7 Questions to Help You Find a Killer IT Outsourcing Company
IT is on the rise—corporate investments in the sector will hit $3.8 trillion this year—and your company probably faces the same domestic IT skills shortage as many others. As you consider an IT outsourcing company to fill the talent gap, ask these important questions before making your final selection.
1. What is our capacity for growth?
The first question asked should be directed at yourself—are you ready to bring on an IT outsourcing company?
What impact will this new, distributed team have on your current staff? Are you ready for a significant influx of new talent into your current system? Have you allocated resources to absorb new developers? Just because they won’t be sitting at desks in your office doesn’t mean they don’t have the same needs as those who are.
Once you have your own ducks in a row, you can turn your attention to potential outside firms.
2. How deep is your talent pool?
How large a well does your outsourcing partner have at the ready? Can the firm quickly scale up if demand is high? Can it downshift and distribute staff to other clients once a product launches?
Are these developers top-notch in their field? Are they fluent in cloud computing, AI, machine learning, cryptocurrency, and blockchain? Can they transcend a simple understanding of a programming language and implement it as part of a larger system? These and other technologies are must-haves for any IT outsourcing company.
Though hard skills are essential, soft skills should be just as big a concern. Writing killer code is one thing, but being able to function effectively as a core member of the team is quite another. Does the firm properly vet applicants to know how they carry themselves in meetings or on the phone? Are you confident they’ll show up on time, ready to tackle the day?
3. Will developers see a project through to the end?
Ideally, you want your developer team to be consistent from the beginning to the end of a project. This allows everyone to get in a groove, learn one another’s style, develop communication shorthand, and be the most efficient team possible. When firms swap out developers mid-project, it can disrupt the workflow and cost time and money as the team readjusts to incorporate new members, potentially delaying completion.
4. What is your pricing structure?
Once you’re confident in the firm’s talent pool, the decision to hire ultimately comes down to cost. It’s important to drill down here and pepper the company with questions.
What’s included in the sticker price? Just developer fees, or also senior architect mentoring, project management, and QA testing? Does the cost change if the project is more or less complex? Does the firm include training and equipment?
Any conversation about money can create tension, but press through that and get to the answers you need. They may determine a project’s ultimate success or failure.
5. How do your teams communicate and collaborate?
Software is complex and has plenty of moving parts. When one gets stuck in the mud, the whole team comes to a screeching halt. Your IT outsourcing firm should leave the management of its developers to you, helping to fold them into your in-house team. This ensures everyone is rowing together in the same direction.
How does your IT outsourcing firm handle internal project management and communication? Do words such as Slack, Basecamp, GitHub, or Trello come up in conversation? How often can you expect updates? Is someone from the firm able to hop on a high-res video conference call to discuss progress or troubleshoot issues? As part of your team, they now need to meet your expectations.
6. How do you protect and secure data?
Once you contract with an outside firm, security and privacy issues become top of mind, as you now need to provide the firm with access to data and other sensitive information. The way the company handles this information tells you a lot about its priorities.
Ask to see the company’s plans to handle data recovery and business continuity, as well as policies on cloud storage and employee termination.
7. Can we talk to your past clients?
The answer, of course, should be “yes,” but the details beyond that are important. Will the firm introduce you directly to past clients? Or does the firm leave it to you to research social media to find them? What percentage of the company’s business comes from referrals?
We can help
In the end, finding a great IT outsourcing company comes down to doing your homework. Ask each of the above questions, and you’ll be well on your way to hiring a firm that provides top-notch programmers and developers who can seamlessly integrate into your team.
This is Jobsity’s specialty. We build teams and are excited to help you assemble yours. Write us a note, and we’ll jump right in.