find an appropriate price for sure. It may be time consuming at
first, but once you get a regular partner everything will be
perfect.

Outsourcing can be profitable, but it is easy to screw up. Take
your time, start with a little project. Begin one that has no
or very little strategic value for your company and see how it
goes. It is not so easy to find a good outsourcing partner. It
might take a few tries for you to find the one that will go
exactly how you want with your business model and you might
loose a few dollars trying, but in the end, you will save big
numbers out of it.

Try reading these articles if you want more opinions:

Business 2.0 - Is outsourcing the answer?Infoworld - Offshore outsourcing

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