In the early days of IT, many companies made the mistake of embracing technology for technology’s sake. Now that the role of technology in business has become clearer, business leaders have come to realize that its true value originates from its ability to impact the bottom line. That’s progress.
These days, however, where business leaders tend to get stuck is in sifting through the endless tech options available – mobile, cloud, BYOD, etc. – and determining which have the most potential to add value to the organization. In the euphoria of trying out the latest shiny device or IT trend, it’s easy to lose sight of the bottom line. Or, alternately, as budgets tighten in a fearful economy, it’s tempting to turn away from IT innovations that could ultimately boost profits.
This is one area in which having an IT outsourcing partner can be invaluable. By working with a consultant who combines keen IT expertise with a deep understanding of technology’s role in business growth, business leaders can hone their ability to make better budgeting decisions.
Developing Profitable Partnerships with IT Outsourcing Services
CIOs often turn to IT outsourcing services to clear their plates of “chore” tasks, freeing up time for more enterprise-level work. But if all the outsourcing partner does is complete chores, a valuable opportunity is being lost. Developing a strategic partnership, on the other hand, can help both parties better align appropriate technology solutions with the business leader’s core strategies and needs.
IT outsourcing firms are the ideal complement to a company’s decision makers for one simple reason: They are in the business of running IT for profit. In order to survive in a competitive industry, they must continually adjust their offerings in order to provide optimal business value to clients. This means always seeking ways to improve efficiency and ensure their services directly align with their clients’ business goals.
CIOs and their in-house IT departments can learn a lot from this business model in terms of optimizing value to their internal “clients.” Because the CIO’s responsibilities within the organization – formulating strategic goals and overseeing the implementation of helpful technology – are similar to an IT outsourcing company’s responsibilities to its clients, the outsourcing firm can become an indispensable strategic advisor. For example, IT consultants can help business leaders with:
- Pinpointing which technologies are needed to support business goals and which add little or no meaningful value to the organization.
- Answering key questions about investing in software and prioritizing hardware and software changes in light of budgetary constraints.
- Understanding the pitfalls as well as the advantages of the latest IT trends, such as cloud service models, bring-your-own-device programs or ITIL adoption.
- Leveraging outsourcing tactics such as service catalogs and service-level monitoring to help in-house IT departments become more efficient and deliver better service.
Approaching IT outsourcing companies as mere vendors can help get the job done, but a great deal of value gets lost in translation. Approaching them as strategic partners, on the other hand, can not only help streamline business operations, but it can also help CIOs make better on-target budgetary decisions.