Outsourcing IT Services: Top Challenges

Challenges associated with outsourcing IT services

Outsourcing IT services comes with its pros and cons. IT is renowned for being more challenging to outsource than other industries. While the benefits are huge, allowing you to hire skilled workers, upskill your team quickly and scale up without the hassle of hiring full-time employees, the downsides are that IT can be a challenging area to explain and integrate to the wider team.

If you’re a business leader wanting to outsource to find IT professionals, it can be hard to find the right people and communicate with them in the right way. That’s one of the many reasons that BorderlessMind exists – to bring clarity to businesses and act as a middle man. 

The whole reason you’re hiring IT services in the first place is because you have a skills gap in that area, so it’s reasonable that you will find it challenging to speak to IT professionals and adequately explain what you need, using their language.

This is why having an outsourcing team on hand to decipher the challenging jargon and project manage your team for results can be vital. We’re unpacking the challenges associated with outsourcing IT so that you know what to expect, and how to prepare for welcoming an outsourced IT team.

What are the difficulties with outsourcing IT services? 

Outsourcing IT services can come with their challenges. That’s why so many businesses defer to a more experienced outsourcing agency, who can take on some of the responsibility and minimise the challenges.

Some of the key challenges associated with outsourcing IT services are:

1. Communication problems

IT folk aren’t always known to be the most sociable or outgoing. That’s a huge stereotype, but it does tend to be true. Many IT professionals like to get their head down and focus on the work, living in an IT bubble. They can assume that everyone else understands the challenging technical terms, and this can lead to confusion and silos with the broader company.

But what they lack in social skills they make up for in technical know-how. They’re geniuses when it comes to knuckling down and getting the work done – programming, coding, working with software or cybersecurity with ease – but when it comes to communicating those concepts effectively, sometimes there can be confusion.

It’s no problem though – everyone has different strengths and it makes sense that a lot of IT people are introverts. To combat this problem  it’s important that businesses have measures in place to make communication easy and effective. 

This is where a middle man can be very helpful, as they will understand the terms and be able to feed that back to the business in everyday language. The communication can be made much easier with the help of a project manager who can keep things ticking along and make sure everyone is on the same page.

2. Cultural or language differences 

This also falls under communication, but in a slightly different way. Sometimes when outsourcing, language barriers and cultural challenges can present. We must be sure to respect and understand every worker’s map of the world, even if they are very different to ours.

Many outsourced workers will be from different countries, as this can help businesses make the most of skilled workers from across the globe who can work for less due to lower living expenses in their respective country. 

These can cause challenges like language barriers or cultural differences. There can also be time difference challenges, and challenges related to when people like to work. For example, if you’re in a very hot country, it may be customary to take a long break between 12-3pm because it’s simply too hot to concentrate. This needs to be understood and respected, as every person will have a different work style depending on their cultural background and needs.

It’s important that friction regarding these challenges is dispersed by management. Everyone in an outsourced team needs to have their own flexibility, in order to adhere to their own schedule. 

3. Data risks

Having security around your data and IP is important, but when you work with IT professionals they’re going to need access to your resources, tools and business assets. This comes with a natural data risk that needs to be closely managed.

First off, be sure that the people you’re working with can be trusted. It’s helpful to work with outsourcing agents who can strictly interview and manage outsourced workers. Outsourced IT professionals should be briefed on the importance of the security of the business, and trained in this area. 

Businesses should also use safeguards and technical protocols so that unauthorized entry is picked up straight away. From here, it’s vital to have a plan if something does go wrong – like an incident management procedure.

Prior to starting work, the conversation should be had about sharing resources and protecting your IP and intellectual property and also the incident management procedure if something does go wrong. An NDA may be signed here to ensure that any data leakages are minimised, and workers understand the seriousness of the situation.

4.Choosing and aligning the right tools

You may have a team of in-house tech geniuses who are using a certain set of tools. However, if your outsourced workers use different programming languages and tools, then you may have trouble aligning.

It’s important to have a good idea of what tools your business will use before hiring outsourced workers. That way, you can hand pick those individuals and teams who have the specific skills that you need.

This goes not only for the technical tools, but also for things like project management tools that keep everyone on track. It can help to decide on these tools prior to starting work so that everyone understands what is expected. Both parties should expect to bend slightly and be open to how the other works. 

5. Tech workers dropping out mid-project

There’s nothing worse than having a team of workers who are doing really well, who then decide to drop your project when a better offer comes along. This can leave you in the lurch and mean that your project has to take a backseat as you scramble to find new outsourced workers. 

With contracts in place and solid relationships laid down, this rarely happens. With BorderlessMind, the outsourced IT service providers are long standing team members who have been vetted not only for their skills but also their ethos and ethics too.

Be sure that you know who you’re dealing with, and are working with outsourced professionals who will stick to the job and complete the project. If not, businesses can be left in all sorts of problems and have to start again with new workers. This is far from ideal and can cost a lot of time and money.

Thinking about outsourcing IT services? 

Outsourcing IT services can be a great move for many businesses. You’ll benefit from the top talent from across the globe, at amazing rates. This means that your IT projects can be propelled forward, without having to hire a full in-house team. In terms of productivity and cost-effectiveness it’s a must-try for any business.

Naturally, if you’re not in IT yourself, knowing where to start can be difficult. That’s where an agency like BorderlessMind can help you find the right people and put the wheels in motion. Want to learn more about how outsourcing IT services can change your business? Reach out now for an informal chat.

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