IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 11 Apr 2011

8 Top Tips for selecting an IT Outsourcing Partner

AlanWhilst outsourcing is on the increase, and a recent study by the Everest Group revealed that outsourcing in the UK’s IT sector could increase by 600 percent over the next ten years; finding the right partner can prove tricky. Here are my 8 top tips for retailers looking to outsource their IT function.

Retailers should select a partner who:

1. Understands the customer demographic, and the technologies used to serve that market.

2. Has specialist sector knowledge, and can work to the structures and timetables imposed by retail: Such as overnight processing, out-of-hours support, pick schedules, and quick response and resolution in the busy operating periods.

3. Naturally fits in with their culture and values: Choosing a partner with whom the retailer feels comfortable will ensure a smoother transition period for all parties.

4. Has a high calibre of support staff and accolades, an excellent track record of support, and is accredited to recognised national and international bodies / standards.

5. Works proactively on prevention of problems before they occur: Malfunctioning IT systems could potentially cost the business millions through lost sales, so this is vital.

6. Can support future strategies and grow alongside the company: It’s critical to ensure that the outsourcing relationship remains effective over time by both parties agreeing the business objectives that need to be measured and constructing realistic and aligned Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

7. Can be agile, adaptable and flexible to accommodate business change.

8. Is capable of working to support, and maximise the ROI, in the retailer’s legacy systems, whilst introducing and helping to exploit new technologies that can deliver competitive advantage.

In an increasingly technology-enabled and dependent world, creating the correct IT outsourcing relationship is imperative.

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