Getting value from IT outsourcing

Tuesday 3rd December 2013 •
Billy Law-Bregan, Communications Officer

A recent Computing article took a fresh look at IT outsourcing and asked whether there are limits to what can or should be outsourced by businesses. Despite the boom in companies choosing to outsource, the article questioned whether these enterprises are actually getting real value from outsourcing IT services.

As the article noted there are a huge number of outsourcing options available today for companies of all sizes – from colocation and managed services to the many varieties of cloud offerings. Indeed, outsourcing is an attractive proposition for many enterprises with benefits from capex savings to risk mitigation, and it is a strategy Node4 certainly advocates.

That said the Computing article makes a number of valid points regarding key decision-making factors that any company considering outsourcing should pay close attention to.

First and foremost of these issues is that it is easy to get carried away with the hype of IT outsourcing – many people would have you believe it can cure all ills with the flick of a switch, but this is not the case. Any belief in ‘quick fixes’ is misguided and businesses should be wary of any supplier that tells them otherwise. Outsourcing is a strategic and long-term commitment by both the company and the service provider.

Allied to this is that it is vital that enterprises pay proper due diligence before committing to outsourcing. Outsourcing is the same as any other procurement issue and you need to be sure you are getting the right partner with the right offering at the right price. Businesses will gain nothing by making a quick decision to go with the wrong provider.

Getting the right partner is the key to outsourcing and there are many pitfalls to be avoided. While it may seem sensible to rely on a large supplier that can offer to take all of your IT headaches away, often these providers are lacking when it comes to customer care and support further down the line.

Lastly, there is another significant myth that needs to be addressed – outsourcing should not replace in-house knowledge. While many in the IT sector may be cynical about outsourcing, it is at its most effective when vendors and suppliers work in concert with in-house experts as part of an ongoing management strategy.

Businesses are sensible to be cautious when it comes to IT outsourcing. However, if you choose the right partner, the benefits of outsourcing far outweigh the risks. Technology is a business enabler and we believe it is crucial to the success of your IT strategy that you work in collaboration with your IT partner rather than a ‘supplier versus customer’ relationship. This way, your business has a partner than understands your technology needs inside-out and can provide a service that is tailor-made for the short and long-term benefits of your business.

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