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Outsource magazine: thought-leadership and outsourcing strategy | September 21, 2017

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Designing a succession plan for IT outsourcing

Designing a succession plan for IT outsourcing
  • On October 16, 2014

Before outsourcing, a company will nurture their own talent to achieve their key technology goals, such as developing a strong IT strategy and architecture, forming sound IT business relationships and optimising functions.

Technology leadership is groomed through professional development, with IT professionals advanced to increasingly senior positions to broaden and deepen their IT-domain expertise. However, once a business outsources their IT services they face a challenge to retain these key leadership roles in-house. It is therefore necessary to modify their resource development approach to avoid the erosion of critical IT expertise internally.

Sourcing changes the focus of the IT department from what to do to what is required so the provider can determine how to get it done. Along with having fewer internal resources, outsourcing clients often face the loss of some of the typical IT communication and education they normally receive from hardware and software vendors, as many of those vendors focus on the service provider instead of the client.

To manage these post-outsourcing challenges, technology leaders need a succession plan to maintain IT expertise and talent within their business.

Following the decision to outsource, it is vital that the business stays connected to the IT industry. One way to do this is to have the service provider sponsor quarterly Vendor Days. This will enable technology firms to show the in-house subject matter experts how their products can help the business.

With the rapid pace of change of the technology landscape it will be vital for in-house talent to attend key conferences. These provide the opportunity to obtain information and exposure to available IT solutions and understand how clients are putting emerging technologies to use.
Hiring the right talent will always benefit the business and infusing the IT department with outside hires will help to shape a team that can adapt to its changing role. A company that shows a commitment to maintaining technical skills and key relationships will continue to attract strong candidates.

It is important to challenge the current team. Aligning technical team members to different parts of the IT organisation can enhance their skill set while keeping the expertise in house. Providing expanded responsibilities can also keep key technical leaders engaged.

Finally, it is also key to identify the technology talent that may be in the shadows. Invaluable resource within the IT team will often be developing skills with projects that they are working on without their contribution being fully recognised. By putting these resources front and centre to support the rest of the organisation, a business can make the most of the skills available and ensure that people remain motivated by receiving credit for the contribution they make to the bottom line.

About the Author

Rob Chapman 150Rob Chapman is Director and Insurance Sector Lead at ISG.

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