Approximately 32 percent of businesses will increase IT outsourcing investments in the next 12 to 18 months, according to CRM consultancy firm Bluewolf.
Bluewolf's latest report aims to provide a comprehensive look at how outsourcing is being employed within the IT industry.
The big finding is the growing trend of independent contractors within the tech industry -- that this is becoming a more attractive option for both enterprise and startup businesses.
This is due in part to a few trends, such as social and mobile, but the cloud in particular is heavily influencing this shift towards IT outsourcing.
This also affects which tasks are usually outsourced. Application services, in particular, are really popular as Bluewolf reports 73 percent of businesses outsource these to the likes of Salesforce.com, Google Apps, and Amazon Web Services.
From there, the most commonly outsourced services are developing applications (46 percent) and application maintenance (26 percent). Furthemore, Bluewolf found that approximately 16 percent of data center operations are now managed in the cloud.
Bluewolf argued in the report that "applications enable companies and their workforces to be efficient, responsive, and to deliver consistent value to their customers."
Thus, these appications need to be ready for scaling and customizing, both of which the cloud can provide.
For managing IT infrastructures, the figure drops off to about 62 percent overall. Roughly 23 percent of businesses are outsourcing data center operations while 17 percent are doing so for disaster recovery and database administration.
Some of the other themes covered in Bluewolf's report include the kinds of outsourcing models being employed, how outsourcing has evolved from a cost-cutting tactic into a business agility strategy, and the evolving state of offshoring, which sends jobs overseas in an effort to cut costs.
Bluewolf analysts acknowledged that IT security is typically "one of the last functions to be considered for outsourcing," but that the rise of outsourcing partners specializing in 24/7 data and network security is causing some CIOs to ponder outsourcing to augment existing teams.
For reference, Bluewolf surveyed over 200 IT decision-makers from companies ranging from small businesses to the enterprise level. The report is also said to be "enhanced by intelligence from thousands of contract IT
placements Bluewolf has made" between May 2011 to May 2012 along with more than 4,000 cloud-based technology implementations."
Bluewolf's complete 2012 State of IT Outsourcing report is available to download now.
Screenshots via Bluewolf