Outsourcing of IT has entered a phase in which strategic support of business plays a key role. The ability to expand and shrink capacity quickly, plus access to knowledge that is not available within the organization, are currently the main drivers of outsourcing. Cegeka draws these conclusions from a study of 80 CIOs and IT decision-makers from Belgium and the Netherlands that was conducted together with CIOnet Belgium and the Netherlands at the end of 2016. The study is published at the same time as the book ‘Outsourcen is durven’ (‘Dare to Outsource’) by Zander Colaers, managing director of Cegeka Netherlands and COO Infrastructure Divisions for the entire Cegeka Group.
The Cegeka study focused on the present situation regarding IT outsourcing, the outsourcing plans that organizations have and the context in which IT managers currently operate. The main objective for these IT managers is to achieve an impact on the overall business. For 39% of them, the primary focus is strategic thinking and action, followed by the successful implementation of what the business requires. Outsourcing gives CIOs and IT decision-makers more time to work on their main objectives.
Substantial growth in the Netherlands and Belgium
Zander Colaers: “This wide-ranging study confirms what we have seen for some time with our outsourcing customers: a demand for a contribution from IT to the business strategy. The result is that organizations now also say that they are prepared to outsource many more IT components than before. For instance, over the past few months we have seen an increasing demand for the outsourcing of application management. An example is the recent expansion of our strategic partnership with the energy company DELTA, with the outsourcing of the management and further development of business-critical applications. It means that the outsourcing market in the Netherlands and Belgium has the potential for substantial growth.”
It has also become attractive again to outsource functional application management and end-user management. Moreover, 40% of the respondents think there is a strong relationship between the infrastructure component and the applications that will be outsourced in the future in the form of Software as a Service (SaaS). The remaining 60% expect that the infrastructure component to be outsourced will be larger than the application component.
Control remains in your hands
In addition, outsourcing does not mean that you hand over management and control. Four out of five respondents stated that the underlying business case is very closely monitored throughout the outsourcing project. Finally, the study reveals that because of the major impact of outsourcing, the outsourcing party likes to work and keep on working with a limited number of partners. Even then, the majority of respondents said that you maintain ultimate control.
Dare to outsource
In his book ‘Dare to Outsource’, Zander Colaers gives his views on the future of outsourcing. Colaers has many years of experience with outsourcing and in his book he explains why outsourcing is highly relevant to today's CIO. He also examines a number of trends in outsourcing and the role that an outsourcing partner should play. In his view, providers should have the courage to move away from ‘business as usual’ so that they can make a real difference to the CIO as well. How? By advising and supporting the CIO in their new role as Chief Innovator.
Zander Colaers: “The CIO and their outsourcing partner must both be prepared to be bold: the partner must have the courage to go with an ambitious strategy, the CIO must dare to let go. In fact, successful outsourcing means handing over a great deal of control. Only if there is mutual understanding and the confidence to share information at a strategic level, can outsourcing play the role that CIOs are now asking for. The study that we carried out confirms this view.”