In this episode of Lancom TV we sit down with our General Manager, Waruna, to discuss the process of outsourcing your IT, and how to find the right IT Partner for your business.
Hi, guys. Welcome back to Lancom TV. Hello, Waruna.
How are you?
Waruna is back and we are back to talk about outsourcing IT. So, outsourcing IT is often a point that business get to and they decide that, "Oh, we might have grown a little bit and we need to actually get a team of professionals to come and help us move forward." So, I'm here to pick Waruna's brain on what it means to become an outsourced IT partner, what it means to actually engage with an outsourced IT crowd. So, my first question, Waruna, is the why really. Why would businesses go through the outsourcing model versus maybe keeping an in-house team or getting the help from the intern that comes in once in a week and help us fix our cables, and some things like that?
Yeah. I mean, what we found just working in this industry for the last 30-odd years is that companies, much like any other company, goes through different stages in their life. So, you start off as a small business which might be one or two people and your requirements are very small and therefore you don't actually need to outsource anything. Everybody's in the same room, you're able to kind of work with a minimal set of applications and a minimum set of systems to be able to be up and running and trading. And then as your business grows, the requirements from those people and founders and other people that you're employing are not necessarily in the IT space. They're, you know, they're there to do a job...
...to basically, move their business forward and a lot of the time they don't specialize in IT. And that's when you require an outsourced IT company to be able to be engaging. If you're in a specific vertical, it's best to work with the outsourced crowd that would be working on that vertical that help you move forward.
That understand... Yeah, yeah.
And essentially as you grow, you can leverage support from a much larger organization that specialize in IT that they can give you the right answers and give you the best practices to be able to move forward...
...as opposed to trying to doing yourself and employing people to run that aspect of the business which is another part that we can talk about.
Another model as well. Yeah, yeah.
But essentially that stuff, that would be the primary reason than anything else.
Right. So, you've just reached that maturity level whereby you are better off concentrating on your day job than fixing IT problems or thinking about where IT is going next and how that benefits your business essentially.
Absolutely. And also just consuming that specialization from those outsourced IT people.
A team of people. Right.
Who are actually there to do that job day-in, day-out.
Day-in, day-out. Yeah.
And that's what they specialize and that's what they build their expertise in. So, it's much cheaper and probably better for your organization to consume that as opposed to trying to build that stuff.
Build that team. Yes, absolutely. So, outsourcing IT obviously might not be for everybody. I guess to counter that idea, my next question is about are there any businesses that may not necessarily be suitable for the model, understand that maybe on the very low end of the scale you probably haven't really got the maturity needed to be able to engage with that provider. But is there something else that you should look forward to be defining that?
So, I suppose, I mean, every business can outsource some aspect of their IT systems to specialized providers. So, most businesses have a CRM or an ERP if you're a significant size or some sort of custom development or some sort of application that drives their business. And as a result, you know, you would look for that expertise externally.
In those areas.
In those areas. But in terms of much larger enterprises, they have their own internal IT teams.
Because they want those people to be able to concentrate on their business all day, every day. Outsourced IT people generally don't tend to know how your business operates at a certain scale. So, while they can give you advice on certain technologies, they don't quite know how that might fit into your certain industry. So, if you wanna be able to build that capability out yourself and have people concentrating on your business every day, all day, that would be the best...
That's where the employment model comes in.
To be able to bring that in-house, build out a team. Then you would...at that point you would have some sort of CIO, or a CTO, or an IT manager that is driving a bunch of people that are focused on getting the right outcomes for the business.
So, I guess once again it comes back to that maturity level, right? So, when you're at the very beginning, you may not necessarily be ready at all and then you get to a stage where you need to engage with the provider because you're just growing to a level where you need to do your day job and then you might get to the very far end where you might be enterprise or large enough whereby you can actually afford a specialist or a team of specialists in-house that's thinking about your business day-in and day-out.
Awesome. So, my final question, Waruna, is in terms of getting that engagement right. So, engaging with a provider such as a Lancom Technology which it does outsourcing IT, in case you haven't guessed. What does that mean for the person that's sitting on the other end? Is there a process that typically that they would follow to try and reach out to someone like us?
And how does the engagement go from there?
Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, in terms of from a customer perspective, we've always been from a provider perspective. So, the other way around, when you're looking at that I guess you just need to look at what the business requirements are...
...to be very clear about what the outcomes that you're trying to gain from this outsourced provider. And these don't have to be technical outcomes. They have to be business outcomes that are measurable. So, you know, to have up time to be a certain level to be secure, to move my staff's IQ up in terms of the technology space, and how do you educate those people and move them to be more productive and more efficient.
So, you know, defining those sort of things to begin with, really helps you to be able to then narrow down on a partner that can actually...
Matches. Right, right.
...match those requirements for you and get you the right outcome. Also, I guess you just go out. Like I said, if you're in a specific vertical, there are providers that work in those specific verticals. So, it's better to reach out to some of those that might know that industry and that business, and they have other customers that are also in that same industry.
And then work backwards.
Move the needle for you. And then from there work out, you know, who in your industry is prominent. But I think one of the biggest things that we also need to look at is how do you unwind a contract. Because, you know, you can outsource everything and how can you go back? Is that simple? Is that a month? Is that a six months thing? Is that a yearly thing?
Understanding the pricing model, the contract engagement is really important.
That's right. Yeah. But even more than the contract and any other clause that's in there, one of the biggest things is to figure out, okay, if this goes wrong, how do we go back?
What happens. Yeah, yeah.
And how easy is that and, you know, what's involved in doing that. And having a mature conversation with your outsource provider about that will actually, you know, pick the right provider and they'll have the right conversations with you when you ask those questions and you start there.
Right. Final question. I did say the other one was the final, but I just thought about something. So, in terms of getting it started with a provider, is there typically a process that providers will follow through that's kinda industry standard?
Yeah. Sure. I mean, most of the time in the medium enterprise market, you generally tend to go up to three providers or so and, you know, you engage with them, you give them your list of requirements and outcomes. And they will come and sit down with you, they will tell you what their core values are and how their business will fit yours, and how you can work in a partnership. It's very important that you pick providers that work in a partnership and not a trading relationship.
Yes, yes, 100%.
Because, you know, if you're always negotiating on price, if you're always negotiating on, you know, getting the best deal for...it's one-sided affair, you have to realize that both sides of the business...both businesses are out there to make money at the end of the day.
One hundred percent, yes.
So, you need to be very aware of that and if you're successful, they're successful. And, you know, work in a partnership in that area. So...
And I guess from there on, commercial engagement and negotiations. And then I'm assuming at some point there's a bit of a technical audit that happens.
Yeah. Yup, that's right. So, the engagement is, you know, you sit down, you work out, you know, and they will do an audit on you to figure out, you know, what do you currently have, what does it take to support this environment, what's the complexity of the environment, where are your users at in terms of I guess their journey in the technology scheme, because that's important to the number of hours that are required to train those people and support those people.
And then from there it generally goes on to an onboarding once you've, you know, once you've done the deal.
Signed the deals.
There's an onboarding plan that will take place and, you know, Lancom has a 10-day onboarding plan that details out what happens in the first 10 days. From there it becomes support and business as usual.
Business as usual.
You identify in the first 10 days some of the key projects that you might need to work on in order to make your system stable or in order to achieve something that might be outstanding that would have been discovered in the audit. Yeah, and then after that you basically, you know...
Build a little bit of a roadmap.
We build a roadmap and it's important that you have a monthly cadence with your provider to talk about, you know, not so much. If you're talking a lot about tickets, it means, you know, there's a lot of work to be done. But those sessions should be really about being strategic and working out, you know, in the next 12 months, in the next 36 months, what are we looking, how can we leverage our technology to achieve some of the business outcomes and kinda plug in that together.
That's right. To go back to the first point we made about business outcomes.
And how you go after the provider based on those.
Awesome. I think there is another conversation to have about the onboarding itself, but I'm well aware that we've got time in the show. But I really want to thank you, Waruna.
I think that's been fantastic and I hope the people watching us now get an understanding on what it means to outsource your IT. Thanks for today.
Bye for now.
Thanks for listening. Bye.