Organizations are under increasing pressure to improve their bottom line. Decreasing unemployment figures and a robust dollar are squeezing the margins of small and mid-sized organizations. The ever changing fiscal landscape creates significant challenges for organizations with significantly leveraged operations. The spotlight will soon be on CFOs to cut costs without eliminating value added services or hindering future growth. Equally important are the efforts to increase both revenue and market share via the creation of genuinely competitive advantages. In an effort to achieve these goals, CFOs will need to examine the opportunity to outsource their IT needs by allowing them to focus on their core competencies and reduce their IT expenditures.
Supporting a modern IT infrastructure requires expertise across a wide range of functional areas. While most organizations place a high value on security, organizations which are subject to regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, PCI, FERPA and GLBA are held to an even higher standard. Maintaining an IT staff capable of securing their operations to exceed all applicable regulatory requirements is a must. Supporting a corporate IT infrastructure, complying with federal and state regulation, and maintaining a responsive helpdesk can become cost prohibitive. The majority of small and mid-sized organizations do not have a sufficient volume of IT work and funding to justify staffing all of the necessary IT functional areas. Under these scenarios, organizations typically either have a high cost/capable IT department with low average employee utilization or an IT department with capability gaps which hinder the ability to effectively support the organization. Breaches in compliance and system downtime often can cost an organization in lost productivity.
Rather than making a choice between sacrificing capabilities or productivity, organizations can have their cake and eat it too by augmenting their IT function. IT outsourcing allows organizations to leverage the collective expertise of a deep bench, without incurring the costs of staffing an internal IT department. The finely honed capabilities of an IT outsourcing provider affords organizations the flexibility to reduce their IT spend while still maintaining the “ideal IT environment”. The expertise of an IT outsourcing provider also gives CFOs the opportunity to examine their long term IT strategy and align IT solutions to support their business goals.
IT outsourcing may be a prudent alternative to consider because organizations can focus their efforts on achieving their business goals. Additionally, the organizational strategy does not need to involve dedicating money, manpower, and energy towards IT management. IT outsourcing will allow organizations to repurpose their capital and labor towards developing and maintaining a competitive advantage.
Every industry, business, and department are different and there is no silver bullet which will vanquish all of your IT problems and challenges. The decision of what systems to buy, where to host them, or how to manage them, are all daunting questions. While IT outsourcing is not a “one size fits all” solution, it is often a great way to reduce IT expenditures, focus on your core operations, and transition to a proactive IT support model.
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