Inevitably one of the first considerations when contemplating outsourcing is whether the business process to be outsourced will be compromised due to a lack of security.
Outsourcing is not something to be taken lightly, and appropriate research needs to be done when assessing prospective providers. Where company records and intellectual property are concerned, this research is critical.
Security encompasses a number of aspects and several boxes must be ticked before your final selection is made.
With the internet and search engines, there are not many places a bad reputation can hide and a good reputation is more easily established. Check references, talk to existing clients – a provider who doesn’t have anything to hide will have testimonials available – how many clients do they have and how long have they been in business?
This is not just financial stability, though this should top the list, it is also about the client base, length of time in business and consistently winning new business. This all points to a company that is doing things correctly and is financially stable.
How would a provider be able to respond to your changing circumstances and requirements? Are they flexible in the way they operate? Do your needs come before theirs? Do they have the infrastructure to provide options in response to your requirements? Most, if not all, of these questions, should have a positive answer. Responding to problems with suggestions and solutions is mandatory and for any good partner.
Your outsourcing partner should have up-to-date systems and processes to maintain currency with technology and business trends. This is not just about IT, but equipment in general. Do they understand digitalisation and all the implications it has for doing business in today’s economy?
Regular communication is critical. Your outsourcing partner should be a member of your team and work with you to achieve your business goals. This will not happen if communication is sporadic. Regular reporting and meetings will ensure that the arrangement is working for both parties. It will also assist your provider with understanding your business model, which in turn may enable them to suggest alternatives or enhancements to current processes. Think long-term relationship and collaboration.
The provider’s knowledge of their own industry should be unquestionable, their knowledge of your industry or at least their willingness to learn about your industry should be apparent. If they have clients who are also in your industry it should be an indication that they understand what you do. If they ask pertinent questions and make correct observations about your industry, it shows you are on the right track.
Last but not least, the security which an outsourcing provider must have in place should apply to staff, systems, premises and processes and apply to tangible assets as well as electronic. Achieving appropriate standards and certifications demonstrate the importance a provider places on the security and peace of mind of your property.
You have done your homework, all of the above boxes are ticked. This will give you the security you need to outsource your business process with confidence.