In the not so distant past, outsourcing used to mean one thing – big, expensive, multi year contracts. It often meant handing the keys to your entire IT cupboard over to a huge multinational, and letting them dictate how your systems were implemented and supported.
Over the years, big bang outsourcing has been shown to have some serious shortcomings, and very few businesses seem to have succeeded with it for more than a short period.
I think that the real problems don’t stem from outsourcing itself – but rather the big bang approach, and the lack of choice and flexibility it often involves.
Cloud based computing is a nice example of tightly focused outsourcing, and it can make a lot of financial sense. Email and web server hosting are laser tight in their outsourcing focus, and are highly competitive products. As a result, outsourcing using these cloud based application services is routinely used by businesses of all sizes.
I think the trick is to decide the real focus for your internal IT team. Is it building for the future, or keeping the ship afloat. If you think you need outside help to keep the ship afloat, then you focus your attention rather precisely on just those specific areas that could be handled better by someone else.
Our client Phillip Hurley from Healthe Care (www.healthecare.com.au) decided to focus his internal IT team on future business growth, while relying on Dataweave to keep the database systems powering patient and financial administration afloat. Read about his experiences in this recent article from Voice and Data magazine.