Choosing the right technology partner is perhaps the most important part of any IT strategy or initiative. There are many factors that weigh heavily in this decision, but perhaps the most important factor is choosing a partner that can provide all the services you need to complete the project. Many companies try to save money by breaking projects into components and finding the cheapest provider for each. While this may seem like a good idea at the sunset, it can lead to inconsistencies and can prove to be an integration nightmare. For example, if one company designs your application and another develops your documentation and training, the knowledge and expertise gained gained by the first company in the development process now has to be transferred to or re-taught by the second company.
This process usually translates to endless emails and phone calls to the subject matter experts and developers. This same problem can present itself in many other situations as well. Let's say you farm out graphic design work to the cheapest bidder and you hire another firm to design your marketing collaterals. Inevitably, your marketing partner will need different versions of logos or higher resolutions to develop certain marketing items, etc. This will cause you to either spend your time coordinating the efforts between the two, or spend more money having the designers re-develop the imagination according to the new specifications. As you can see, this issue can show up almost anywhere, wearing almost any costume. This problem becomes much more obvious when you have a large project that will include development, documentation, training and marketing efforts.
What to look for …
By searching out providers that offer multiple services that compliment each other, you may be able to save yourself and your organization time and money. These companies may be a little harder to find and may not be as cheap as the others, but can save you money in the long run. In looking for companies that offer "bundled" services, try to group your project components logically. Graphic design, media and marketing fit together very well, as do application and database design and development. By contracting "bundled services" you can easily shave a hundred or more hours off a project.
Look for a partner which services include:
- Website Design & Development
- Application Design & Development
- Graphic Design
- Branding (For print and screen)
- Online Marketing / SEO
- Video for TV / DVD / Web
- Training and Documentation
- IT Staffing