Outsourcing set to rise in 2008

Outsourcing set to rise in 2008

Mobility and access to services will drive market in the coming year

Growing environmental concerns, an increasingly mobile workforce and a renewed thirst for access to services will drive enterprise outsourcing decisions in 2008.

Joe Hogan, vice president of strategic outsourcing programmes at Unisys, believes that cost savings, formerly the key factor in outsourcing decisions, will now be a given and not the sole driver, or in many cases even a primary driver.

"A profound transformation in how people work and do business is driving a new set of service requirements and imperatives," he said.

"Accommodating these new user demands will be the main challenge for outsourcing providers in the coming year and beyond."

Hogan cited the arrival of "must-have" consumer technologies such as Apple's iPhone, and the desire for employees to use them for business as well as pleasure, especially in sales, customer service and other revenue-generating functions, as key drivers.

Forward-thinking enterprises will add support for these technologies into IT outsourcing agreements, and many companies will encourage their use by subsidising employee purchases.

"Next-generation devices, which have a tremendous capacity to revolutionise productivity, should go to employees whose jobs touch customers every day, and who require real-time information to capture those customers and keep them happy," said Hogan.

Enterprises that have traditionally hosted data centres in house will increasingly look to outsourcing providers to take care of the centres off site, helping companies to decrease capital expenditure and reinvest the difference to drive innovation.

Concerns about data centre power usage will also encourage companies to push outsourcing providers to invest in green IT in 2008 in an effort to appease shareholder concern as well as recognising the need for energy conservation.

Servers using multi-core processors, the use of virtualisation, more efficient storage and improvements in power facilities will continue to feature in outsourced data centres, Hogan predicts.

2008 will also witness greater popularity of service oriented architecture (SOA) as enterprises look to modernise legacy applications.

"SOA offers a way to modernise applications more effectively, while making an organisation more flexible and responsive," explained Hogan.

"Given the potential benefits, we believe that more organisations will choose outsourcing providers which can offer this kind of modernisation along with infrastructure management and data centre services."

Top outsourcing predictions for 2008:

  • 'Consumerisation' of IT will have major implications for enterprise IT services strategies
  • Increased demand for the outsourced utility model of IT infrastructure management
  • Environmentally-friendly data centres based on 'green' technology
  • Increased requirements for access to intellectual capital and services expertise
  • Modernisation of legacy applications will accelerate