In this five-part blog series, we’ve been discussing the most common questions business leaders ask us about IT outsourcing. We’ve talked about types of IT outsourcing, how your organization should prepare, and the risks associated with outsourcing. In this blog, we’ll explore how to talk to your internal team about IT outsourcing.
Question #4 – How should I talk to my team about IT outsourcing?
For many organizations, the term “outsourcing” has negative connotations. The concept of outsourcing might spark images of shipping jobs overseas and fear of layoffs. As we’ve touched on, there is still a lot of confusion and misconceptions around managed services providers (MSP). It’s important to bring your IT team to the table to discuss the pros and cons of partnering with an MSP as a resource to meet both business and IT goals.
It’s important to identify which outsourcing model will work best for your organization and team’s needs. Would your organization benefit most from partial outsourcing of non-core needs? Or does partnering with an MSP to handle your more specialized needs, like cybersecurity, make the most sense? What would the cost differential be in each scenario?
Clarifying with your team that not all MSP partnerships mean a loss of jobs or working with overseas organizations can help allay initial fear of change.
A Seat at the Table
Recognizing that there may be a disconnect between business and IT is the first step to solving the problem. Both teams need to look at the bigger picture; the business needs to recognize IT as a key player at the table, and IT needs to see itself as a business enabler.
Technology has forever changed the way business is done. Including IT in business strategy and decision-making is now a critical step in driving success.
Identify Priorities - Together
Your organization has business goals, whether it’s to reach and retain more customers, improve decision-making, decrease costs, or improve operational efficiency.
Your IT team also has goals – both organizational and personal - that should align with your planning. This is often the biggest challenge we see facing organizations. Getting both groups on the same page is rarely simple, but this is often where an experienced advisory-focused MSP can make a significant impact.
What is working? What isn’t? Is your team capable and happy providing day-to-day, level-1 help desk support? Are they able to provide it 24x7x365? Outsourcing non-core functions like service desk and monitoring can eliminate the need for your team to constantly be on call or the distractions from daily activities.
On the other hand, is your team made up of more skilled engineers who would be better utilized focusing on more advanced, core strategy projects? Partnering with an MSP that has significant bench strength and depth of experience can help support efforts by the internal team to resolve issues quicker or move initiatives forward. Taking your team’s skillsets and project interests into consideration will help align your business goals with the best outsourcing model for you – as well as get buy-in from your team.
User Enablement and Adoption Planning
Finally, creating a culture of change in your organization doesn’t happen overnight. Technology may be what drives change, but the success of change ultimately depends on whether or not people embrace or resist it.
Your internal IT team is a key member in the MSP partnership – make sure they understand this and you reinforce it. Relatedly, look for an MSP that values this relationship. Change comes quickly, and part of success means enabling your team to handle the pace of innovation. The MSP should have a strong user enablement and adoption plan to help your team embrace the new technology and processes that will enable them to evolve.