Updated: Sep 16, 2021
It is not an overstatement to say that we live in the era of digitized businesses. Even businesses usually considered ‘traditional’ are going digital at a lightning pace. When formulating their digital strategies, businesses of all shapes and sizes face a familiar set of questions-
Do we want to build internal capabilities and digitize through in-house resources? Or should we outsource this to one or more freelancers? What happens if we entrust a ‘Plethora’ (wink-wink), of digital tasks to an agency?
The answers to these questions are not always straightforward. There are 3 things to consider when deciding your digitization approach –
Question 1: What are you digitizing: your core business or some support activities?
If you are looking to digitize a core aspect of your business, keeping things in-house is usually the way to go. In such cases, digitization is a natural progression to your company’s key competencies. You might still need support from an agency with the development of various digital tools, but should build internal capabilities to manage the tools and corresponding data. An agency can also play the role of an external consultant, recruiter or trainer for in-house capacity building.
On the other hand, if you are looking to digitize support activities, it is typically more efficient to outsource the expertise (including digital content development, web development, or app development) to an agency. This allows you to free up more time and resources to focus on your core activities.
Question 2: Which appeals more to you: lower costs or higher quality?
This is perhaps the trickiest trade-off to consider. Most companies believe that in-house digitization or outsourcing to freelancers are more economical alternatives to hiring an agency. This isn’t always the case. Hidden costs, distractions from core activities, hiring and attrition, expensive mistakes, and longer turnaround times are often not taken into account.
When picking between in-house or outsourced digitization, it’s imperative to move past the up-front costs and take into account the overall ROI of each option. Adding more zeroes to your budget may not give you the best results, but the cheapest option isn’t necessarily in your best interest either.
Engaging what may seem an ‘expensive’ expert can help reduce costs and generate a better return on your key objectives in the long run.
Question 3: What do you value more: control or convenience?
Outsourcing your digitization inherently involves relinquishing a certain amount of control over your brand in exchange for the convenience of having external help, or so you think. Some brands’ managers might see control vs. convenience as a zero-sum game. It isn’t always so.
The task of a good digital agency would be to ditch the cookie-cutter approach and help amplify your brand identity online, instead of diluting what makes you… you! The onus is on both the internal and agency teams to work together to strategize and execute digitization initiatives that align with the overarching brand.
Our team at Plethora IT tries to make it easy for brands to entrust their digital tasks to us- through our transparent and collaborative project management, dedicated account managers, and regular reporting.
So… should we build internal expertise or outsource? The answer is – DO BOTH!
For a successful modern organization, outsourced expertise and in-house capabilities are not an either-or situation. Instead, they are now two sides of the same coin- each as important as the other.
Building internal expertise allows you to future-proof your business for consumers of today and tomorrow. Outsourcing digitization tasks allows you to implement strategies faster, more efficiently, and at-scale.
As an agency, Plethora IT helps you strike a fine balance between the two. While we help take the end-to-end management of digital platforms off your plate, we also act as trustworthy consultants, enablers, and trainers for your in-house capacity building.