The last few years have triggered dramatic changes in the way IT outsourcing arrangements have been made by enterprises. As expected, some of the changes are taking time before they become center stage. In addition, some of the triggers did not live past their hype and fizzled out before they could deliver the promised value sought by enterprises.
Outsourcing or nearshoring IT experts can be commonplace for some companies. These companies will likely understand both the business and technical benefits that outsourcing teams can bring to a project or organisation. As more businesses become driven by technology, demand for skilled IT workers will continue to grow in 2018, driving more companies to turn to outsourcing IT roles.
With the increased use of technology around the globe, the world is more connected than ever before. The capabilities of technology are improving quickly, so more and more employees are working with increasingly advanced technologies.
When a function or even a full department is outsourced to a managed service provider (MSP), the scope of work, requirements and service needs can at times be hard to nail down, especially as the relationship with the MSP evolves over time and the needs of the business evolve. This is particularly true in the case of IT Managed Services – an area with frequent need for outsourcing due to resource constraints and/or technical expertise and an area where it is critical that services continue uninterrupted.
2018 is not the first time our industry has come under fire. It’s had a colourful history from tales of cost-cutting to ethical arguments around driving labour arbitrage. Outsourcing has often been misunderstood and the whole industry blamed when things go wrong. But with the recent, spectacular collapse of Carillion we are seeing a renewed attack from certain corners in relation to the “failure of outsourcing.” A grand, sweeping statement, but is there any truth in it?
Outsourcing decisions often come down to a relatively simple cost-driven Return on Investment (ROI) calculation: how much will the cost change in each scenario and how quickly can that investment be recovered?
On the surface, this purely economic approach seems appropriate enough. After all, economics are certainly important. But over-reliance on purely financial-driven outsourcing decisions is one of the biggest causes of the “strategy-to-execution gap,” namely the distance between a company’s business strategies and its ability to execute on them.
This month’s Academic of Outsourcing tribute goes to Douglass C. North for his work on “new institutional economics.” North – a professor, economist, philosopher and economic historian – was the co-recipient (with Robert Fogel) of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences “for having renewed research in economic history by applying economic theory and quantitative methods in order to explain economic and institutional change.”
When a business is choosing which company to outsource with, location can often be overlooked in favour of the most appropriate specialist for the project. However, location – and especially proximity - should be a critical part of the decision process. For example, if your company is based in Europe, it will be more difficult to outsource from a provider based in Asia, due to a mixture of time, travel, language, and perhaps cultural differences.