Domestic IT Outsourcing: Qualities To Consider When Choosing an IT Firm

The first blog in this series addressed some of the frequently asked questions in the industry about exactly what we mean by domestic IT outsourcing. The second delved a bit further into the topic by discussing the advantages of keeping IT outsourcing domestic. The third taught us some little known facts about time zones and how important it is for businesses to understand them.

In the fourth and most recent blog post, we provided some tips on choosing a freelance contractor for your business. In this post, we’re going to take it a step further in the event that your company or organization is planning to contract with an IT firm for your projects on more of a continuous - or maybe even a permanent - basis.

The relevance of the information technology industry has grown exponentially, especially in the past decade. The industry, while using knowledge and technology effectively, is the main source of innovation, inventions, and continuous development. Moreover, the application of technologically advanced products and services in various sectors determines the performance of various organizations and, in a way, the entire economy. Hiring an IT firm is a crucial decision and there are several factors that you should consider when choosing firm for your projects.. 

Top 6 Qualities To Consider When Choosing A reputable IT Firm

1. Client lists/Portfolio

Request a list of clients and client references including both former and current clients.  Let the firm’s work speak for itself. Their portfolio demonstrates the styles that they can deliver and features to expect from a wide range of relevant projects. Additionally, when you look at the firm’s portfolio, it can provoke important questions about similar projects that will lead to a better experience.

2. Strategy and reliability

IT projects usually require preparation, collaboration, attention to detail, and organization. For this reason, you should hire an IT firm that you feel can collaborate effectively with you and your personnel from the beginning of the project through to its completion. Hire a company that is fully committed and has effective tools to keep your project on track by ensuring all the involved parties meet deadlines and goals. Determine up front how the firm envisions the project process maintaining momentum and ensure that you agree on vital aspects, such as milestones and a timeline. Agreeing on these aspect in the beginning will help to ensure a positive outcome.  For more tips on Project Management, check out one of our other blog series here.

3. Testimonials

You may want to know that which other clients are saying and how the firm manages projects that are similar to yours. Happy clients are one of the most valuable assets of an IT firm. It is then vital to ask for testimonials or case studies and the firm should be able to provide several for you to view.

4. Availability

Make sure that the IT firm is highly available and can meet your deadlines. Most IT firms handle multiple projects simultaneously so it is important to make sure that the firm considers your projects much of a priority as others and has the capacity to meet your time requirements. 

5. Flexibility

You will likely want an IT firm that is flexible and can easily accommodate you, especially when you make changes or adjustments to the initial plan. This is not uncommon and the IT staff should have the willingness and ability to adapt.  In the case that you require a variety features and designs, make sure that the firm is aware of this up front and is prepared to work with you. You, may therefore want to determine the frequency and method of communication you will require as  recurrent updates are desirable and can be essential in many projects.

6. Skill set and attitude

It is, of course, very important to ask the firm about their skill set and attention to industry standards.  This will help you understand their technical strengths in fields such as e-commerce, custom programming, content management systems, or any other relevant skills. When your project is handled by people from diverse backgrounds and with different skills, the user experience is enhanced for different personality types.  Also, when choosing an IT firm, it’s also important that you like their attitude, tone, and the way they present themselves to you and your personnel. You want to develop a healthy, comfortable working relationship from the start, especially if you plan to work with them on an ongoing basis.

Stay tuned for our sixth and final installation for this Domestic IT Outsourcing blog series, in which we’ll discuss the specific skills to look for in Information Technology Consultants.

Posted on April 24, 2015 and filed under Domestic IT Outsourcing.