Stop equating IT outsourcing with body leasing and find a technology partner instead

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Access to qualified staff, cost reduction, reduce time-to-market – these all are main drivers pushing businesses like yours to outsource some operations. IT continues to be the function that is most commonly outsourced, with almost 90% of companies planning to maintain their current outsourcing levels or increasing them in the future, Deloitte survey finds.

This shouldn’t surprise considering that technology is the baseline for developing and scaling business.

What’s different, though, is the fact that according to Deloitte’s findings, executives from leading organisations no longer see IT outsourcing merely as a cost-saving matter. Instead, they focus on the ability to deliver competitive advantage – transforming the way their companies operate and making them more effective in the long-term.

This shift in cooperation models was also noted by ITProPortal, which named technology partnership as one of the key industry trends of 2019. Indeed, there is a growing need for IT service providers who are able to take care of the full software development cycle, together with business analysis and further maintenance – and there’s a reason.

The unabated persistence of body leasing

Despite these changes, the common misconception about IT outsourcing is that the client gets what they order–even if it makes no sense from a business point of view. In Polish, there is an expression ‘not my circus, not my monkeys’, which perfectly embodies this type of approach–and very often, a related ‘not-my-problem’ type of attitude.

The client says they need a team of 12 Java developers? Sure, they will get it, even though they don’t need it or would benefit from a completely different take. The customer is always right, aren’t they?

This bad reputation of IT outsourcing is not entirely detached from reality. Many vendors accept this traditional collaboration model without much thinking. The client orders, the IT outsourcing company delivers–and that’s how a large portion of this market has always operated. With both parties unaware of other types of setups, this futile model persists.

If you are already paying your IT outsourcing company, then why don’t you expect more from them? Don’t cling to the conditions of the body leasing market, especially when you can find a SWAT team instead.

How technology partner can benefit your business

Many clients don’t expect their IT providers to deliver anything more than enough people with enough coding skills. They often fail to notice that external developers, PMs, and Delivery Managers usually bring not only a wealth of coding experience, but also a strong business acumen – a well sought-after combination they could use to their advantage.

When working with a technology partner, you get much more than a set of technical and soft skills. The right company can bring the know-how your organisation may be currently lacking, such as software delivery models, tools, and improvements to knowledge transfer between business and IT to help facilitate innovation at the project level or the entire department.

McKinsey’s survey found that when IT acts as a partner to the business, rather than as a consultant or supplier, the results are astounding. Organisations enabling active collaboration between their IT business, in general, tend to perform better on a number of dimensions. A knowledgeable technology partner will support you–as a CTO or IT manager–so your team can be better poised to satisfy the needs and goals of your business.

The benefits of such partnerships include the ability to implement innovation, enhance existing systems or processes, and introduce new technologies faster than the competitors. By relying on the expertise of your technology partner, you can better assess the needs of your company and only go for services that will advance your situation.

Stop equating it outsourcing with body leasing. Find a technology partner instead

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to transforming the relationship with your existing IT outsourcing company. In general, leaving space for their initiative to show up is what helps to foster this cooperation model.

Our team at Scalo once received an inquiry from a provider of online services. They seemed to be very clear about their pain points, technology stack but also the order. They wanted us to extend their existing resources with a team of 10 software engineers–yet they were open to our ideas, too.

As you can imagine, an order of this volume would translate into a higher invoice total at the end of the month. In theory, we could accept this assignment and start building a team. Yet this isn’t the way we work–nor any other IT outsourcing company should. We always focus on understanding the real challenge before rushing into work. That’s what we did in this case too.

Before signing the contract, we organised workshops which helped us map not only the main goals of our client, but also their internal software development processes. Another thing we assessed was their level of readiness for outsourcing–and once we did that, we knew that a planned rapid expansion wouldn’t be optimal in their case.

Instead, we recommended the start-small philosophy, with only a handful of devs joining the existing teams of our client. This gave both sides more time to discover each other’s M.O. and learn how to work as partners, sharing the same goals and challenges. Our client got a chance to create a sustainable IT outsourcing strategy, which in hindsight proved far more efficient than the blitz scaling they had initially envisioned.

This is just one story of a successful partnership from our portfolio–and there’s plenty more! Get in touch and let’s talk about how a technology partner can benefit your business.

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