Application SupportCIOGeneral ITIL DiscussionIT Outsourcing and ITILITIL V3 for Application Support

Summary of Key Elements to Avoid IT Outsourcing “Hidden Costs”: Part 8

In order to avoid or significantly reduce the “Hidden Costs,” and potential business interruption because of poor performance of the “IT Outsourcing” vendor, insure that the following elements are in place:


  1. A contract which includes SLA’s signed off by all parties, including business users.
  2. Consistent and appropriate use of industry standards like CMMI or ITIL.
  3. A comprehensive and achievable project plan for transitioning support services from current provider to the vendor’s support team.
  4. Detailed application knowledge notebooks captured by the vendor from the current application experts, including the current team leader.
  5. A verifiable process for cross-training and re-training vendor support staff on critical application functions, problem history and fixes and business knowledge of functional area being supported.
  6. Communication procedures, infrastructure and protocols in place. Where appropriate, video/audio conferencing facilities.
  7. Work status, resource utilization, SLA performance metrics report, schedules and recipients clearly defined.
  8. Vendor must demonstrate the operation of defined processes for all work identified in the contract and how they will insure they are followed.
  9.  A data collection tool must be used throughout the vendor’s entire support team that captures data on all support activities: Work type, status, scheduling and backlog, resource loading, time tracking and data required for accurate SLA performance reporting.
  10. Easy-to-use customer satisfaction surveys (when the service is delivered or the work is performed).
  11. Customer satisfaction reports should be based on actual work performed not periodic and anecdotal customer satisfaction surveys.
  12.  Quality Assurance (QA) process and reporting in place for both Transition of services and continued support operations. Operational QA reviews are for the life of the contract and are usually quarterly unless problems require more frequent back-checks..
  13.  Process improvement programs should be an outgrowth of the QA process and agreed by both the vendor, IT sponsor and business customer.

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