ComputerWorld has posted a pretty interesting rundown on the 10 questions you should ask to keep your outsourcing efforts "on the mark." "Outsourcing Tuneup" includes this advice:
Don't take the work offshore strictly for cost-cutting:
Cost cutting alone is not enough reason to look offshore, warns Nigam, who says Cendura plans to expand into Asia and Europe in the next 12 months. "I've seen so many companies get excited about hiring someone for $25 an hour, but chances are high that they'll need four bodies to complete the work of one of their own workers," he explains. "If you make the investment right, you might get the ratio down to 1.5-to-1, but you'll never get a 1-to-1 ratio."
Look for rote work that can be sourced out when the internal IT staff is at a breaking point:
When new projects threaten to overwhelm the IT staff at J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., a transportation logistics company in Lowell, Ark., CIO Kay Palmer looks for rote work that she can contract to an outsourcing supplier. Typical examples include converting files, expanding fields and translating reports into different languages.
Consider outsourcing for customization work that wouldn't pay to be done internally:
A similar situation occurred at Cendura, when a prospective client requested customized features in a software product. "We figured we couldn't win the deal using our highly leveraged resources in the U.S., but taking it offshore gave us extra flexibility," Nigam says. "If we had to apply very expensive resources, it would have made the deal less feasible for us."
More good advice to be had in the article.