Is your company global? Before you answer the question, think about it for a moment.
If you’re with a larger enterprise, the answer may be readily apparent, but more smaller companies than you imagine also have customer or vendors outside the U.S. Do they consider themselves global?
Now think about your employees. You likely have a diverse workforce, made up of people from all over. You hire for talent – not nationality. In some technology fields, however, the most talented people aren’t in this country or the need for a particular specialty outstrips America’s talent pool.
The talent your company needs to maintain its IT infrastructure, work on new projects and develop and implement the necessary tools to fuel future growth may not be in this country. Offshoring certain job functions, departments or projects to another country isn’t new; neither is a blended sourcing model that utilizes some combination of on-site, onshore and/or offshore resources.
The key for companies is to determine what IT sourcing model work for them. Here are four reasons why a blended sourcing model may be for you:
1. No past success at leveraging offshore resources. We’ve all heard stories about failed attempts to offshore some or all of the IT function. Is one of those stories yours? A blended model represents the best of both worlds, giving a company the ability to outsource certain functions while keeping others in-house. A blended model with team members embedded within your organization provides a local source of accountability for your offshore projects.
2. Speed at which your organization needs to move. It’s no secret that IT departments are being asked to do more (often with less) these days. A blended model allows you to have on-site and offshore resources for day-to-day endeavors that can scale up or down more quickly to respond to your changing business needs. For a new hire, how long does it take for you to get approval for a position, create the job description, advertise, interview, check references, negotiate, onboard and train someone new? Consider that time versus handing the project to the team you’re already working with.
3. Effort required to manage resources thousands of miles away. Submitting a project at the end of your workday and seeing the early results the next morning definitely is a benefit for outsourcing. The downside can be communication issues that delay projects or results in deliverables that look and perform in vastly different ways than what you expected. Properly executed, a blended model with an onshore presence can virtually eliminate those communication issues to speed your projects to completion and help you hit the mark the first time more often.
4. Outsourced provider needs to know your business. Think about your best clients. Do you understand their businesses at a root level and what they’re trying to achieve? Have you become more of a partner than a vendor? Offshoring alone may help you conserve resources or reduce employee headcount, but there may be hidden costs from deliverables that don’t work as advertised or lower customer satisfaction. In a blended model, team members are within your organization every day, soaking up the culture and learning firsthand about the priorities and objectives of current and upcoming projects. Having boots on the ground, so to speak, can help get the offshore employees up to speed quicker and have a more complete understanding of their responsibilities.
As technology and communications advances continue to shrink the boundaries among people, we should be learning from each other and growing with each other. A blended sourcing model can help your company leverage the skills and the efforts of a global workforce.