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IT Outsourcing: outsource for competitive advantage

IT is a major source of opportunity for businesses and is a fundamental tool for any organisation in meeting the requirements of its customers in a challenging marketplace. IT departments are under increasing pressure to answer the many, often conflicting, demands of boards of directors, shareholders, end-users and competitors, and the current economic climate is also putting companies under increasing pressure to find new ways of cutting costs.

As a result, organisations are increasingly considering the outsourcing of their information systems activities to be an attractive option. Find out more below:

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Benefits of outsourcing IT

The attraction of outsourcing IT is that it enables a company to obtain an efficient and responsive IT system, while being able to focus on its core strengths. IT outsourcing can also provide many benefits for your organisation:

  • Improved cost management controls
    IT costs become more visible and outsourced services are utilised as needed, so organisations pay only for those services they actually use.
  • Improved service quality
    Outsourced companies make performance reports and measurements available to their clients, meaning communications between business functions improve at all levels, ensuring that IT resources are not being misused.
  • Staffing
    Staffing levels can be adapted quickly to meet client requirements and IT consultants are fully trained on the latest technologies.
  • Equipment and software tools
    Outsourced services use approved lists of reliable vendors, which improves the quality of goods and services received.

Potential drawbacks that your organisation must also consider:

  • There is less managerial control
  • Outsourcing may be more expensive
  • There could be security and confidentiality issues.

While outsourcing may prove highly beneficial for many companies, it also has several drawbacks. It is important that each individual company accurately assesses their needs to determine if outsourcing is a viable option.

IT Governance Publishing book recommendations

The following publications provide information and guidance on IT outsourcing:

Outsourcing IT: A Governance Guide
This book offers you a guide to the many pitfalls of IT outsourcing. It will provide you with clear criteria for the application of governance principles to the outsourcing process, and thereby enable you to implement IT outsourcing so that it supports your overall business goals.

IT Outsourcing Contracts: A Legal and Practical Guide
IT outsourcing can provide many benefits for your organisation, including cost savings and improved services. It can thus enable your organisation to operate more efficiently, and potentially make more profit. This book details the issues you need to take into consideration and the steps you need to follow in order to achieve these benefits.

Associated Organisations

The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) has more than 100,000 members and affiliates worldwide and is leading the effort to transform the world of business through outsourcing.

IAOP Chapters provide a framework for members to collectively focus on professional development, networking and the advancement of outsourcing within specific areas of common interest. Chapters are organised geographically, by industry and by special topic and are chaired by IAOP corporate members.

The National Outsourcing Association (NOA) was established as a not-for-profit organisation over 20 years ago. Its objective is to boost the effectiveness and success of outsourcing, through the promotion of best practice and innovation in the application and development of outsourcing. The NOA is part of the larger umbrella organisation, the European Outsourcing Association.

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