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IT outsourcing reaching out to reach further

Phoebe Magdirila and Rafael Mejia | March 13, 2012
Aggressive companies looking to boost their operations and widen their reach are beefing up systems and technical manpower by getting help outside their organizations, taking in innovative services and products from various service providers or loyally through just one. IT outsourcing. It's not a new practice in the business industry. Almost everyone's doing it. But what can IT outsourcing really do for your company? Will IT outsourcing work for your business as it successfully did for other companies or will you find yourself increasing your business pains in the process?

Getting the Most from Outsourcing IT outsourcing opens up more possibilities for user companies by way of the advantages they get from implementing their outsourced IT.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) Information Security & IT Risk Manager, Alejandro Sol Cruz Jr., cites diversion of expenses to more important aspects of the business rather than putting sole financial focus on IT advantage. "Capital expenditures may be lessened or freed up from being used on IT and diverted to core airline functions," says Cruz. "[In addition,] better and possibly newer technology may be deployed faster with less cost depending on the service levels agreed on by PAL and the IT service provider.". Having the freedom to focus on other departments of the company was also in the mind of Solar Entertainment Corporation executives when they outsourced digital archiving services for video content from IBM. "In the case of our managed service agreement with IBM, it allows us to focus more on the broadcast operations whilst having an IT expert provide us the service required," says Solar Entertainment Corporation Vice President for Operations, Ralph Joseph Roy, whose first time to outsource IT was just last year. "Also, the arrangement addresses needs related to maintenance and obsolences of equipment."

Meanwhile, Andaya of Island Rose considers flexibility and scalability as advantages of outsourcing that have thoroughly worked for them. "IT outsourcing enables our company to remain small and flexible while being able to concentrate on our core competencies," relates Andaya. "It gives us the ability to pool resources from other companies on a per need basis allowing our operations to grow bigger or smaller as the need arises." PAL's Cruz echoes Andaya's statement saying that another advantage of IT outsourcing is the convenience of getting "flexible IT infrastructure that may be scaled up or down on-demand."

Flexibility and scalability has become attractive features for most outsourced IT services and products. Flexibility gives more freedom to the users depending on their needs and scalability allows them to tailor-fit services and products according to their needs, size of business, and most importantly, budget. Pitfalls But outsourcing is not without pitfalls. Convenience comes with a price, literally, that can take a big chunk of your company's funds. Bayad Center's Cinco reminds that outsourcing may get expensive. "We have to remember that these service providers also run their own business and maintains a pool of experts to be able to provide the service you need," says Cinco.

Meanwhile Andaya notes that expenses may not be the biggest pitfall with IT outsourcing but the problem of exposing your data to the service providers. "The bigger disadvantage is that we have little control over privacy," says Andaya. "Many IT outsourcing firms tend to get best practices and apply them to other companies therefore making us lose some competitive advantage."

 

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