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Staffing is vital to the function of any IT project. However, investing in new employees can require more time and costs than businesses can invest. With an increasing need for short-term and experienced IT staff, outsourcing has become a fast-growing market forecasted to reach $425.19 billion by 2026. It fills the gap created by temporary staffing needs that comes with many IT projects.
While outsourcing can be beneficial in many situations, it has gained the most traction with large companies, where 40.7% – 61.1% plan to increase their outsourcing or use it for the first time. Factoring in small businesses, it’s only averaging 24.5%, making some parts of the industry a step behind the rest. Part of the problem isn’t the lack of need but rather less access to resources to make informed decisions and changes in strategy. Not only do large-scale organizations benefit from IT project outsourcing, but businesses of any size can gain a lot from it too.
What Is IT Project Outsourcing?
IT project outsourcing involves hiring a third-party IT company to handle a technology-related project. A set size, period, and end goal are often negotiated as part of the process. The type of project outsourcing support can cover nearly every scale, software, hardware, and industry that may have IT needs. Project services can include IT infrastructure overhauls, hardware upgrades, cloud storage integration, software upgrades, tech stack transitions, and more.
How Can Outsourcing Help a Business?
As of 2021, an average of 13.6% of IT budgets goes toward outsourcing, making it a commonly used service for augmenting IT needs. Since managed service providers handle their staffing internally, outsourcing IT projects is a quick way to access a larger pool of IT staff. They’re fully trained and experienced with a wide array of technology across numerous industries. As a result, businesses can bypass the employee hiring process, along with the time, costs, and risks associated with it.
There are a variety of other benefits to IT project outsourcing too. Around 24% of small businesses use IT outsourcing to increase efficiency. Better resource utilization leads to lower costs, making efficiency a priority for budget-constrained companies. Outsourcing also allows for scaling services, so if the scope of the project changes or the deadline needs to be pushed forward, extra staffing can be assigned to speed up the pace without a disruption in support. If an emergency arises, even during off-hours or weekends, most IT outsourcing companies have a 24/7 line where they can help.
What Parts of an IT Project Can Be Outsourced?
By outsourcing IT projects, third-party companies can handle nearly every aspect from the planning stage until completion. External specialists can fill in to support a business within the project roles they need, whether it’s a specific element or handling the entire project. Some of the services outsourcing can provide are:
IT assessments: Specialists can analyze the current IT infrastructure and generate an evaluation that includes the status, issues, feedback, and suggestions.
Plan development: An outsourced team can help create the IT project plan, coordinating directly with a business to ensure it aligns with their needs and objectives.
IT Consulting: Consultants can provide guidance, input, and a knowledgeable perspective at any project stage.
Troubleshooting: They can handle bug testing and problem-solving of unexpected problems for new and in-progress projects.
Team management: An outsourced manager can lead internal and external IT staff to increase a project’s efficiency and success rate.
Software changes: Outsourcing can handle any software change, whether it’s integrating new software or redesigning a company’s tech stack.
Hardware upgrades: Every part of a hardware upgrade can be done, including analyzing specifications, purchasing strategies, distribution, and installation of new hardware.
Staff augmentation: Some companies may already have a well-built IT team but still need extra support. Outsourced IT staff can augment established teams by integrating into the workflow.
Complete IT project services: Many IT outsourcing companies can handle projects entirely, allowing them to take it from the discovery and developmental phase to completion.
When Should You Outsource an IT Project?
A business should first establish the objectives and budget of its project. 70% of companies listed cost savings as the primary reason for outsourcing, making cost analysis a valuable early step. If a project requires extra staffing, specialized experience, new technology, or a tight deadline, outsourcing IT projects becomes a useful strategy to increase the success rate. Some factors cannot always be planned for, such as an unexpected setback, a change in scale, unforeseen costs, or a due date adjustment.
When that happens, it leaves few options, such as completing the project slower with the current staff, hiring new in-house employees, or using an external IT team on short-notice. The best approach to take depends on the circumstances. Hiring more in-house staff can be expensive and take extra time to train, which is usually only done when the need is long-term and not for a specific project. Working at a slower rate with on-hand staff is sometimes doable for low-priority projects. With more urgent tasks, however, outsourced IT solutions work better since you’ll have access to staff that’s already trained and experienced.
IT demands are higher than ever, with a talent shortage impacting the adoption of 64% of emerging technologies. That makes it essential to pick a partner that can be trusted. Not only is it beneficial for current projects, but establishing an IT partner is also helpful for long-term needs. Organizations like ITonDemand work closely with companies across many industries, providing guidance and expertise at every step. Is IT project outsourcing worth using then? If you don’t have enough staff on hand, want to increase efficiency, or cut down on your project costs, then it’s well worth it.
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