To many, "outsourcing" is a dirty word that conjures up images of personnel cuts and jobs moving offshore. But, outsourcing doesn't have to signal a flood of pink slips. Carefully planned outsourcing can let you use your current IT personnel more efficiently. In our Ninja Guide to IT cost cutting, Deb Shinder describes the following outsourcing scenario:
For example, as your business grows and your need for more servers expands, you might find that it's less expensive and less hassle to use a hosting service for your Web servers or e-mail, rather than buying more hardware and hiring more personnel.
And outsourcing isn't just for large IT departments. Many small IT shops and individual IT consultants may outsource services that they are unable to provide or aren't cost-effective for them to perform. I know several onsite computer support providers that outsource their laptop repairs to local or regional processing centers.
As Shinder writes outsourcing isn't a "one-size-fits-all solution." IT departments must carefully examine their specific needs, understand the potential pitfalls, and analyze the benefits to know whether outsourcing makes sense.
For more creative money-save advice, check out our download, "IT Cost Cutting: The Ninja Guide." This 18-page PDF includes:
- Small cuts that can save big bucks
- Ways that SMBs can make relatively painlessly cuts
- Free Windows applications that can save money
- Free security tools that can save money
- Ways to give old servers a second life
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.