Pressed for choice - Outsourcing Web app management SMEs that are looking for ways to expand, cut down on cost, or looking for a start-up that needs more exposure or that want Web presence, are increasingly looking towards outsourcing. Traditional business theories aside, outsourcing maintenance of Web activities gives IT teams the time to focus on back end development and running daily operations in an organisation. At times organisations find themselves hard pressed to integrate business processes with Web site marketing and management, this may be due to the lack of technical know-how which impairs the organisations ability to increase the ROI. In these cases, the best way forward is to hire a Web outsourcing company. Some of the benefits of outsourcing the maintenance of Web applications are: • These companies are normally
more conscious of the prevalent quality standards followed in the SEO development process. • The Web or software outsourcing companies use the latest SEO technology and tools to stay ahead of their competitors. This benefits the clients as they get the opportunity to embrace the new technology and enhance their business practices. • Outsourcing companies are most often proficient in custom application development, as clients need innovative Web design and marketing solutions successfully to run their business. • Clients do not have to worry about the maintenance of the site as it is taken care of, saving both time and money. • Clients can normally access the service provider round-the-clock reducing the down time and ensuring that business system is up and running at all times.
systems with customer support portals, lead generation tools and many others. “The main objective of a Webbased presence for most organisations is to avail service and customer reach 24 X 7, all through the year in the most efficient manner. In addition to this a Web programme has to be faster than conventional delivery channels at customer service points. This can only be guaranteed via a very strong technical infrastructure, including high end servers with excellent processing power, high capacity storage, high speed networks and end-to-end professional design for the data centre including back up and disaster recovery. Business continuity planning is also a key necessity in ensuring a successful Internet presence,” explains Tarek Khalifa, area manager for the Gulf Region at ITS. It is also equally important to establish a ready level of integration between different business units and associated IT applications to ensure that the end user can achieve his objective or complete his transaction. Rauser explains, “More integration means more cost effective results. If your Web application seamlessly integrates into your existing technology infrastructure and workf lows it means less manual work, faster response times and theoretically less error prone systems.” Most importantly, organisations need to realise that managing a Web application must be a continuous process that pervades all business functions as Web applications can be marred by both Internet speeds and inaccurate usage. Stringent management is also necessary for organisations to make sure that their Web apps meet the service levels their customers come to expect. “In dynamic and competitive environments such as e-commerce and product design, it is absolutely critical that usability is constantly monitored, reviewed and updated to ensure the customer experience is not diminished,” adds Rourke. Rob Lamb, VP-security solutions sales at IBM recommends that organisations regularly engage in collecting feedback
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