In 2013, roughly one third of businesses will increase their IT outsourcing budgets. Chief Information Officers and CEOs, from small businesses to large enterprises, are planning to up their spending on the outsourcing of web/e-commerce platforms, application services, application maintenance and data center operations.
This planned increase in outsourcing investment for 2013 reflects the desire of businesses to remain flexible and yet bridge the skills gap among their current staff.
In cultivating the ability to respond quickly to market trends and emerging technologies, many CIOs are planning to use IT outsourcing. Along with the option to augment current staff with contractors or consultants, CIOs are also increasing their reliance on IT outsourcing companies to provide help and expertise for managed-services, per project based consultancy and cloud knowledge.
As the usage of cloud based services increases, the need for technical staff with cloud related skills and experience increases. This need can be met by employing new permanent staff or by cross-training existing staff but both of these options mean that businesses become more rigid and less flexible. Also cross-training as the additional disadvantage that it adds workload to already stretched departments and individuals.
Other areas where IT outsourcing is seeing growth includes the contracting out of help desk and desktop support; maintenance and management of data centers; and the move to software as a service (SaaS).
All the growth areas in IT outsourcing are for new or emerging technologies. As businesses move further to embrace the cloud, mobile platforms and SaaS, the skills gap and the need to remain flexible is being met by the increasing usage of outsourcing. However growth in outsourcing for “mature” or “established” IT tasks isn’t growing at the same rate. This is most likely due to the sufficient availability of skills in-house and the already high level of adoption of the relevant technologies.
Bluewolf’s State of Outsourcing Report highlights some interesting trends which are likely to continue in 2013: 46 percent of companies outsource application development and use outsourcing companies for their software development skills as well as for quality assurance tasks. Similarly, 39 percent of companies who use outsourcing, seek outside help for mobile and web development. Rapid development and fast ramp up times are sought for iPhone and Android projects. With the recent launch of Windows 8, Windows 8 RT (the version that runs on tablets using the ARM processor) and Windows Phone 8, it is possible that development skills on Microsoft’s mobile platforms will also be sought. However this very much depends on the success of these new OS releases.
As the demand for outsourcing grows, companies like SPKAA will continue to provide professional IT outsourcing services for a range of roles from software development to data center planning and management.