Managed Service Providers: The Easy Way To Find Your Expert

The views expressed in this post are the writer's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Aloa or AloaLabs, LLC.

Whether you are a startup, business, or solo innovator looking to jumpstart your project, the definite first step you need to take is to source the right managed service provider team to work with. The market is saturated with sites for hiring tech professionals, making it overwhelming to settle on the best. 

Nowadays, managed service providers reduce the uncertainty of hiring software developers by providing you access to an invaluable service, handing off the vetting, hiring, and management to experts in the industry!

Aloa works as a software development outsourcing consultant, linking pre-vetted, highly qualified tech professionals to startups, businesses, and individuals looking to create customized software. So, we understand how vital the right software development team is to the overall success of a custom software development project. 

In this blog, we'll dive deeper into what managed service providers are, it’s two main branches, how it works, and the benefits such an approach to sourcing software development talents bring to your project. Afterwards, you'll clearly understand the requirements, expectations, and steps that bring you closer to efficiently getting your project out to market!

Let's get started! 

What Are Managed Service Providers?

Managed Software Industry Services at a glance

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a remote, third-party company that provides a range of services, such as software development, IT support, and project management. They offer access to an experienced team of professionals that can provide the necessary expertise to develop your project effectively while also taking care of all the administrative tasks associated with running a successful software development outsourcing project.

MSP is an umbrella term for managed outsourcing services (MOS) and software development outsourcing consultant services (SDOC). These third-party companies remotely manage your IT infrastructure and end-user systems to ensure they function at their best. MSPs offer a range of services to startups and businesses, including  IT support, network management, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and software development.

As a business MSPs provide you with a cost-effective way to manage your IT infrastructure and software development needs. Instead of hiring an in-house team, businesses can outsource their IT needs to an MSP that specializes in the services they require. This allows businesses to focus on their core competencies while leaving the IT needs to the experts.

What Are Managed Outsourcing Services (MOS)?

Managed outsourcing services (MOS) are software development services that link businesses with the right industry experts to complete their projects. Rather than going through the typical process of hiring and managing remote developers yourself, MOS providers take over this task and provide you access to vetted tech professionals who are well-trained in specific areas.

When MOS first appeared on the market, it focused on managed IT services such as software upkeep and maintenance. Now, it also provides additional services such as IT project management, product design and deployment, consultation, analytics and reporting, research and analysis of market trends, UI/UX design, testing solutions etc.

It's safe to say that MOS has grown and adapted to market needs towards offering more comprehensive solutions that go beyond just software development. Rather it also moves to something more all-encompassing, software development outsourcing consultancy.

What is Software Development Outsourcing Consultancy?

At a high level, software development outsourcing consultancy (SDOC) is a service that provides comprehensive solutions for custom software development projects. This includes the management of the project from start to finish, as well as vetting and connecting you with reliable talent in the industry who are best suited to your needs.

SDOC provides the necessary tools and personnel to complete your project and offers additional services such as resource planning, budgeting, and reporting. It takes the stress out of building a tech team from scratch and guides the entire process for any queries or questions you may have.

Software development outsourcing consultants like Aloa also incorporate tried and tested processes made specifically for the industry. Having industry-specific solutions to problems then facilitates the development journey for startups and businesses alike, providing them with the right resources at the right time.

How To Start Using Managed Service Providers in 2023?

Under the umbrella of managed service providers (MSP), managed outsourcing services and software development outsourcing consultants work similarly. The main goal of these services is to streamline the hiring process to reduce the pressure and uncertainty of sourcing tech professionals. Depending on your chosen partner, additional services may include budgeting, personnel management, resource planning, and more.

How to start working with managed service providers

Step 1: Identify Your Software Development Needs

Step 1 is more of a prerequisite to accomplish before you start reaching out to potential MOS or SDOS partners. Your software development needs include key points such as the size of your project, the scope of work, and how long it will take. Depending on what you want to accomplish and the timeline you have in mind, this will help you identify which kind of service will fit your project.

Usually, service providers will conduct a needs assessment to understand better what you're looking for. This means they'll ask questions about the project and your expectations to estimate resources and timelines accurately. During the needs assessment, you'll receive recommendations and solutions tailored to your specific needs. 

Consider preparing these elements beforehand:

  • Timeline: when do you want the project delivered?
  • Talent: what kind of professionals do you need to hire?
  • Scope: what needs to be done to accomplish this project?
  • Budget: how much are you willing to allocate for this project?
  • Project size: The estimated workload, duration, and involvement of personnel.

Ideally, you'll have a project brief to show and collaborate on during the assessment. Going into your needs assessment with an outlined action plan makes it easier to stay on track and within budget. Don't worry too much about the details so long as you have a general idea of the budget and timeline; the rest can be fleshed out later.

Step 2: Research Managed Service Providers

After creating an outline of your identified software development needs, explore the managed service provider market. As mentioned earlier, you'll need to consider whether you require managed outsourcing services or software development outsourcing services.

Managed service providers often focus on managing operations and infrastructure from an IT point of view. They provide hosting and maintenance for your servers. Software Development Outsourcing Consultants are more suited towards guiding you through the entire custom software development process.

Part of your research should also include assessing the credentials and reputation of service providers in the market. This helps ensure that you're dealing with a reputable provider with certified resources who can deliver on their promises. It's also a great way to identify which offers the most competitive prices and services. 

To better understand their capabilities and competency, look into the following:

  • Their portfolio or case studies: Seeing what kind of projects they've worked on in the past helps you understand their capabilities.
  • Reviews from past customers: What kind of feedback does your potential partner have?
  • Certifications and awards: How do they rank amongst other providers in the market?

Lastly, reach out to those service providers you've shortlisted, and set up a time to connect. This is a great way to get more information on their services and gauge how best they can help you with your project.

Step 3: Develop a Customized Plan

After selecting a partner to work with, the next step is to develop a customized plan. Your chosen service provider will thoroughly assess your software development needs to identify areas where outsourcing can be most beneficial. Choose to work with a software development outsourcing consultant. 

You'll also have the chance to select the right resources to build your software based on recommendations and your project's direction. Your customized plan should fill in all the details and specifications your initial outline had and any additional ones identified during the needs assessment. 

This includes tasks, workloads, deadlines, budget and most importantly - technology stack. The plan should also list any additional services you may require, such as QA testing or software maintenance. You'll be able to discuss pricing for each service with your partner in more detail to keep within your allocated budget.

Step 4: Integration of Outsourced Functions

Once the plan is in place, your MOS or SDOC will take over the management of the outsourced software development functions. They will provide the necessary resources, tools, and expertise to ensure smooth operation. 

The MSP will also work closely with your team to seamlessly integrate the outsourced functions with your existing processes, systems, and operations. In cases of customized software development projects, the MSP will manage the entire process from concept through to completion. 

The MSP will provide status updates on progress and notify you of any changes or issues. This allows you to stay up-to-date on the development without having to worry about managing it yourself.

Step 5: Monitor and Evaluate Performance

Throughout the project, the MSP will monitor and evaluate the performance of the outsourced software development functions. They will make adjustments as needed to optimize efficiency and effectiveness. This includes providing regular reports and updates to inform you of progress and any changes made.

Part of performance monitoring and evaluation includes keeping an eye on components like:

  • Cost-effectiveness of resources used
  • Performance of the development team
  • Timeliness of deliveries and project completion
  • Quality assurance to ensure the output meets industry standards

Once the project is complete, your MSP will work with you to review the overall performance and help you identify areas for improvement. This allows you to ensure that your outsourced software development functions are running as smoothly and effectively as possible.

At the end of the project, you should take a few moments to assess how the entire process went. What worked and what didn't? You can use this information to further optimize your outsourcing strategy and ensure that future projects run more smoothly.

Working with a managed software development outsourcing provider is an effective way to get your project up and running quickly without sacrificing quality or efficiency. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can ensure that the outsourcing process is successful for both your business and your provider.

Managed Outsourcing Services vs. Software Development Outsourcing Consultation: Which One is Better?

MOS and SDOC fall under the umbrella of managed service providers (MSP). Neither MOS nor SDOC is better than the other. Rather they serve similar purposes, with the difference being in the scope of services they provide.

MOS focuses more on operations and infrastructure. SDOC covers various services, from budgeting to resource planning, project management, and technology selection for customized software development. Depending on your software development needs, both can be used in tandem or separately as needed. 

When to Opt For Managed Outsourcing Services

MOS is usually the preferred choice for businesses looking to outsource their software maintenance and upkeep. This includes managing and maintaining servers, databases, networks, and other technical components. It's also great for businesses short on resources or expertise to manage their in-house IT needs.

Work With Managed Outsourcing Services: What To Prepare and Expect

Managed Outsourcing Services

When working with MOS, prepare a comprehensive set of requirements to ensure the provider can provide all necessary services. Ideally, you'll know the type of expert you need, their ideal skill set, and how many people you'll need to get the job done. You'll also need to know how long the engagement will last, whether it is a short-term or long-term partnership.

Regarding what to expect when working with a MOS partner, expect to provide remote access to your systems and regular updates on progress with the MOS. They should also be able to provide feedback and suggestions for optimizing processes and operations. The MOS should also ensure compliance with all relevant industry standards and regulations.

Once you've signed an agreement with MOS, you can expect continuous monitoring and management of your IT management needs. This includes regular updates on the progress of outsourced tasks and any issues or challenges that arise. The MOS should also be able to provide reports and analytics regarding the performance of your IT management.

Overall, managed outsourcing services are great for businesses looking to outsource their software maintenance and upkeep. They provide a comprehensive service package tailored to each business's needs and provide valuable insights into how their operations are performing. Working with MOS requires careful planning and preparation, but it can be a great way to optimize efficiency while saving time and resources.

When to Opt For Software Development Outsourcing Consultant Services

The main proponent of SDOC is to link your startup or business with the right software development experts to create customized software. SDOC is the ideal choice when you require a partner to help with the planning, strategy and overall management of your software development project. They will work with you to identify areas where outsourcing can be beneficial and craft an action plan to ensure the successful delivery of the project.

Work with Managed Outsourcing Services: What To Prepare and Expect

Software Development Outsourcing Consulting Services

Software development outsourcing consultants like Aloa are ideal for customized software development initiatives. Startups, businesses, or even individual innovators that have an outline for a software solution but need assistance to refine it and bring it to fruition can benefit from partnering with an SDOC.

Even if you do not have the technical expertise or in-house team to develop your software, an SDOC can help. When partnering with an SDOC, prepare the following elements:

  • Software Type: Is it a dashboard, internal tool, quality assurance program, etc.? Knowing what type of software you're developing helps in determining which software development professional to work with.
  • Design and Development Requirements: What type of features, design, and functionality do you require? Here, you'll uncover the technology stack and tools that will be applied in creating your software.
  • Timeline: How long do you expect the project to take? Your timeline determines team size and the required effort to get the job done.
  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend on development? Based on your budget, SDOC teams outline the flexibility in accomplishing tasks, adding features, or creating additional elements.

When working with an SDOC partner, expect them to provide comprehensive guidance throughout the process, from start to finish. This includes assistance in mapping out the project, developing a plan for implementation, and monitoring progress throughout. They should also provide detailed reports and insights into the performance of your development initiative.

Aloa is a software development outsourcing consultancy specializing in helping businesses identify the right software development resources and guiding them through the entire process of creating their software solutions.

Clients work closely with Account Executives throughout the process to understand their individual needs and goals. Part of the process includes linking your business with pre-vetted teams in the software development industry, hand-picked based on your project goals.

6 Benefits of Working With a MOS Or SDOC Partner

Working with software development outsourcing consultants offers numerous advantages for startups and businesses, including:

  • Expertise: MSP has a wealth of industry knowledge in software development, allowing you to tap into specialized skills and expertise that may be difficult to source independently.
  • Cost saving: Outsourcing software development functions to an MSP allows startups and businesses to significantly reduce overhead costs associated with hiring, training, and maintaining an in-house team.
  • Increase efficiency: MSPs focus on delivering results through a process-oriented approach that streamlines activities and eliminates time-consuming tasks.
  • Scalability: When working with an MSP, businesses of all sizes can quickly and easily scale up or down depending on their project needs.
  • Access to technology: With MSPs, startups and businesses have access to the latest technologies and industry tools for developing top-notch software solutions.
  • Risk mitigation: By engaging with an MSP, you benefit from their experience in assessing risk factors related to your software development project, including elements you may have overlooked without their help.

Key Takeaway

Managed service providers like MOS and SDOC are excellent resources to partner with when creating a software solution. As startups and businesses consider alternative ways to accomplish their software development projects, MSPs offer a unique opportunity to outsource and access specialized skills and expertise from the software industry.

Through a process-oriented approach, startups and businesses can reduce costs, increase efficiency, access the latest technologies, and mitigate risk on their software development projects. Ultimately, partnering with an MSP ensures that your business can meet its objectives and create a successful software solution.

Working with the right MSP makes or breaks the success of your software development project and is an essential factor to consider. If you're ready to start the process, explore our resources for selecting the best software development outsourcing partner for your business at [email protected].

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