Outsourcing: think quality over cost
Outsourcing seems to be the a viable solution for businesses looking to cut costs, but many of the companies that claim to be professional services organisations lack the fundamentals to deliver the required results.
So says Anton van Heerden, GM at Altech ISIS, who adds that this cost cutting trend is especially true for IT departments where the technologies that offer the benefits have to compete for the same budget as the skills required to keep the technologies running properly.
While outsourcing may seem like the simplest solution for a professional services organisation looking for world-class skills at a lower cost, organisations are frequently disappointed with the service they receive, he adds.
For Van Heerden, picking the right company is vital should a business want to implement and manage its systems and technology effectively.
"The right expertise and extensive experience are the only guarantees of success. When you require a vascular surgeon, your main consideration is not how much they charge, but rather how good they are. The same principle should apply to professional services in IT, which is at the core of every business," says Van Heerden.
This, he notes, is especially relevant for companies operating in Africa because the unique nature of each business environment makes specialised, localised knowledge a huge asset. By introducing advanced IT systems, a company can improve business processes and attain increased efficiency, says Van Heerden, adding that the needs around these systems differ depending on industry and location.
"A professional services organisation that understands where the differences come in, and why, ensures that the technology is implemented and used properly. That's where the savings really come in."