What is SME in BPO

IT outsourcing for SMEs?

Guest contribution: Partner Gryps offer portal

IT outsourcing is the ideal solution for many SMEs to operate their IT professionally, save costs and concentrate on the company's core competencies. In order to successfully outsource IT, you should consider these five points.

Without well-functioning IT, nothing works in the company. But SMEs in particular often have neither the time to look after the IT nor the resources to acquire extensive, internal IT know-how or to set up their own IT department. In addition, there are costs for hardware and own server rooms. For many SMEs, permanent IT support is a great responsibility and a time burden. Often the core business suffers and valuable time is lost. By outsourcing IT, an SME can concentrate more on its core competencies and save costs in the process.

Well thought-out outsourcing of IT processes as part of the IT infrastructure is an added value for your business. This gives SMEs the advantage of purchasing the IT skills tailored to their needs while benefiting from specialist know-how, reliable care and professional support. In this way, the quality can be ensured or even increased. When the company grows, IT outsourcing also ensures planning security. For this purpose, the outsourcing contract (the service level agreement) should specify the scope and timeframe of IT services.

How can you decide whether and what exactly an SME should outsource? It's easy with these points:

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1. Which IT services does my company need?

In order to decide for or against outsourcing, you need to know what tasks IT has to perform and what services it has to provide. It should be clarified whether these services can be taken over internally and where there may be deficits. It therefore makes sense to involve the other departments of the company, ideally in the form of a small survey. In this way, possible problems that might otherwise be overlooked are shown without great effort. Such problems can have a significant impact on productivity or day-to-day operations. If, for example, sales employees cannot access the company network while on the move, it is often impossible to create offers or enter customer data into the CRM system in a timely manner. Technical problems often remain unprocessed because the IT department is overloaded or because tasks are not assigned correctly. This should also flow into the evaluation of the IT.

Well thought-out outsourcing of IT processes as part of the IT infrastructure is an added value for every business.

2. What types of IT outsourcing are there?

In order to find the right IT outsourcing for infrastructure, cloud, support, server, operation & hosting for your company, you should also know what is offered at all. These outsourcing variants are the most common:

Outsourcing variants:

  1. Complete outsourcing: Complete outsourcing of IT hardware and software outsourcing including IT resources.
  2. Server hosting & Managed Services: Obtaining computing power from an external data center. Different variants are offered with and without services or with virtual servers or “dedicated servers”. One speaks of IaaS - "Infrastructure-as-a-Service" from a public or private cloud.
  3. Server housing: Setting up your own server in an external data center. Also called colocation.
  4. Operation of software applications: ASP Application Service Provisioning: Software from the cloud, e.g. Office 365 from Microsoft or CRM systems such as Salesforce.
  5. Backup services: Here the data backup is outsourced to an external backup provider at a location that is physically separate from the production system.
  6. Desktop outsourcing: The software on the company PC should not be installed by the user himself. Thanks to the outsourcing of desktop applications and thus a regulated employee workspace with simple support structures, there is no more application chaos.
  7. BPO outsourcing of business processes: Outsourcing of entire business processes (BPO) such as human resources, accounting or logistics. BPO affects both the hardware and software infrastructure required for this, but also the human resources.

3. How do you find the right IT outsourcing provider?

When choosing an outsourcing partner, you should consider the following:

  • Industry-specific and application-specific know-how.
  • References of the same or related industries and company sizes. Talk to reference customers about their experiences with the relevant providers.
  • Personal contact who shows the procedure and implementation paths.
  • Geographical location of the resources and the data center.
  • Place of data storage and nationality of the company or parent company.
  • Service level agreement.

4. Make a detailed plan of your project

A specification sheet / functional specification with your own requirements, project planning and project controlling is fundamentally part of every project that you seriously want to operate. If you are not sure what your company needs, how can an IT service provider know?

5. Monitor the performance of the outsourcing agreement

After you have signed an outsourcing service provider, it is advisable to reassess the provider and your entire outsourcing endeavor at regular intervals. Performance monitoring and reporting should be an integral part of any outsourcing agreement. Make sure the data collected is relevant to your needs. For example, some service providers provide you with simple monthly service summaries, while others may offer real-time key performance indicators via a web portal.

Successful outsourcing is only possible if a company actively takes care of the relationship with the outsourcing service provider.

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