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IT Outsourcing Outsourcing IT needs in the corporate world has become extremely popular because it is cost-efficient and it gives IT resources to companies that may not otherwise be able to afford them. Another positive side effect of IT outsourcing is that it has brought many technology jobs back to the United States.

As convenient and patriotic as IT outsourcing has become, it also have several limitations that have caused many companies to re-think the idea of funding their own internal IT group. It is important for a company to be completely familiar with these limitations before developing any kind of company policy in regards to IT.

The Customer Could Outgrow The Outsource Company

When an IT outsourcing company first takes on a new client, the relationship is beneficial to both sides. But things can start to get inconvenient for the client when the client's business starts to outgrow the capabilities of the IT outsource group.

An IT outsourcing company can become entrenched in the daily routine of its clients, which is great at first. But when the IT company can no longer keep pace with the growth of its clients, then the clients are stuck trying to find a new solution and keep track of its own IT assets at the same time.

The IT Outsourcing Company Lacks The Necessary Technical Expertise

IT outsourcing clients like to believe that their support company knows everything there is to know about computers and the Internet. But every IT support company has its areas of expertise and they have the technical areas where they are not quite as strong. If the client starts to experience needs from the areas where the IT outsourcing company is not so strong, then that can become a significant business issue.

This problem can be amplified if the client is a small business experiencing growth. An IT outsourcing company is not as likely to bring on new personnel for a smaller client, which leaves the client without a solution.

The Client Losses A Measure Of Control Over Its Data

No matter how large or successful an IT outsourcing company may be, there will always be the limitation of client security and the protection of critical customer data. All it takes is one rogue employee of the IT outsourcing company to compromise all of the client's critical data.

Some IT outsourcing companies have safeguards put in place to try and prevent client data compromise, but those safeguards are limited by how much access the IT company has to the client network. In most cases, that access has to be comprehensive for the IT outsourcing company to be able to do its job.

Outsourcing IT responsibilities can take a lot of stress off of a client and allow that client to operate his business by focusing on his core competencies. But there are limitations to IT outsourcing that could make it necessary for a client to do his own IT support and pay the extra costs.

I’ll get straight to the point.  Why should companies invest more in management training?  Here are 10 simple reasons.

1) An employee’s relationship with his or her direct manager is the most important single factor in employee engagement.

2) Engaged employees are happier and more productive.  Disengaged employees are frustrated and more disruptive.

3) Because there’s no widely agreed-on skillset for management (good managers come in all shapes and sizes), there’s an assumption everyone knows how to do it.  This is akin to someone who’s never driven before being given keys to a car and told: “Drive.”  (Many many years ago, this is how I first learned to manage.  I blundered my way through it.  Trial and error.  It wasn’t pretty.)

A project manager acts as the primary link between business and technical teams. A project manager is responsible for maintaining the project schedule, developing project estimates, working with external teams and tracking project issues. The project manager belongs to either the technical team or the project management office (PMO). The project manager works with business teams, technical teams, business counterparts, testing resources, vendors and infrastructure teams.

A project manager is often challenged with diagonally opposite views from the business side and technical side. A project manager’s success depends on balancing the needs and emotions of both sides.

Understanding the Requirements
A project manager must familiarize with the project’s requirements as defined by the business or product managers. This will help you understand the business vision behind the project. You will need this knowledge while negotiating with the technical teams.

Understanding the Technical Landscape
A project manager must also understand the technical systems, resource skills and infrastructure capabilities available for the project. Business teams come up with expectations that are sometimes beyond the capabilities of the technology team. It is the responsibility of the project manager to understand the technical capabilities available to the project.

Walkthrough of Business Requirements
This is a critical step in the project delivery process. The project manager must invite members from the business team, technical team, testing team, infrastructure team and vendors. The project manager must encourage the various stakeholders to ask questions about the requirements. Any prototypes available must be demonstrated in this meeting. The project manager must find answers to all questions resulting from the requirements walkthrough. The project manager must get the final version of the requirements approved by all stakeholders.

Managing Conflicts in Timelines and Budgets
All project managers will face the conflicts arising from shortened timelines and limited budgets. Business teams typically demand many features that are nearly impossible to deliver within short timeframes. The project manager must work with business and technical teams to prioritize the requirements. If the project is executed in a product development organization, then the project manager could utilize agile methodologies to deliver projects incrementally. In this case, the project manager may be required to act as a scrum master to facilitate scrum meetings between various stakeholders.

The Art of Saying “No”
As a project manager, you may be forced to say “no” to demands from both business and technology teams. However, it is important to create a win-win situation for all parties when you are faced with conflicting demands. You can work with the stakeholders individually before bringing all parties together. Most stakeholders prefer to work together. The success of a project manager depends on how effectively he or she can bring out the best in everyone, driving everyone towards a common goal.

Finally, the job of a project manager is not to satisfy the demands from all corners. The project manager must identify the essential deliverables that will meet the business needs, with a solid understanding of what is possible within the limits of technology.

 

Related:

Smart Project Management: Best Practices of Good Managers

Is Agism an Issue in IT?

Programmers often tend to be sedentary people. Sitting in a chair and pressing keys, testing code, and planning out one logical step-wise strategy after another to get the computer to process data the way you want it to is just what life as a programmer is all about. But, is being too sedentary hindering a programmers max potential? In other words, will getting up, moving around, and getting the blood pumping make us better programmers? To answer this question more efficiently, we will need to consider the impact of exercise on various aspects of programming.

Alertness And Focus

It is no surprise that working up a sweat makes the mind wake up and become more alert. As the blood starts pumping, the body physically reacts in ways that helps the mind to better focus. And improving our focus might make us better programmers in the sense that we are more able to wrap our mind around a problem and deal with it more efficiently than if we feel sluggish and not so alert. However, improving one's focus with exercise can be augmented by taking such vitamins as B6, Coleen, and eating more saturated fats rather than so many sugars. Exercise alone may be a good start, but it is important to realize that the impact of exercise on overall focus can be enhanced when combined with other dietary practices. However, it never hurts to begin a day of programming with fifteen minutes of rigorous workout to give the mind a little extra push.

Increase In Intellect

Does exercise cause a programmer to become a smarter programmer? This is perhaps a trickier question. In some sense, it might seem as if exercise makes us more intelligent. But, this may be more because our focus is sharper than because of any increase in actual knowledge. For example, if you don't know how to program in Python, it is highly doubtful that exercising harder will all of a sudden transfer such insights directly to your brain. However, exercise might have another indirect impact on a programmer’s intellect that will help them to become a better programmer. The more a person exercises, the more stamina and energy they will tend to have, as compared to programmers who never exercise all that much. That additional energy and stamina might help a programmer to be able to push themselves to learn things more efficiently, simply because they aren't getting tired as much as they study new languages or coding techniques. If you have more energy and stamina throughout the day, you will likely be more productive as a programmer as well. Greater productivity can often make one program better simply because they actually push themselves to finish projects. Other programmers who do not exercise on a regular basis may simply lack the energy, stamina, and motivation to follow through and bring their programming projects to completion.

Memory

The ability to remember things and recall them quickly is key to being an efficient programmer. Getting up and getting real exercise may be central to making sure that one does not lose control of these cognitive abilities. According to the New York Times, article, Getting a Brain Boost Through Exercise, recent research studies on mice and humans have shown that, in both cases, exercise does in fact appear to promote better memory function as well as other cognitive factors like spacial sense. (1) Consequently, if a person intends to be a programmer for a long time and wants their mind to be able to remember things and recall them more easily, then exercise may need to become an essential part of such a programmer's daily routine.

As much as one might want to resist the need for exercise and be sedentary programmers, the simple fact is that exercise very well could improve our ability to program in numerous ways. More importantly, exercise is critical to improving and maintaining good health overall. Even if a person does not have much time to get up and move around during the day, there are exercises that one can do while sitting, which would be better to do than no exercise at all.

 

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the hartmann software group advantage
A successful career as a software developer or other IT professional requires a solid understanding of software development processes, design patterns, enterprise application architectures, web services, security, networking and much more. The progression from novice to expert can be a daunting endeavor; this is especially true when traversing the learning curve without expert guidance. A common experience is that too much time and money is wasted on a career plan or application due to misinformation.

The Hartmann Software Group understands these issues and addresses them and others during any training engagement. Although no IT educational institution can guarantee career or application development success, HSG can get you closer to your goals at a far faster rate than self paced learning and, arguably, than the competition. Here are the reasons why we are so successful at teaching:

  • Learn from the experts.
    1. We have provided software development and other IT related training to many major corporations since 2002.
    2. Our educators have years of consulting and training experience; moreover, we require each trainer to have cross-discipline expertise i.e. be Java and .NET experts so that you get a broad understanding of how industry wide experts work and think.
  • Discover tips and tricks about programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized experts
  • Get up to speed with vital programming tools
  • Save on travel expenses by learning right from your desk or home office. Enroll in an online instructor led class. Nearly all of our classes are offered in this way.
  • Prepare to hit the ground running for a new job or a new position
  • See the big picture and have the instructor fill in the gaps
  • We teach with sophisticated learning tools and provide excellent supporting course material
  • Books and course material are provided in advance
  • Get a book of your choice from the HSG Store as a gift from us when you register for a class
  • Gain a lot of practical skills in a short amount of time
  • We teach what we know…software
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nearsourcing, reshoring and insourcing
developing talent and expertise at home
Companies are beginning to realize that talent and skills developed within the United States are exceedingly more important for the growth of an organization than the alternative: outsourcing. Considerations include: security, piracy, cultural differences, productivity, maintainability and time to market delays.
In the past, the reason for outsourcing centered on cost savings, lack of resources at home and the need to keep up with market trends. These considerations are proving to be of little merit as many organizations have, consequently, experienced productivity declines, are now finding considerable talent within their immediate location and have realized a need to gain more control over product development.
As strong advocates of Agile/Scrum development, HSG whole heartedly embraces this new entrepreneurial spirit because we know it works and because we believe our country's future weighs in the balance.