Benefits Of IT Outsourcing Services
Outsourcing has become not only one of the most widely discussed business phenomena, but also
one of the most poorly understood. Although it is the most rapidly growing business sector in India
and is fast becoming India's fastest growing export industry, there has been little coherent explanation
in the academic press for why the industry is growing now; the industry began to surge without any
favorable change in labor rates, labor availability, or exchange rates to explain the industry's growth.
Without an explanation for the sudden growth in outsourcing, the most important of recent past
trends, it is difficult to make predictions for future developments.
The benefits in terms of costs of outsourcing IT work to other organizations. The cost benefits accrue
as work gets done in cheaper locations, and also due to the fact that work is done by organizations
whose core competency is to execute these projects and are hence better at it.
The first benefit is in the area of requirements. It is known that lack of clarity and incompleteness of
requirements are a major cause of projects failing. When outsourcing is used, the vendor is going to
insist on a proper requirements document and will have the necessary tools and capability to analyze,
document, and validate them.
The contractual aspects of outsourcing which often require sponsor organization to "sign off" on
requirements also force a careful internal analysis before commitment. The net result is that there is a
certain difficult in the requirements process at both ends leading to better analysis and requirements.
Theoretically this can be done with in-house teams also. However, doing proper requirements takes
time and effort and they often appear as "delaying" the start of the development. These disastrous
attractions tend to short circuit the requirements process to move towards development.
Plus the thought that "you can always correct is later", which is Present when dealing with in-house
teams, also comes in the way. In addition to better initial analysis, requirements changes are also
better controlled and managed. Requirements sometimes change due to changing business scenario
and needs Evolving with time. Changes, however, cause havoc to the project and increase the
chance of cost and schedule overruns and quality degradation. Changes have been known to cost up
to 40% of the total development cost. In outsourcing, there will necessarily be a formal change
management process which at vendor end requires impact analysis of a change request to be done
and presented for approval before the change is actually undertaken.
This input about the impact of change allows the customer to do a proper and serious cost benefit
analysis of the change. This will help ensure that only the necessary changes are made and low
priority "wish list" items are deferred.
This not only helps in getting the project of higher quality done in time, but also keeps the software
lean, which means lower IT asset inventory and lower maintenance cost in future. It should be added,
that over the years, the maintenance cost of software often exceeds the initial development cost.
Hence, any impact on lowering of maintenance costs pays hugely over the long run.
The second hidden benefit is in the area of visibility into projects. Software projects have been
notorious for lack of visibility to the sponsors and managers as progress cannot be shown in physical
terms. Hence, often sponsors and managers are forced to rely on the project managers word about
progress, and many a times get burnt by having excessive cost and schedule overruns.
The situation with outsourcing is completely different. The vendors, due to their mature processes
and metrics collection, are capable of providing clear quantitative visibility on a regular basis in the
project. This is generally done by providing regular analysis of the project on schedule, cost, features,
risks, etc. With on-line tools, now customers can even get real-time visibility in the projects.
Clear on-going visibility provides the managers the basic information to act in a timely manner, when
needed. By this reporting, not only the project manager can take action to correct the course of
action, but the sponsor organization can also plan suitably. In other words, the metrics based visibility
that vendors provide, which is otherwise hard to get, increases the chances of success, reduce risks,
and provides a level of comfort not possible otherwise.
A side effect of this quantitative visibility is that it allows the sponsoring company to set some
measurable service level agreements (SLAs) for activities like maintenance, request handling, etc.
Furthermore, the customers can even demand from vendors some improvement in the SLAs over
time. And as the vendors mature organization is capable of innovating and changing processes when
needed, sponsoring organizations can ask for specific process changes to suit their work. This level
of process improvement and project and process monitoring is simply not possible to achieve in an in-
house situation. And the third hidden benefit is in terms of improvement of the sponsor's own
processes for IT. Even when outsourcing, most companies will have an IT department that is
responsible for providing the IT solutions, but which out sources portions of its work. I.e. Outsourcing
and in-house development co-exist in most large organizations.
As vendors typically have highly mature processes, the sponsor's IT department learns
about these mature practices and in time some of the practices get transferred. In other words,
improvement of internal IT processes is a side benefit that accrues when engaging with these
vendors. In summary, besides the obvious cost advantages of outsourcing, there are some hidden
benefits that outsourcing to a mature vendor provides to the sponsoring organization. These primarily
come due to the discipline and processes that are utilized when outsourcing is done and are
independent of where the outsourced work is done.
There are also more benefits listed below:
1. Reduce overheads, free up resources
2. Minimize capital expenditure
3. Eliminate investment in fixed infrastructure
4. Focus scarce resources on mission-critical projects
5. Get access to specialized skills
6. Reduce need for internal commitment of specialists
7. Save on manpower and training costs
8. Control operating costs
9. Improve efficiencies through economies of scale
10. Improve speed and service
11. Provide the best quality services, products and people
12. Be reliable and innovative
13. Provide value-added services
14. Increase customer satisfaction
15. Obtain needed project management and implementation consulting expertise
16. Acquire access to best practices and proven methodologies
17. Spread your risks
18. Avoid the cost of chasing technology
19. Leverage the provider's extensive investments in technology, methodologies and people
20. Reduce the risk of technological obsolescence.
IT Services Outsourcing