When you’re a small business every dollar you spend is important. So when you have to hire outside help, especially outsourcing IT needs, how do you insure your money is cost-effective. One word: benchmarks.
Traditionally, benchmarks have been touted by outsourcing firms as ways to compare themselves to their competitors. For example, they would say, “we X company have decreased system downtime by Y percent on average.” They would use these benchmarks to help set the price. However, with the changing market, the usage of benchmarks has changed.
Today, benchmarks should be used to ask” what is the best usage of company X’s resources for me?” rather than “how much should I pay company X?” So how do you decide what is best?
Get a Baseline
To judge how effective a project is you need to know the amount and rate of change. That’s status after compared to status before. Outsourcing companies can spin the after data much easier than the before data. However, you should take a stock of what position you are in. In the downtime example, if you’re having trouble with your network crashing, you should time how long your network is not working.
In this day and age, it’s important to know what you want. After getting a baseline you should work with your IT service provider to decide how much per unit of improvement will cost. That way you can zero in on what you want and what you can have.
As always, keep yourself in-check.