Outsourcing is often viewed as a cost-cutting measure, but companies who understand its true value are able to maximise the benefits from this strategy.
Although PwC’s 2015 Digital IQ Survey found nearly a quarter of Australian executives are diverting more than 15% of revenue into digital investments, many companies are overlooking the potential benefits of outsourcing IT services.
Here are four reasons Australian businesses should closely assess the value that outsourcing could bring:
The IT Manager is getting thinner
Due to the evolving way in which technology is now driving business decisions, IT professionals in Australia are taking on a broader scope of responsibilities than ever before.
Cloud implementations, integrating legacy systems into a new IT infrastructure, operational audits and advising on strategic business initiatives are all common examples of duties layered on top of the traditional role of IT. Companies’ internal resources are stretched thinner and thinner as the scope of operations is increased.
Coupled with that increased scope of work is the growth in data breach attempts and the attack surface that malicious actors can target. Hacking and malware attempts are thick on the ground in today’s digital workplace, pushing IT risk mitigation to the top of some business’ priority lists.
By outsourcing security needs, companies can tap into teams of experts who have access to years of experience and knowledge, as well as the latest security and cybersecurity tools. The net result is a faster, more complete threat response for a lower cost than directly employing dedicated security professionals.
Enables in-house teams to add new value
The most efficient way to approach IT outsourcing is with a hybrid combination of in-house and outsourced IT teams. Outsourcing ‘business as usual’ IT operations frees up the hands of in-house IT teams, enabling them to focus on adding value to the organisation rather than managing daily requests.
This can also boost staff morale, by contributing to work environments that remove the stresses of being under-staffed and under pressure to resolve constant important but mundane issues.
Minimise skill gaps while reaching a wider talent pool
One of the benefits of a digital economy is that work can be compartmentalised. You don’t have to engage an IT resource on a full-time or even part-time basis in order to get just the right input at just the right time.
Outsourcing means that your company can reach a much wider talent pool to minimise or completely fill any skills gaps and only pay for that small part of an expert that you need from time-to-time.
Higher drive of innovation
Strategic proficiencies can also be acquired from outsourcing, creating more value for businesses. According to Deloitte's 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey, if done correctly, outsourcing can help increase innovation within a company.
Outsourcing brings with it new methodologies for addressing existing or recurrent problems, which can boost service quality and decrease time-to-market for new product and service offerings.
Innovation is also driven by speed of change. Outsourced IT service organisations have the resources to start new projects right away, while the same in-house projects could take weeks or months.
The Key Benefits
For companies still tossing up whether to outsource some or all of their IT services, there are a few key benefits to remember.
Firstly, outsourcing IT is a great way to free up your IT staff’s time. With more time, an in-house IT team can focus on core business areas that drive a measureable increase in the company’s value rather than attending to the mundane day-to-day tasks of “business as usual” computing.
Additionally, outsourcing IT can be very cost effective. You get access to a wider pool of IT talent at a cheaper overall cost.
In the digital economy, it makes sense to embrace the disruption that outsourcing offers, while reaping all the benefits.
James Walker is Managing Director, Computer One