You know the cost of IT outsourcing, but do you know its value?

20 October 2015

it outsourcing
Managed services

Traditionally, CIOs opt to outsource (part of their) IT department in order to reduce costs or to keep them under control. So, you're probably well aware of the cost of outsourcing. But do you know its value?

There are many other, sometimes better, reasons for hiring reliable service providers. We have identified at least four different reasons.


Offloading operations, optimizing staffing levels

How much time do your highly trained IT specialists spend on computer installations, Windows upgrades and server maintenance? Probably more than you'd like. Outsource your utility services and operations. Hand over the everyday help desk problems to an external partner. Think of it like you would electricity or water: you don't supply them yourself, you just need them to "be there" so you can cook. If the computer landscape and the servers "are just there", your IT department is free to focus on what really matters. You undoubtedly have some very talented employees in-house who are doing things right. But are they doing the right things? As Henry Thoreau said: "It is not enough to be busy. Ants can do that." The question is, what are you busy doing?

The optimum use of knowledge and experience is directly linked to offloading your operational tasks. Buy time and talent: let the freed-up IT personnel do the creative work of thinking how your IT department can act as a driver for the business. Or retrain staff members into the specialists you need in other business departments.

Win the war for talent

"Never let anyone quit until you know who is going to do that job." –  Georges Bradt for Forbes

The world is changing rapidly, technology is changing rapidly, and digital natives – the majority of future employees – can rapidly adopt new technologies and evolve with them at a much faster rate than the preceding generations of employees. How can an IT department adapt to the future and keep employees happy? How will you handle employees who switch jobs as fast as they switch technologies? At some point, you need to choose whether to invest in training a new, permanent employee, or in an external, but ready-to-go colleague. Outsourcing gives you a certain amount of security, as you always know who is going to do the job.

Pooling knowledge

In order to keep abreast of all the developments in technology and IT management, you need time – plenty of time. Service providers work with numerous partners and are therefore confronted with numerous problems. And they have numerous solutions in their portfolios. Through experience and regular contact with different aspects of the IT sector, the outsourcer has a broader view of the market than you can ever achieve. Through your service provider, the right improvements and solutions for your situation will find their way to you almost automatically.

IT standardization and diversification


Standards are an integral part of our society and are necessary to enable smooth running. At the same time, lightning fast developments are leading to increasing diversity, including in your own IT environment. Millennials, generation Z and digital natives - in just a few years, they form be the majority of end users and employees for the IT business. And they think and work differently than previous generations of employees. Developments like BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), smartphones and tablets, but also personal software subscriptions and the desire of users to purchase IT directly. An IT department that isn't flexible risks saddling itself with an unmanageable shadow IT. How do you maintain control and a clear view of the ever-expanding diversity, and guarantee the security of the business?

Both standardization and diversification provide the solution, if combined in a careful way: standardization in the back-end and diversification in the front-end, as well as allowing employees to use a parallel self-service system. These employees aren't doing things just to be difficult, but they have grown up with the technology all their lives, and want to deliver the best possible performance in the simplest way. "Customer-centric" is today's watchword for general business operations and now "user-centric" needs to become the CIO's watchword.

Big changes are underway that result in you, the CIO, being unable to see the wood for the trees. As specialists in their fields, your partners from a service provider can help you find the right balance between standards and diversity.

There are other possible reasons, and IT outsourcing will probably also have an impact on areas that you have not even yet thought of yet. More on this in a later blog post.

Jo-Leemans_bewerkt_zw.jpgDo you want to know how to improve your business & IT agility via outsourcing?  Read more in this blog post.

Want to learn more about IT outsourcing? If so, contact Jo Leemans, Sales & Governance Manager IT Outsourcing RealDolmen.

This blog post is the second in a biweekly series of eight about IT outsourcing.


Want to learn more about IT outsourcing? Read also our other ITO blog posts:
Disruption is a fact: use IT outsourcing to reinforce your company's ability to change
You know the cost of IT outsourcing, but do you know its value?
Business continuity is the basis of every healthy company
In-house technology management is shifting to usage-base IT management. Are you ready for this? A checklist.
The cloud: the final hurdle on your way to IT Outsourcing?
If you want something done right, do it yourself - or maybe not?