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Guide to Outsourcing Apps for your Business

by: Sarah Joson

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 |

Nowadays, being innovative is a key factor that contributes to the success of an organization.  But as technology progresses, it has become more challenging for executives to balance their investments across all platforms and products that are currently being offered in the market.

Applications are IT add-ons that can be easily installed and changed depending on the need of the business. This is why many are found outsourcing their application needs to accommodate the growing demand not only in the IT industry but in the market as well.

However, amidst all the positive publicity that app outsourcing has gained recently, business owners have to be more careful when making their app outsourcing decisions and not let the hype get in the way. They have to consider which divisions of their organization will work well with the new process, which areas actually need it and of course, the risks involved.
ITProPortal.com shares tips IT leaders and business owners can consider when it comes to app outsourcing:

Set goals.    
Applications have different purposes, and if utilized wisely, can bring numerous benefits. Think of outsourcing as a business tool that can increase your operationís potential, and not a substitute to a specific process. This way, you can gauge if outsourcing will be able to do its job and be worth the financial trouble.

Manage your expectations.
Applications, especially the online ones, are not one-size-fits-all. They vary in interfaces, but can be easily fitted to match the requirements of an organization. Before focusing on a single application, see to it that it is the right match for the goal you want to achieve.
Evaluate your organization.

Measure your organizationís IT capabilities such as storage, bandwidth, contingency plans, and usage so you will be able to see if a hosted service will work in your favor, or will just be considered as overhead cost on your part.

List the strengths and weaknesses.
It would be easier for decision makers to identify which processes can be outsourced if they make a list of the primary processes, the impact to the business, and risks involved.

Outline and compare your finances.
Compare your current IT software expenses including your infrastructure, maintenance, moderation, and costs of improvement with the subscription fees and integration costs attributed to outsourcing apps to providers.

Do some research about the industry and the provider.

It would help you a lot if you are one step ahead of the providers. Perform an audit so you can assess if you and the providers have a common ground to work on. For instance, do you and the service providers have the same service delivery formats and infrastructure requirements?

Moreover, is their system secure and compliant with the industry standards? Do not forget to take a look at their track record, technical expertise, and scalability options.

Organize a transition plan.
If you have decided on a hosted service, make sure you have a solid transition plan. This eliminates risks and improves business continuity.

Double check the legalities.
Dissect the licensing issues and intellectual property rights before signing the contract. It is highly suggested to consult a lawyer first, even during the contract debates so you have a strong foundation when you try to renegotiate. 

Monitor the progress of the app outsourcing services.
Once you have your budgets in place, note down the ongoing ROI and performance metrics. Measure the efficiency of your outsourced apps the same way you measure your internal operations and software.

Be transparent with your host.
Establish good communication with your service provider and build trust as they are now part of your business. 

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