Four Ways Outsourcing Can Help Improve IT Operations
IT outsourcing provides organizations with the right mix of security, scalability, reliability and flexibility that they need to innovate.
Business and government leaders, already under pressure to maintain their own IT services in a tight budget environment, are increasingly looking to outsource a portion of their IT operations.
Outsourcing IT services provides organizations with the ability to stay current as technology evolves. Because managed services providers work with a broad base of customers, they can leverage their size and scale by either investing in new technologies or upgrading existing technologies. Better yet, they can implement new techniques more rapidly than an in-house team.
Think about an IT organization in a midsized business that has 20 staff members. That department may be responsible for operating 150 different technologies, making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the IT team to maintain subject matter expertise on every technology in the organization. But outsourced-service providers can typically afford to have multiple staff members master each technology, allowing the provider to maintain technical proficiency.
Primary Benefits to Organizations
Security is often a primary driver for outsourcing technology. All too often, organizations find themselves operating with critical security vulnerabilities left unpatched. For example, an attacker may compromise a specific service, and only in the wake of the breach does the organization realize the state of disrepair that exists. IT leaders then find themselves faced with an unpalatable situation in which they are rapidly hiring staff to modernize and support the damaged infrastructure on an emergency basis. Outsourcing offers an appealing alternative because organizations can hire a provider to manage the service on their behalf, avoiding missteps or emergency measures.
Organizations can turn to outsourcing to improve the scalability of their services. IT leaders shouldn’t plan capacity solely to meet the needs that exist within their organizations today, but rather they should position themselves to meet future needs. When an organization maintains its own in-house services, it often purchases capacity that sits unused in anticipation of future demand. But organizations that outsource services to scalable providers may gain access to burst capacity. This allows them to meet periods of peak demand. It also allows them to incrementally add capacity and to meet ongoing business requirements without a significant capital investment.
As with security and scalability, an outside IT provider can often improve the reliability of IT services. By dedicating significant financial resources and entire teams of technologists to each managed service, the provider can realize uptime levels that simply aren’t financially feasible for an organization operating a service in a single data center. Today’s organizations are no longer 9-to-5 operations — they now serve customers and users working from home during off-hours and from around the world. Business leaders expect IT services to be available on a 24/7/365 basis. This new reality requires the around-the-clock staffing that IT service providers already offer.
Outsourced IT services give organizations the flexibility they need to reallocate their own IT staff to higher-priority initiatives. By outsourcing commodity services to providers, CIOs may focus their own teams on delivering value directly related to the mission of the organization. For example, if a hospital’s IT team is freed from the drudgery of network and desktop management, they may focus their time on development activities that directly improve the delivery of healthcare.
Through outsourcing, organizations may increase the currency of their technology, improve security, enable scalability, bolster reliability and increase their availability to work on mission-critical activities.
Learn how to assess the financial impact of managed services by reading the CDW white paper, "Outsourced Services: Determining a Return on Investment."