The current digital era is pushing forward many things. Among them, smartsourcing appeared to describe a comprehensive approach to outsourcing: when you shift your core operational processes to achieve high effectiveness. Put merely, smartsourcing is the way to enjoy the real value-for-money after hiring a single external specialist or a dedicated development team.
The term “smartsourcing” became widespread after the publication of a book titled Smartsourcing: Driving Innovation and Growth Through Outsourcing. Its author Thomas Koulopoulos assumed that the companies should be more courageous with outsourcing and deliver the core business activities to external professionals.
But what are the concrete conditions to achieve this smartsourcing? The decision for outsourcing should include five elements:
- Cost reduction.
- Speed acceleration.
- Effectiveness increasion.
- Consistency improvement.
- Better risk mitigation.
So, it’s simple. If you decide to hire an external team and this decision doesn’t bring all these five outcomes, it’s not smartsourcing.
What Is the Difference Between Smartsourcing and Outsourcing
So, smartsourcing and outsourcing are pretty close terms. But still, they are not the same. And the difference lies in your purpose of using the services of an external team.
If you choose to outsource, your main goal is to cut expenses and shorten the project’s time frame. It’s a tactical tool you use to cut corners and immediately improve your performance. But this action doesn’t change your business dramatically.
Smartsourcing is a thoughtful and strategic move. The processes you shift are more critical for your business. This decision is complex, and cost reduction and better time management will appear in the list of its numerous positive effects. But smartsourcing will bring you many extra perks to these two.
In short, choosing smartsourcing IT services means going further and deeper with outsourcing. Moreover, you can expect from your smartsourcing team additional skills, like exceptional innovativeness and professionalism. Alternatively, you can simply perceive smartsourcing as outsourcing at its best.
Benefits of Smartsourcing
Smartsourcing promises sensible changes for the better, especially when it comes to:
- Consistent effectiveness.
- Deep expertise.
- Improvements in terms of core competencies.
Among all, smartsourcing IT services guarantee the consistency of positive achievements. Their system grounds on the principles of expertise, concentration, and maximum effort. Due to this, the outsourced team behaves smart, mitigate risks, and shares responsibility with you over the project. Thus, you receive a reliable partner who is ready to manage all your business problems and works for long-term improvement.
Moreover, the complex result of smartsourcing isn’t possible without assured erudition and professionalism of your external team. Practically, it helps you to do business and consider numerous factors and requirements: social responsibility, political situation, cost optimization, and the balance between risk avoidance and capturing opportunity. As a result of this beneficial synergy, you gain exceptional coordination and synchronization of your business that has no choice but to succeed.
Finally, smartsourcing means enhancing your core competencies. With such a comprehensive approach to business enhancement, an outsourced team offers crucial changes only. This means its ability to improve your corporate culture, branding, and customer interactions with your products.
How to Ensure the Quality of Smartsourcing?
The complex nature of smartsourcing calls for the proper preparation to ensure its true value and quality. Here are four key actions recommended from you:
- Benchmark the performance.
- Order and discuss vendor relationships.
- Learn about your external partners.
- Investigate the market.
At a closer look, you should double-check the areas you’re about to outsource. Critically evaluate the current performance and your ability to check the progress. Consider everything that affects customer behavior and put your findings and priorities in the background of future communication. And then, determine clear expectations with external vendors. For this, apply a “clean-sheet” costing approach to establish mutual trust. All these actions will make you prepared for negotiations.
During the discussion, pay attention to the priority setting. Be transparent in sharing your values, specifics of your corporate culture, and desired results. Meet all the people involved in your project and check their attitude and competencies.
Finally, don’t neglect the stage of market analysis. The specifics of local culture and transportation always come into play in smartsourcing, so prepare in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. For this, compare several local markets to extend your choice and get the best partner.
Smartsourcing promises many advantages, but they come together with significant difficulties. While choosing this model, get ready to manage possible troubles with:
- Technological integration.
- Trust and mutually beneficial communication with your partners.
- Finding true specialists.
First, smartsourcing possesses difficulties in technological enhancement. Both the ambitious aims and the responsibility level of cooperation require an in-depth knowledge of available technologies. In fact, that’s about not only innovativeness but also integrating all the core business processes in the most effective way.
Moreover, many сustomers face the problem of trust while communicating with an outsourced team. The level of responsibility shared with external workers is so high that not many business owners aren’t ready for it. That’s why we recommend signing a contract that prescribes mutual rights and obligations in all sensitive areas of your cooperation. Also, it’s always good to hire advisors and knowledgeable intermediaries to facilitate the search and negotiations. Last but not least, trust your intuition and work only with people you like!
Finally, the real problem with smartsourcing is to find people who work beyond the limited commodity-driven approach. Be ready to check the professionalism of your team and its ability to understand and improve your business. The task is rather tough and requires significant effort from you — but you can always refer to Intellectsoft or any other reliable provider to save your time and energy.
Intellectsoft is a software development company specialized in providing various IT-related services. As your smartsourcing partner, we’ll find true professionals ready to empower your core business processes. Our developers guarantee fast, expert-level, flexible, and dedicated cooperation. In our activity, we aim at turning each outsourcing project into the smartsourcing at its best.
Talk to our experts today to find out more about the topic and how your business or project can start benefiting from it!