"IT outsourcing has traditionally been used by larger organisations as a cost-cutting exercise. But in recent years, we’ve seen increased demand from midmarket organisations.
"They typically want to outsource back office IT functions, such as helpdesk support and infrastructure management. Shifting responsibility for these day-to-day aspects of IT allows in-house technology professionals to better focus their capabilities and expertise. Rather than ‘keeping the lights on’ they can operate more strategically to develop line-of-business applications that deliver measurable commercial returns.
"Whatever the rationale for outsourcing, there are two key factors that underpin its success: transparency and flexibility. From the outset, it is crucial that both parties understand the cost framework and responsibilities. There needs to be open discussion about how the service will be staffed, and how this will develop as the core business grows and changes. It’s important to make sure all aspects of the contract are clearly defined, so that performance of the outsourcing provider can be managed and the expectations of the outsourcer are realistic.
"An open-book approach ensures the contract is fair and reasonable, providing strong foundations for a successful and mutually beneficial relationship. Exit provisions should also be thought through carefully. This is vital to ensure a smooth transition if either party needs to take a new direction during the contract, or at the end of the contract term."
Richard Keatinge, Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Group
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