Despite technology’s positive impact on business, some people are still hesitant when it comes to change. I often find myself reassuring others that they don’t need to be threatened by third parties or outsourced help. Try and remember that outsourced providers are not trying to replace your team, they are looking to add value to it.
Think back to the time before computers and the internet and imagine trying to run your firm now without these developments; it would be impossible. Now think about all the benefits that have come from using the services that we often take for granted, such as email. If people hadn’t been open to change in the past, your firm may not be in existence. So why not be open to change now?
4 key things to look for
Although outsourced managed services have several benefits, you shouldn’t rush into choosing a provider. I have found that many firms find these 4 points useful when looking for a suitable service to enhance their business:
- Specialist expertise – Often professionals will look for services with companies they know well and who provide a wide range of services, under the assumption that if the provider is well-known then they will be the best. This isn’t a reliable way to choose services. Often providers who have a more targeted range of offerings and who focus on ‘sticking to the knitting’ will be more capable and able to deliver higher quality services, as they have the expertise, knowledge and experienced staff in the specific area you need.
- Evolving capabilities – Technology is in a constant state of flux, so you need a service that can match this by regularly updating their offerings. You also need a service that can adapt to your firm and industry. This will prevent your firm from falling behind competitors.
- Time-saving – Not only should services save you time in the long-term, but they be relatively quick to set-up. A lot of people I speak with are worried about the time it will take to train people on new software without realising there are service providers who offer training and on-going support. Look out for these when researching new services.
- Flexibility – Look for service providers who offer flexible subscriptions, with options such as virtual models (i.e. allowing you to access services remotely via the cloud) and outsourced models (i.e. running your services from your firm’s location). Although you may have a certain hosting preference initially, this could change as your business grows and you may need to switch.
If you open yourself up to conversations, you might learn something new about what’s out there and what your peers are doing. I have met people who are reluctant to speak about library services, but are then surprised by all the other information services we offer at LAC Group, which they have found valuable. Chat to providers and you might find out about a brand-new offering that’ll put you ahead of the curve.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn: How and why you should shift your perspective about outsourced providers