Does Outsourcing Scare You? Discussing why Some Companies Keep their IT Systems In-house
A few that rebel against change
We cannot deny it - digital transformation is happening right before our eyes and it is gaining momentum. It has already caused a radical change when it comes to running a business in the 21st century. Now, not only does it determine how one should manage a company, it also helps create new opportunities for becoming even more successful, no matter the scale of a company or the industry in which it operates. One of the main elements of this global transformation is outsourcing (more information here), the practice of using systems or services provided by third parties to serve one’s own needs. With many advanced business automation systems and services becoming prevalent on the market, it is not surprising that, statistically, nearly 90% of companies choose to outsource rather than retain IT systems in-house. There is still that one-tenth of businesses, however, which avoid outsourcing like the plague. Hearing that, the first thing that comes to mind is the question – why?
“Please do not disturb”
Research carried out by International Data Corporation, a global provider of market intelligence and advisory services, points out that the idea of handing control of numerous system operations to an outsider is one of the major concerns for companies that keep their IT in-house. They also find storing information on their on-site physical servers to be more secure, reliable, and convenient than, for example, transferring confidential materials to an external data center. Yet, many of them are not aware of the fact that they actually get to decide the capacity in which others can manage their systems. Plus, as in the case of technology providers such as Comarch, outsourcing does not actually require moving any IT off the premises. The chosen solution can be implemented as part of an established IT infrastructure. What is more, a company taking advantage of outsourcing can retain full control of its IT strategy and choose which ideas should be developed by an external resource, freeing up in-house IT specialists to focus on other business goals.
Marty Pine, writing for “The Balance” in an article entitled Learn Why Companies Outsource, argues that internal IT departments may sometimes feel threatened by outsourcing teams because they perceive them as making their own work redundant and unimportant. Opponents of outsourcing fear that this could lead to tension which could easily disrupt the company’s IT operations from the inside. In reality, though, such problems would be the result of poor management rather than the outsourcing strategy per se. It cannot be overemphasized that the opportunity to assign in-house teams to other important tasks is one of the key reasons why companies opt for outsourcing. This approach not only saves a company precious time and financial resources, but it also significantly increases productivity on a greater number of levels. It is a cost-effective and highly-dependable approach to managing IT resources. Yet, the conversation does not end here.
“How good can it even be?”
There are those who will question the quality of outsourced systems and services. In their view, it is difficult to tell if such solutions are fit for purpose, especially when a given technology provider offers a (suspiciously) reasonable price. Some of them question whether any third party can fully understand their business profile and provide appropriate help. From Comarch’s perspective, such concerns might seem reasonable but in fact fail to reflect how outsourcing really works or explain why companies decide to use third-party services in the first place.
Heads of companies who do outsource expect the highest quality from their technology providers. They sought expertise on every level, and in that respect experience plays a major in convincing company executives that what they are being offered is capable of improving their business operations on any scale. For one of Comarch’s clients, a global group specializing in the design, production, and sale of high-quality vehicle parts and systems for the automotive industry, the support of highly-trained IT professionals was considered essential.
Analysis of the 2018 Eurostat report about the employment of IT specialists in Europe makes it clear that demand for information and communication technology (ICT) experts is constantly on the rise. Technology providers know this, so they not only seek to provide the best tools on the market, but they also strive to fill their ranks with well-educated men and women who can help their partners achieve their goals. As a result, not only do outsourcers such as Comarch deliver comprehensive, advanced IT systems and services, but they also guarantee that their customers will receive all the help necessary for setting up and managing the ICT solutions of their choice, including service desks, end-user supports, disaster recovery, and more. Taking all this into consideration, you could say that the key to successful outsourcing is determining the level of “outsider” involvement which is best for your business. For some, however, that can be quite a challenge in itself.
Learning to maintain your balance
Bennet Conlin, writing for “Business News Daily” in an article entitled Outsource or Hire? How to Decide What’s Right for Your Business, points out that good outsourcing is about keeping control of your essential business functions. This relates back to the question of giving others access to confidential data and finding out where to draw the line. The “right” approach depends on the company in question. It is rather like a game of chess, requiring a highly strategic approach to ensure all pieces are in the right places, and that you always have the situation under control.
However, one is never alone in making such decisions, as there is always the option to consult with internal and outsourcing teams to come up with the best solution. If you haven’t done that already, there is virtually nothing stopping you from doing so right now. Learn more in the IDC report Outsourcing Trends in Western Europe.