IT outsourcing: Ten reasons for ruling it out

IT outsourcing: Ten reasons for ruling it out

Summary: Outsourcing may look good on paper — until you factor in a number of undesirable side effects, says Jack Wallen

TOPICS: IT Employment

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  • True cost of outsourcing

    In a chill economic climate, organisations are saving money wherever they can — and that can mean thinking what once would have been unthinkable and outsourcing the IT department.

    The theory may make sense: an outsourcer will be responsive to your every IT need and you won't be paying staff to sit around and wait for problems. But with the outsourced approach come issues you may not have anticipated. Here are 10 of them.

    1. True cost
    Outsourcing IT generates hidden costs. For example, when you call in a representative from your outsourcer for an appointment, you'll be charged for the drive time there and back. And the outsourced engineer might have no idea how to solve your problem and has to acquire the knowledge on the job at your expense.

    It's one thing for your own employees to learn on the job, but a contractor doing so is another matter. There are other real costs as well, such as the outsourcer's recommendations for acquiring new technology that isn't actually needed. Upselling among outsourcers is common and sometimes unnecessary.

  • Clock face

    2. Time factor
    Your emergency may have to wait until the outsourced IT department can get someone on the job. If it involves a site visit, those drive-time issues may strike again. You're also subject to the outsourcer's workload, and many factors can cause your emergency to be pushed back. So it's out of your hands, whereas had IT still been in house, the emergency could have been dealt with immediately.

  • Man in server room

    3. Network and systems familiarity
    When your IT is in house, the tech staff know the systems and networks really well. They should, because they probably built them. So they can probably keep it all running more smoothly and solve emergencies far more quickly. Of course, even an outsourced IT department can become expert with your systems and networks, but there will be a learning phase, as well as the possibility that a lack of documentation will cause serious issues.

Topic: IT Employment

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