New Trends in IT Outsourcing
What stays in and what goes out
As the recession and unstable economy continue to affect business practices, significant new trends are emerging in the IT outsourcing world. The size and shape of contracts for outsourcing are becoming smaller and more flexible, while companies are moving—literally—in new directions. Outsourcing is constantly changing and adapting to new technology and business practices; odds are high that today’s trends will be tomorrow’s mainstays. Here are three big ways the IT outsourcing future is being reshaped.
The growing influence of the cloud is engineering the most drastic and long-lasting change to the IT outsourcing landscape. With this new blend of in-house and outsourced technology, companies can maintain control over smaller details and services, while leaving the complex tasks to the experts. Using the cloud for IT carries perks for businesses, particularly because it secures their technology in a secondary location. The risk of long-term damage decreases when portions of a company are stored in multiple locations.
Additionally, relying on the cloud requires a company to be Internet-based as opposed to device- or software-based, allowing for a more coherent user experience. While many customers still have security and privacy concerns about the aptly named nebulous entity, the cloud will continue to alter our way of thinking and working.
Traditionally, outsourcing IT meant sending the entire department overseas. The home company wouldn’t get involved, and everything would be handled with one multi-million dollar contract. More recently, however, outsourcing contracts have actually decreased in size. Budget cuts are forcing companies to spend less on IT; it has become less common to hire a dedicated IT person, instead minimizing those responsibilities and passing them onto an outside source.
Smaller companies don’t need huge, expensive outsourcing plans, so there is a rise in more specific contracts—for only a small part of the work, or for a highly targeted sector of the business. As these less megalithic businesses jump onto the outsourcing boat, offshore and temp IT groups are devising more minor, tailored programs. Unlike the set-in-stone contracts of the past, these can be fluid, dynamic documents, open to adaptation as the needs of both parties change.
Much of what is outsourced heads to India, but new areas are opening up as competitors in the farmed-out IT world. Technology booms in Asia and South America are allowing those areas to siphon talent; the larger nations like Brazil and China are beginning to pull some of the outsourcing work, but even smaller countries like Vietnam and areas in Eastern Europe are becoming hot spots.
A few years down the road, IT outsourcing could be located in completely new places, and much of it will likely be in the virtual world of the cloud. As a dynamic field, it changes with the times—and the times are evolving quickly. Outsourcing IT is swiftly becoming a solution for everyone, customized to the right size and space.