Deciding on the right IT subcontractor to work with can be a tough decision to make. For Primes dealing with federal and state agencies, the subcontractor relationship needs to be one of absolute trust and reliability: the wrong IT subcontractor can damage long-term relationships. And worse yet, they can directly affect the quality of services offered to citizens across the country, and even put their data at risk. How do you pick the right IT subcontractor for the job? How do specific IT subcontractor capabilities align with your objectives and ROI? Let’s take a look.
What you need to know about your IT subcontractor
When you’re looking for a capable IT subcontractor to partner with, you want to know the answers to two key questions:
- How can you learn about the experience and capabilities of IT subcontractors you don’t already have a relationship with?
- Which subcontractor provides the best value without compromising on capabilities?
The recurring theme here — and something we’ll be emphasising throughout this piece — is IT subcontractor capabilities. Unlike projects for small/medium businesses or even enterprise-level solutions, Prime government contracts are often large in scale, long-term, and complex in terms of their requirements. This means that the question often isn’t “will this vendor do an average job or a great job?” It’s “does this vendor have the capabilities to support us?”... What kind of capabilities are these and how can you identify who’s got what it takes?
Human capital and resources: can the IT subcontractor put in the effort hours to see your project through?
The first thing you’ll want to consider is the scale of a IT subcontractor’s operational capabilities. A number of local IT service providers are essentially “one-person shops.” Individual, small-scale IT service operations are a great fit for small and medium businesses: they’re cost effective, agile, and flexible. However, they might not have the bandwidth or resources to handle the entirety of a major federal or state government project. This isn’t to say that smaller IT subcontractors should be written off entirely: they can play a key support role in delivering specific parts of your end solution.
Before considering smaller IT subcontractors, take a look at your own quote. What are the effort hours involved? Can individual IT subcontractors handle the entire project or parts of it? If you have questions about this, you’ll want to consider partnering with a larger organization.
Mid-scale IT subcontractors like ExeQut are often the best of both worlds. They deliver superior ROI and better pricing than enterprise-scale partners. They’re also more willing to try out-of-the-box solutions to meet your specific needs. At the same time, they have the human capital and resources to handle projects that smaller partners simply cannot handle. Talk to your potential IT subcontractors and get a clear idea of their bandwidth and the effort hours they’re actually capable of putting into a project before you take the conversation further.
Let's Talk Capabilities
We'd love to talk more about aligning the diverse needs of your projects with a IT subcontractor who can deliver the ROI you're looking for during a free project assessment:
Past performance and qualifications: Depend on subcontractors with a history of success
You want to work with IT subcontractors known for being reliable. But how can you make sure? Past performance and delivery capabilities give you a good baseline to assess a subcontractor’s performance and the risk involved when working with them. IT subcontractors with extensive experience delivering successful solutions to federal and state clients can be relied upon to succeed. You want to take a look at their success stories and work with partners who have a history of meeting objectives and exceeding expectations.
When evaluating past IT subcontractor performance, it’s also critical to take a look at their qualifications, both in terms of federal and state compliance standards, and IT service excellence. When making an IT subcontractor decision, it’s best to filter out potential partners through pre-qualification.
This guarantees a certain baseline degree of experience and service excellence, with your final decision being based on the value adds they bring to the table. Pre-qualification can be in terms of complying with standards like ISO 20000. It can also be in terms of requiring a concrete level of prior expertise within the team, in terms of the projects they’ve worked on. Make sure to align your pre-qualification cutoffs with the actual needs of the project to ensure that prospective subcontractors are exactly the kind of people you want to talk to.
Newer, untested vendors might offer enticing rates, but the bottom line here is this: Does your IT subcontractor have a history of success? Can they be relied upon to succeed?
Making the pick: select IT subcontractors who align excellence with the best ROI
It can be difficult to make the final decision if you’ve narrowed down your options to a handful of qualified, expert IT subcontractors. How do you choose when every option is a good pick? Every great subcontractor brings something extra to the table. This could be in terms of offering a lower quote. It could also be in terms of unique value additions. You’ll want to correlate the client’s needs, expectations, cost appetite, objectives and ROI targets, with what each subcontractor brings to the table. Do value additions translate into a higher-end quote with the client? Will the subcontractor with the lowest quote hit all targets and milestones? Make that final decision by picking the best IT subcontractor who best aligns with your ultimate objectives for the project.
Let's Chat About IT Subcontractors
At ExeQut, we have over a decade of experience working with Primes on key IT service projects across the country. We integrate experience, service excellence and flexibility to deliver results you can rely on. If you’re looking for an IT subcontractor that consistently exceeds expectations, let’s chat!