Outsourcing vs. Professional Services – what’s the difference?

In recent years professional services (PS) has become more popular among IT managers. Many compare them to employee outsourcing services, and although the concept sounds similar, these are two completely different services. It is important to notice the differences between the two service types and choose the best option for your business.

Employee outsourcing companies will provide your business with a recruited and professionally suitable personnel for your goals. As you know, the employees will be employed by the service provider, but will physically and permanently located at your company for the period they were hired, alongside the permanent employees. They will work in the company, but will not belong to it, and will continue to receive technological backing and salaries from the company in which they are employed. If you have hired employees through an outsourcing company for a certain period, you will of course pay for their entire period of work, whether they have enough work to fill the position or not. It is important to note that this method can often generate latent unemployment in the organization for this reason.

On the other hand, PS specialists usually specialize in a very specific topic. They handle multiple clients simultaneously and are therefore invited to the customer for specific periods of time to handle specific aspects of the information systems that the business is not able to handle independently or needs assistance with a certain matter or project. By the way, contacting the organization systems can be performed remotely or by sending an actual employee to the customer’s location.

The great advantage of expert services is professionalizing in the experts’ experience, by the fact that they are handling other customers as well. They encounter a wide variety of malfunctions and different systems. The everyday handling of new challenges in different companies, enables an expert to specialize in various technologies, deal with complex problem solving and to learn fine nuances of different procedures from organizations in different industries. This means that the organization receives a broader and deeper knowledge resource and maintains a high professional level at the technology front.

The trend is moving towards specialist services
In all industries, whether it is manufacturing, retailing, high-tech, security, government or finance, the information systems entity has become a strategic-business factor. Today, this entity is expected to generate value in business insights for the organization and to realize the potential of the information at its disposal, all of course while increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
For example, in the Data Platform field, the number of new technologies has increased significantly in recent years, which enhances the organization’s need for people with experience and knowledge who are able to cope with the huge variety of technologies.

On the other hand, the increased transition into using cloud technology has led to a reduced need for intra-organization DBAs to perform full-time daily infrastructure work. Meaning, in this field, on one hand there is a need for experienced and knowledgeable employees, and on the other hand there is a need for service that is provided for a limited period of time and at a high level of efficiency. Therefore, there are clear advantages for using expert services in this field.

Beyond experience, extensive knowledge and efficient work, it is important to note that a company specializing in expert services is customer-focused by being a “service company” rather than a “manpower company”. It places the customer in the core of its business and therefore the experts working on its behalf, in most cases, come with a high service awareness and with great desire to maintain activity with the customer and achieve a high satisfaction level.

Companies of all sizes are currently shifting to expert services in a variety of information system fields. It is highly recommended for decision makers in organizations to examine things in terms of return on investment, reevaluate the resources at the organization department’s disposal and redefine the fields in which it is worth hiring employees, hiring outsourcing services or hire expert services.

By : Guy Yosef, Data Platform Director at  Valinor.