Everything That Can Go Wrong with IT Outsourcing


Pavel Krištof, Technical Account Manager ANASOFT

Everything That Can Go Wrong with IT Outsourcing Companies that decide to outsource part of their IT or entrust an external partner with their entire IT infrastructure have various expectations.  Some of them simply do not want to be involved in something that is not directly related to their core business; others hope to save money, others in better accessibility or ensuring of IT.

Naturally, there are also companies for which IT outsourcing is not necessarily a good choice. However, the worst case scenario is to decide to outsource care for the company’s IT and then find out that things are not going as expected. The poor selection of a provider is usually the most frequent cause of this wake-up call.

What kind of troubles can an improper outsourcing partner create?

It Will Bring Shame on You

Many companies are after a good price today. They select a provider that is cheaper by a third and then they’re surprised that strange, chain-smoking guys in short pants are wandering through their representative company premises with strictly a business dress code.

It Will Blind You

Low cost is not only about appearance and demeanor. Let’s say that the client insists on a specialist sitting in his company all day long once a week, although this is in fact unnecessary. A fair partner – although he can make money on such a request – will explain to you that this is ineffective because it will only result in downtime. A partner with no decency will place a student in your company at the price of a professional and will expose the administrator access to the entire IT of your company to a temp worker who may not be loyal to your company or the sensitive data to which his access is unlimited.

You Won’t Receive Services in the Requested Extent

Many providers promise everything on paper. However, not all clients study in detail the quality of the outsourcing partner’s personnel. If, for example, you are not interested in professional certifications, actual experience and available capacities, a problem may easily occur in implementing contractual terms and conditions and guaranteed levels of services. If a provider lacks the necessary knowledge, the resolving of a problem or the proper setting of servers that a professional could handle in an hour may take all day. Problems of a different nature may occur if you need to eliminate a problem within several hours, in compliance with the contract, and the provider with a lack of capability has nobody available because his people are dealing with other clients. 

You Won’t Have Support for All Technologies

Human capabilities are closely related to the risk that the outsourcing partner won’t cover all of your technologies which are used by your staff. Today, employees bring their own smartphones, tablets and notebooks to the office. If a provider only has experience with Windows, his administrator may have troubles making the necessary setting in the enclave of Macs and Androids in order to properly eliminate safety risks.  

You Will Became the Provider’s Servant

When your outsourcing partner makes various configuration and system changes and fails to keep IT documentation, you can easily end up as a hostage. Replacing an outsourcing partner can be costly without a properly documented IT infrastructure with detailed diagrams, descriptions of configurations and manuals for resolving past problems that can be understood by a layperson.

You Will Expose Your Data to Risks...

Some outsourcing providers act like sheep and fulfill all of the requirements of their clients regardless of the possible consequences.  If a company wants to set up remote access to the company through public protocols, it means that the company will expose its entire local network through encrypted protocol to the public.  Good partners do not blindly fulfill every requirement of their clients; they think about the consequences and point them out first. In this case, a good partner would propose creating a virtual private network on the main firewall through a safe protocol to ensure that communication between the remote computer and company network is encrypted and safe.  

... or Lose Them

If you think that your data are safe because your outsourcing partner backs them up regularly, you are suffering from a serious delusion. Data must not only be backed up; the backups must be checked and tested for functionality. In other words, backing up can appear to be sufficient, but without subsequent checks, it’s possible that in half a year, when you need to restore the backup, you’ll find out that it isn’t working.  

You Will Also Face Other Unpleasant Surprises

An incompetent or cunning outsourcing partner can increase your expenditures for IT considerably. One of our clients which recently needed a new database server can serve as good example. He received an offer from one of his suppliers for an oversized machine which is perhaps not even used for electronic banking. A good partner is also a good advisor and won’t let you spend twice as much as necessary for hardware.