We've just wrapped up our latest InformationWeek Analytics survey on business outsourcing, and there are a few interesting trends worth mentioning before the full report comes out.It was refreshing to see the group listed "freeing up staff for more strategic initiatives" as the No. 1 benefit, ahead of the expected cost savings. However, that's easier said than done, since the No. 1 and No. 2 concerns cited were, you guessed it, cost control and communication problems and time required to manage subs.
We segmented the survey into the different aspects of IT outsourcing, everything from basic hardware to application development. Opinions on the quality of work relative to the overall cost were split fairly evenly across all categories, with two exceptions: 46% of respondents felt their outsourced end user support was lower quality and lower cost... so much for a great help desk. Those of you already outsourcing to different cloud or SaaS vendors had a different view: 37% felt outsourcing provided higher quality at a lower cost.
Overall, 30% of the group planned on increasing their use of outsourcing, with over 44% planning on increasing their use of cloud/SaaS outsourcing.
We were also pleased to see the majority of firms actively check vendors for policy compliance, but were surprised that most didn't have proper application or network monitoring tools in place to watch their SaaS/cloud systems.
This hits the heart of one of the challenges you'll have to overcome as you expand your outsourcing relationships for cloud and SaaS initiatives. It's the most cost-effective way to grow, but you need to keep a tight control over the process given the rapid pace of change and potential for issues. Eight percent of our respondents have already felt the sting of an outsourcing partnership gone bad, reporting a catastrophic impact on their business. Don't be one of them.
Look for the full report in April.