Lately, IT outsourcing became one of the most recognizable type of consulting among companies and as Henry Ford once said, “If there’s something we can’t do in a more efficient, cheaper and better way than our competitors, it’s no use for us to do it. We’d better have it done by somebody who’ll do it better.”
An enterprise which externally delegates some of its tasks, meaning ones that aren’t part of its core area of activity, can focus on achieving its key business goals consistent with its unique competences.
In this article you’ll learn about:
– the importance of IT outsourcing
– the reasons why consultancy outsourcing came into being
– the advantages of this solution
The significance of IT outsourcing for your firm
The importance of outsourcing in today’s economy is perhaps best reflected by the words of Lee Kuan Yew, the Prime Minister of Singapore: “If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business”
This prestige is the product of positive assessments of the competences of employees working in Polish enterprises. Polish software developers, as well as many other IT professionals, are valued worldwide (according to Hackerrank.com, they rank 3rd globally). The same goes for consultants, who help develop IT solutions commissioned by various organisations and execute projects in many diverse locations.
Benefits of using external consultants in your firm
The use of services offered by external IT consultants is currently on the increase. Why do organisations choose to outsource consultancy?
#1 Better allocate your own resources:
Of course, economic factors are important. Outsourcing allows companies to focus on their core business without needing to directly employ specialists, which can be a long and costly process, particularly given current trends in the labour market. The client’s company just pays for the services delivered by the consultant.
#2 Cut costs without compromising quality:
Another significant factor at play is costs, which is why companies from Western Europe and the USA are more and more frequently using services provided by Polish organizations. What they obtain is the support of high-quality specialists who can easily communicate in English while charging lower costs than their counterparts in places like Switzerland or America.
The increased interest in our specialists in those markets (Europe in particular) is also related to nearshoring. If a consultant comes from a similar culture, works in the same time zone, and is based in a relatively close location, this all undoubtedly increases the likelihood of successful completion of projects worked on together.
#3 Grow competencies your business needs:
The advantage of using external consultants is their familiarity with technology and current trends. So, in order to maintain a competitive edge, companies operating in the business of consultant outsourcing must remain at the forefront of knowledge about the latest software versions and popular IT trends.
For this reason, such enterprises are keen to invest in knowledge acquisition, reflected by, among other things, certificates they obtain. After all, their business is the transfer of specialists and experts in specific fields to their clients. Access to these services allows companies to obtain quick access to expertise.
In building their competitive advantage or striving to embark on innovative undertakings, many organizations take advantage of consultancy outsourcing to grow similar competences for themselves. Given the current realities, a lack of know-how in certain areas doesn’t limit the delivery of IT projects, as external consultants are tasked with delivering them as a service.
#4 Augment your existing team to achieve more:
Consultants often become part of the client’s company structure and are treated like its other employees. What they bring to the table is unique knowledge combined with experience they have gained in previous projects, which is precisely what the client’s organisation is missing.
Their presence makes it possible to execute important tasks, implementation projects, and other work while transferring their knowledge to the company’s staff. Such specialists enter existing projects and become members – and sometimes even leaders – of the client’s teams. After parting with the organisation, they leave behind fully-formed teams and in-depth knowledge.
Consultants agree to work under this model for many reasons. Self-development and the diversity of tasks are significant motivating factors for them. Being an employee of an outsourcing company can deliver these incentives.
Consultants have an opportunity to participate in a broad range of diverse projects, thanks to which they learn different styles of work, solutions, processes, and project methodologies. Moreover, they gain experience and knowledge, as well as acquire their own unique know-how, which allows them to obtain a wider perspective on the challenges they will face in future projects.
The risks of IT outsourcing
However, consultancy outsourcing also entails the risk that the external consultant will be treated like a full-time employee of the client’s company. The external consultant’s motivators are completely different than those of a permanent employee, as they become part of a team to perform specific tasks, execute a specific project, and guarantee its success.
Some organisations engage in the improper practice of burdening consultants with routine tasks because it’s more convenient to delegate to somebody from the outside. Importantly, this kind of behaviour contradicts the reasons for which the organisation chose to cooperate with the consultant, who may develop a sense of frustration and ultimately leave their employer.
How to recognise a good consultant?
References and previous experience are important factors. It’s common practice to sign a consultancy outsourcing agreement with a company that has delivered a project or done other work for the client’s organisation before. Both parties have had the opportunity to get to know each other before, often personally. It even happens that specific consultants are requested by name by the client’s organisation keen to use their services.
The future of consultancy outsourcing
If we carefully observe present market trends, we may tentatively predict that consultancy outsourcing will continue growing in the coming years. Companies that will stay in the business are those with adequate competences allowing them to deliver such services.
Good consultants will build portfolios including projects they have delivered as well as their own experiences and competences, while clients will still consider it important to be able to curb costs and have quick access to specialists whose knowledge is rapidly becoming priceless in the face of the current pace of technological development.
Senior Project Manager at Unity Group. Graduate of Wrocław University of Technology and MBA studies at School of Banking, in the IT industry since 2001. When working, he always puts quality first. Outside of office hours, he is passionate about history, football and sport.