Maintaining Control in an Outsourced Approach

By Courtney Macavinta

"To outsource or not to outsource is no longer the question -- for most enterprises it's just a matter of "when?" writes Courtney Macavinta in a cover story for CIO Strategy Center, a daily editorial resource offering strategies for building an integrated, secure and resilient IT infrastructure. The article features DataArt's President Eugene Goland as he addresses CIO's needs for solid strategies to maintain quality control and to assure the right vendor for the job.

Goland shares valuable advice, including investing in vendor selection, considering security issues, documenting expectations, developing guidelines and metrics, and establishing reporting practices. "When software development is being outsourced, CIOs need to decide who will be responsible for final outcome -- their company or the vendor," says Goland. Depending on the requirements of the project, Goland suggests evaluating the vendor's compatibility with the internal IT team, its responsiveness to requests for proposal, and the qualifications and commitment of its staff. He stresses the importance of establishing a process for transferring knowledge to vendors, as well as determining which metrics are used to evaluate vendor performance. "A good, solid relationship can only be built with clear, articulate expectations, metrics, and a comprehensive contract," Goland says.

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