Outsourcing – is it all about the money?

Although it is tempting to choose your IT outsourcing partner based solely on price and often promises significant cost savings, it is just an anxiety generator. In order to maintain sound balance between value, medical standards and quality, take a wide variety of factors into consideration. Cost-orientated choice can result in entering into a relationship with a partner lacking sufficient scale, skills, infrastructure or even worse – lacking motivation. This will only make your IT project suffer.

Case 1 – Testing

Do you know, testing is the area that most frequently gets cut when customers put downward pressure on prices? Yet it is one of the most important elements of best practice in software development. Avoiding testing may cause bug-ridden code and greater problems when the software is to be upgraded or developed further. What is even worse, it may result in the product being not used or not suited to a user’s actual needs or healthcare standards. It takes much longer to fix poor code in the future than to release it correctly initially. Cutting testing time directly results in poor quality software, which in turn generally makes for unhappy customers who view the project as a failure.

Case 2 – Body shopping

In terms of best practice, building up teams at a lower cost is certainly not the way to go. Most outsourcers have developers with fantastic skills. If customers are just body shopping they are not taking advantage of them or of the general knowledge and experience of the supplier. In other words, while the customers think this is a cheap option, they are not really getting their value for money. And, as you already know, fixing poor code costs much more than doing it properly in the first place.

What is the solution then?

  • Aim at building a strong partnership. If you have a relationship based on openness, the medical IT outsourcing company is more likely to warn you as soon as a problem occurs, rather than hiding it. It has the single biggest influence on the success or failure of the project, one that really can save you money in the long term.
  • Invest your effort and share perspective. Relationships rarely work well from the get-go, particularly when slight cultural differences are involved.
  • Look for suppliers that are not purely salary-driven, but rather looking for a challenging project. And this is where the real savings come in on both sides and understanding of how to work together from the outset and a willingness on both sides to produce a good end product.

Successful healthcare companies outsource IT projects to achieve business agility and understand this process is a long-term investment with a long-term payback. This definitely outweighs the deceiving quick cost savings which choosing someone based purely on price may promise.