Vendor management solutions keep your organization’s partners working together smoothly.
A well-managed enterprise should work like a philharmonic orchestra.
A great orchestra doesn’t achieve a smooth performance by accident. That performance is the result of months of collaboration between multiple groups of musicians playing different instruments, with different parts, under the leadership of a conductor.
Sometimes, the orchestra has to switch members in and out of particular performances. Other times it must switch musical parts in order to compensate for these changes. Yet all of its individual pieces work together to produce a consistent whole.
Just like in an orchestra, company leaders that understand how to implement and manage interdependence enjoy far greater resilience and success than those who don’t.
Increased Outsourcing Can Impact Harmony
As companies increasingly outsource business processes to third-party vendors, it becomes even harder to maintain harmonious interconnectedness. There’s no doubt, managed service providers (MSPs) offer excellent value to competitive industries, but keeping them synchronized with the rest of your business is a challenge.
Selecting the right MSP is only step one, managing them effectively is an equally important step two. Fortunately, as we’ll see in a moment, employee monitoring software is well-positioned to address the daily task of effectively managing your outsourced teams.
Gain Visibility Into MSP Activities
Employee monitoring software has demonstrated its utility time and time again, especially since COVID lockdowns forced many enterprises to go entirely remote. Now that hybrid work is becoming simply “work” to many, employee tracking is helping managers navigate new challenges while improving productivity for their teams.
However, enterprise managers in charge of outsourced teams have a harder time gaining the kind of insights that internal colleagues enjoy. Relatively few MSPs work in an entirely transparent way by giving their customers unlimited visibility into their activities.
This lack of transparency doesn’t imply that MSPs have something to hide. It’s just that customers haven’t generally asked for extensive visibility in the past. Simply, in the past, MSPs may not have a motivation to proactively provide access to work monitoring software on its own.
But that is changing. New security and data privacy compliance initiatives often demand enterprise management teams know exactly who is working with sensitive data, and how.
Extend Employee Computer Monitoring to Outsourced Teams
Some MSPs already use employee monitoring software to achieve internal visibility. Their employee tracking data is useful for ensuring service-level agreements (SLAs) are met, and to identify the cost of completing high-volume tasks for customers. For some enterprise team leaders, gaining visibility is as simple as asking for login credentials.
However, if your MSP is using a regular employee time tracking app or basic time clock app , you may not gain access to the insights you really need. More sophisticated productivity monitoring tools are needed to meet stringent security and compliance policy guidelines.
The security-focused productivity tools available today will grant you visibility into what data third-party employees are processing and how they are handling your data on an app-by-app basis.
High-quality employee tracking tools can facilitate this visibility by generating valuable insights into how MSP vendors are using your data on a specific, individual basis. This will help you manage the risks associated with permitting external partners to handle your data.
Vendor Management is Part of Risk Management
The vendor management process seeks to answer some critical questions about your MSPs. It provides insight into who your partners are, what services they provide, and how they provide them. This helps you find out what sensitive data they have access to, and which of your company’s internal policies must apply to them.
Sharing work monitoring software with your MSPs grants you visibility into the data being handled externally, so you can enforce the policies you and your vendors agree on. Without this kind of software in place, you have very few options for managing cybersecurity and compliance risk with third-party vendors.
Many large, reputable enterprises have suffered devastating data breaches as a result of third-party vulnerabilities. Mega-retailer Target was a headline-making example. Cybercriminals compromised the retailer’s HVAC vendor and used that as their launching pad to infiltrate Target’s otherwise-secure systems.
This kind of third-party attack has become increasingly frequent over time, and continues to present challenges to cybersecurity and compliance for large organizations. The more connected your company is with its vendors, suppliers, and MSPs, the more important employee tracking becomes to your overall security policy.
Reputable MSPs Encourage Employee Monitoring
While not all MSPs offer total transparency to their customers, there is an ongoing movement towards increased visibility in the enterprise MSP space. Security concerns and data privacy regulations are quickly making this a part of the new normal establishing itself after the pandemic subsides.
Enterprise MSPs that embrace the move towards transparency will have no problem granting employee monitoring access to enterprise management teams. The most reputable vendors will proactively strive to offer the most visibility possible while ensuring the protection of sensitive customer data.
This shift to a more transparent landscape will provide vendor management leaders with the tools and techniques they need to gain insight into the behaviors and activities of external teams.
In time, managers may enjoy the same degree of visibility into external contractors as they have with internal employees. Initiatives that cultivate visibility in the workplace will grow because they offer greater value to enterprise customers who need to guarantee the security of customer data.
Manage Independent Contractors Like Employees
As we’ve made clear, the same tools that enable enterprise leaders to capture and analyze data from their internal teams can also generate valuable insight about third-party contractors and their teams. This approach also encourages a closer collaboration between management and third-party vendors, as well as the individual employees in question.
To sum it up, when it comes to managing your outsourced service providers, you should think and manage no differently than you do for internal employees. By taking this mindset to external service providers, you will create an elevated level of interconnectedness that is beneficial to everyone involved.