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  • #1163390
    MarketinginMelbourne
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    Very useful information..thanks!!!

    #1163391
    ShadowPro
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    SentinelInfoSec, post: 189206 wrote:
    I advise people that tasks suited for outsourcing are those where you lack the time, not the skills. The skills required to be an informed customer are basically the same as those needed to do it yourself.

    If you lack the skills, you either need to learn them, or use a trusted intermediary.

    That hits the nail on the head really.

    We use Odesk but mostly for jobs that we know how to do ourselves but lack the time, or to enable us to do massive work for a customer at a cheap price.

    One example would be loading 500+ ecommerce shop items into an online shop.

    It’s easy then to manage quality, convey what needs to be done and assess expected time frames.

    I would hire for skills we don’t possess for things like short video production, highly specific Photoshop work etc, as again it’s very easy to manage quality.

    oDesk is best used as a recruiting tool when you can. Build a team of quality contractors by posting multiple small jobs, and increase the job size slowly for repeat work.

    I have contractors found on oDesk that I’ve had working for me for years now, and they are part of my distributed team.

    I’ve also employed “experts” who clearly had no real understanding of their field at all, even with good feedback, but if the job’s small and the quality measurable, you can pay them and drop them and try again.

    #1163392
    TehCamel
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    SentinelInfoSec, post: 189206 wrote:
    I advise people that tasks suited for outsourcing are those where you lack the time, not the skills. The skills required to be an informed customer are basically the same as those needed to do it yourself.

    If you lack the skills, you either need to learn them, or use a trusted intermediary.

    I’m not sure on your post here. I’m guessing you’re an IT Security specialist of some sort.

    I’m not a security specialist, but I’ve got basic understanding of security principals and how they relate to small business.

    I’d argue that my informed customer might know they need a firewall, antivirus and a joiner/leaver policy and a password policy.
    however – knowing they need it, doesn’t mean they have the skills to do it themselves.

    I did a 4 hour stint of work for someone once for an informed customer. He was informed enough to know he had a consumer-style modem and how to follow the prompts.
    Being an informed customer meant he thought he had the skill to set it all up right, but he didn’t pay attention to the powerpack. Plugged the wrong one in, the wrong amperage and slowly fried his device.

    #1163393
    SentinelInfoSec
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    TehCamel, post: 191174 wrote:
    I’d argue that my informed customer might know they need a firewall, antivirus and a joiner/leaver policy and a password policy.
    however – knowing they need it, doesn’t mean they have the skills to do it themselves.

    The danger there is that while the customer knows they need a firewall, AV, etc, how do they sort through the myriad of potential suppliers, assess what they offer, how it suits their situation, etc? IT security in particular is awash with snake-oil salesmen, flogging expensive solutions of dubious merit.

    I mentioned before that people who outsource something they don’t have the skills to do themselves should use a trusted intermediary. What I meant is that they should seek independent advice. It does mean you end up engaging two separate people, and it can be more expensive in the short term. But it’s a lot cheaper than being taken for a ride by an unscrupulous contractor, or being over-sold expensive, unnecessary software.

    Just like getting financial advice from a bank or investment broker, it is always risky being advised on what you need by someone whose income depends on what you end up buying.

    It’s far better to get your advice from someone who is paid the same no matter what they advise you to buy, and whose reputation depends on that advice being good.

    TehCamel, post: 191174 wrote:
    I did a 4 hour stint of work for someone once for an informed customer. He was informed enough to know he had a consumer-style modem and how to follow the prompts.
    Being an informed customer meant he thought he had the skill to set it all up right, but he didn’t pay attention to the powerpack. Plugged the wrong one in, the wrong amperage and slowly fried his device.

    That sounds eerily familiar. I think anyone who’s been in support/consulting for more than a short while has had customers like that. Computers in particular seem to attract people who think they know much more that they actually do, particularly those who mistake knowing how to use something with knowing how it works under the hood.

    An important life skill is knowing the limits of your own skills and knowledge – knowing when to ask for help. People who don’t have this ability will invariably get themselves into trouble, regardless of whether they try to outsource or do it themselves.

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