How to manage your outsource IT projects


Buy, build, or outsource IT? It’s the 1990s twist on a classic question. You may not find it in a hardcover dictionary yet, but outsourcing is part of the everyday vocabulary of developers around the world. Often it is intoned to make it sound like a blessing or an epithet, and it can be either or both.


Outsourcing is looked upon with fond hope by development managers squeezed between shrinking staff and mushrooming expectations. It is eyed warily by in- house developers worried about job security. And, of course, it is the mother lode paying the salaries of the outsourcing industry.

Managing and outsourcing are not usually used in the same sentence, except by the managers at those contract development firms to which IT software projects are outsourced. Managers at other companies, the buyers and potential buyers of outsource IT development, are more likely to think that you outsource IT software development in part to avoid managing it yourself. Once you have chosen to outsource your IT project, managing it is someone else’s problem. After all, that’s what you are paying them for, isn’t it?


Outsource IT projects require the buyer to practice good management. You need to manage an outsourced IT project at least as well as you manage your in-house development projects, but there are some added complications. Fortunately, Steve has already choreographed the basic steps for you. If you follow them carefully, you and your new outsource IT partner should be able to finish the dance with smiles on your faces.


The need to outsource IT today

In the past many corporations would downsize when the economy turned downward, and upsize when the economy improved. Recently, however, some are choosing to remain lean by opting not to upsize when economic conditions become favourable. This has the benefit of focusing their strategic energies on their core competencies. But how do they make up for the additional resources needed to keep up with market demands? The answer is to outsource IT, or procurement management.

Outsource of IT is directed towards a corporation’s non-essential capabilities while it maintains a close focus on what makes them strong in commercial and government worlds. This new approach presents a rising demand for project managers who have strong, proven project procurement skills.


The decision to take up the outsource of your IT

Outsource IT typically begins with a make-or-buy decision. Before a project manager chooses to outsource a portion of the IT some preliminary information will be required to determine the cost, risks, manageability, and timeliness of outsourced IT product deliveries.
In many corporations the project manager must present a clear pragmatic case to the key stakeholders for outsourced IT. Key stakeholders will not only evaluate the benefits of outsource IT, but will be very protective against giving away too many proprietary processes or any intellectual property. The control of information and documents between a buyer and a seller is to be protected and managed efficiently by the project procurement management team.

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