The Keys to Managing Your Outsourced IT Resources

Congratulations! You’ve decided to outsource some of your IT services, based on a sound resourcing strategy. And you’ve found a reliable outsourcing partner. Now you need to manage your outsourced IT team.

If you’ve ever managed a vendor, you may have had one of the following thoughts cross your mind:

  • “This team just doesn’t get it. I have repeatedly expressed how they can be successful here, but they keep doing the opposite!”
  • “We didn’t award them a new project they bid on, and now it seems there is a lack of interest in the entire account.”
  • “The resources assigned to this contract are incompetent, but the account exec is unwilling to switch them out.”
  • “During management updates, they only focus on the positive. They are not being transparent.”

Such warning signs usually mean a key resource management responsibility has been fumbled or forgotten.

To set yourself up for success, manage your outsourced IT resources on two dimensions: the relationship and the outcomes.

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IT Outsourcing- Selection Process- Abraic1

How to Choose an IT Outsourcing Partner: The 8-Step Resource Selection Process

IT outsourcing can be risky.

You’ll invest a significant amount of time and resources defining your needs, seeking out promising candidates, and evaluating options. You’ll need to clearly communicate what the organization needs, and what level of performance you will expect.

Then, if you start working together and feel like it’s not a good match, the relationship could turn sour. And if you can’t turn it around, getting out of an outsourcing commitment is not easy—especially once the resource has amassed an in-depth knowledge of your processes and systems.

TWEETTweet: How to Choose an #ITOutsourcing
Partner in 8 Steps https://ctt.ec/8N19F+

Quantitatively, 50% of companies feel their outsourced suppliers are reactive, not proactive; 40% experience a lack of innovation and underqualified resources; and 30% suffer high attrition and costs. (Source: Deloitte)

To mitigate risk, I recommend the following systematic approach to ensure you pick the best outsourcing vendors for your organization. I have used this process on many occasions with great success.

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IT Outsourcing- What’s Your Resourcing Strategy?

IT Outsourcing: What’s Your Resourcing Strategy?

IT departments have been outsourcing for decades. At the same time, there are many organizations who still perform most of their IT services with internal resources. Whether you’re a first timer or have years of experience outsourcing, you should constantly review and update your sourcing approach as part of your IT strategy to ensure you are positioned to support your company’s objectives.

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IT Must Learn to Fail Fast to Succeed

Innovation is an imperative for all organizations, and particularly IT. With that imperative comes the need to fail fast.

In Fail Fast or Win Big, Bernard Schroeder writes that it is not just leadership, culture, and technology that make for a successful startup, but also speed and timing. It has become easier to launch prototypes and get instant feedback via such tools that range from free online tools, social media, crowdfunding, and crowdsourcing. Startups can learn faster and pivot to new options, thus reducing the risk of outright failure.

Entrepreneurs have reached an extraordinarily high maturity level of innovation and failing fast. Startup methodologies have been honed in the US and globally, making small innovators big threats to established enterprises. As a result, larger companies are adopting startup methodologies—including fail fast—for themselves. Unfortunately, many IT organizations are laggards in this regard.

IT should be leading the way. If we don’t, we will be asked to get out of the way!

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VIDEO Cascading IT Governane

Cascading IT Governance

We believe the only way for an IT governance function to affect the execution of a strategy is to cascade the governance function. When middle management from IT and the business participate in governance, great things happen.

Watch this video to learn how we do it:

(Did you enjoy the video? Consider subscribing to our YouTube channel.)

tweet-graphic-transTweet: Cascading #ITGovernance
[VIDEO] @mpapov http://ctt.ec/55T0U+

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Why We Are Afraid of Failing in IT, and How to Get Over It

IT executives, IT managers and other techies: I am coming at you!

It’s time to embrace the concept of failing fast. (If you already have, how is it working for you? Please feel free to comment below and share your lessons learned.)

This doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people. We in the IT industry have baggage. So let’s process that baggage together.

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Podcast

PODCAST: IT Outcomes & Internal Customer Satisfaction

I was pleased to be interrogated – er, interviewed – by the talented Cassie Crossley on her new podcast, Tech Leaders Today.

Please take a listen to uncover:

  • our recruiting and staffing approach
  • IT’s biggest problem today
  • stories of how we solved 2 different clients’ problems

Excerpts from our conversation are transcribed below.

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Lessons on Failing Fast from Outside the Corporate Bubble

The benefits of “failing fast” have been well documented and embraced in startup circles. Yet in IT, project cancellations are rare. Organizations exert tremendous energy on making the best of IT initiatives that are bound to fail. When failure is not an option, failing fast is a foreign concept.

There are many factors contributing to the fear of failure in IT: culture, governance, strategic alignment, budgeting practices, contract structures, and more. That said, IT leaders need to learn from others.

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IT Can’t Please Everyone

Sorry to break it to you this way. It’s a fact of life: IT cannot complete its work faster than the business can think of it.

The dependence on IT is growing exponentially, priorities shift constantly, and new opportunities come up daily. The gap between expectations of IT and its capacity is often widened by those executives who claim they are not technologically well-versed, yet assume IT can waive a magic wand and technology will just work.

That IT cannot please everyone is not a problem – it is a reality. Frankly, a hypothetical IT department that satisfies everybody 100% would be so expensive it would defeat the purpose. The key is finding the balance between responsible spending and internal customer satisfaction.

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