Outsourcing headed for decade of change: Gartner

The practice of outsourcing will undergo a dramatic transformation over the next ten years, according to Gartner analyst Rolf Jester, who adds that offshore outsourcing will only be one of the many adjustments. A release issued by Gartner today stated outsourcing in the future will "offer new alternatives to buyers and additional challenges for suppliers"; Jester claims that "offshore outsourcing is only one of a myriad of changes that the sector will undergo through to 2013".

The practice of outsourcing will undergo a dramatic transformation over the next ten years, according to Gartner analyst Rolf Jester, who adds that offshore outsourcing will only be one of the many adjustments.

A release issued by Gartner today stated outsourcing in the future will "offer new alternatives to buyers and additional challenges for suppliers"; Jester claims that "offshore outsourcing is only one of a myriad of changes that the sector will undergo through to 2013".

According to Gartner, offshore outsourcing currently has a "minor" impact on local IT jobs, as the release states "only 7 percent of an estimated $US728 billion of global outsourcing contracts will be spent on offshore by 2007".

Gartner has identified over 100 changes in outsourcing that will influence its direction in the future, said Jester, however he adds two overriding factors that will influence IT in an enterprise is the adoption of real-time enterprise strategies and the types of services that are outsourced.

There are four possible scenarios for the future direction of an IT department, according to Jester, they are:

    ââ,¬Â¢ IT Inertia: a scenario in which the existing IT investments serve to slow down the ability of the business to change quickly enough;
    ââ,¬Â¢ Process Islands: a sub-optimal state in which departments inside an enterprise look after their own business process needs, diminishing the relevance of the CIO and IT staff;
    ââ,¬Â¢ IT-Centric Real-Time Enterprises: in which businesses have become agile through a strong focus on IT; and
    ââ,¬Â¢ Virtual Enterprise: organisations are "real-time" by nature, stick to core business and buy external services for all non-core activities.
Jester said that one of the four scenarios is "likely to be dominant for all organisations in 2013".

"Outsourcing is undergoing significant change right now," he said. "It would be smart for IT executives to begin thinking about which scenario they would like to create for their organisation, and compare it to the one that is evolving right now."

Jester said that one scenario is not necessarily better than the other, however he adds "the world will move towards either a 'Virtual Enterprise' or an 'IT-Centric Real-time Enterprise".

He also predicts a considerable push towards business process outsourcing.

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