How to outsource IT

Outsourcing IT is not new.  For years, companies have used staff augmentation firms, had their call centers and help desks managed by other firms, and used consultants to work on specific tasks. Recently, though, outsourcing has become popular for start-ups and small businesses who need help with their IT-related projects. Done well, you can use outsourcing sites to find talent on a retainer basis or for working on some or all your IT projects. From developing a Website or an app to monitoring your network and servers and even designing your brochures, managing your accounts and provide legal advice. All aspects of your business can benefit from using outsourced resources.

There are pitfalls and the attractive hourly rates can be more expansive than you think if the work is poor quality or takes a lot longer. So, you have to really shop around before choosing an outsource resource. Your hope is that you find a pool of individuals or firms you can count on to cover your IT needs. When well-managed, these relationships will become key to your IT success.

The article below covers specific Web sites you can use to find resources. They all basically work the same way:

  1. Post a project;
  2. analyse proposals received (sometimes dozens);
  3. eliminate obvious ones;
  4. select a few to ask questions via the built-in message board;
  5. Narrow your choices to 2 or 3 and conduct more personal interviews (using Skype for example).
  6. At that point you can ask for specific examples of work performed. Some will even offer to do a quick prototype at no charge.
  7. Award your project to the selected firm