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IT Outsourcing’s Definition: How to Build Strategy for Your Business?

Jun 20, 20237 min read

Kamil Osiecki

Leveraging his expertise in strategy, leadership, and teamwork, Kamil, CEO of Ideamotive, continuously inspires excellence and innovation. Kamil writes on management, growth, and business development, sharing his unique, results-oriented insights.

Information technology outsourcing has become a popular cost-cutting tool for IT companies. However, IT management needs to develop the best strategy for outsourcing. IT teams seek ways to improve operational efficiencies and remain competitive. So they have begun to focus on reducing costs and increasing productivity while trying to provide more value to their customers. This shift in strategy is due to several factors. Including the COVID-19 pandemic, the proliferation of remote work environments, and a rapidly evolving business landscape.


Outsourcing IT functions has become essential for technology-intensive companies to sustain their competitiveness. Outsourcing IT operations gives these companies a competitive advantage by optimizing costs, delivery times, market-driven innovation, flexibility, and access to specialized dependent resources. 

Experts predict market growth of up to $200 billion worldwide by 2017. So, what exactly is IT outsourcing’s definition? And how do you build the best strategy for business?

Why Outsourcing Is Vital for Your Team?

Outsourcing is an essential strategy for IT management professionals to optimize resource allocation and focus on core competencies. That’s why the company outsources IT functions, such as software development, maintenance, and support, to external vendors, which has many advantages. Businesses can benefit from cost savings, access to specialized expertise, and increased flexibility.

IT management professionals can also focus on strategic initiatives and core competencies by offloading non-core functions to external vendors. This can help improve efficiency and productivity and respond quickly to changing market conditions.


Additionally, outsourcing is a business practice that provides access to expertise that may only be available in some places. IT vendors often deeply understand the latest technologies and best practices, which can help drive innovation and improve service quality.


External vendors can provide services at a lower cost than in-house IT teams. It offers an essential strategy for IT management professionals. They start looking to optimize resource allocation, drive innovation, and achieve business objectives.

Types of IT outsourcing 


When deciding to outsource, it's essential to understand the various types available. Let's delve into the three primary types of IT outsourcing: offshore, nearshore, and onshore solutions. 


  1. Onshore outsourcing involves working with vendors in the same country as the company’s employer. It offers the advantages of proximity, facilitating communication, and reducing cultural barriers. Additionally, it can help your team comply with local regulations and laws. However, onshore outsourcing may be more expensive than other types of outsourcing due to higher labor costs.

  2. Nearshore involves working with vendors in neighboring countries, while offshore companies work with vendors in distant countries. It offers a balance between cost and proximity. By working with vendors in neighboring countries, organizations can benefit from lower labor costs while still maintaining a certain level of proximity. It can also help reduce cultural barriers and facilitate communication. However, time zone differences may still pose a challenge.

  3. Offshore outsourcing offers the potential for significant cost savings, as labor costs in some countries may be much lower than in others. Additionally, offshore companies can provide access to specialized expertise and resources. However, it poses challenges, such as potential language, cultural barriers, and time zone differences, making communication and collaboration difficult.

In selecting the appropriate type of outsourcing, IT management professionals should consider a range of factors, such as cost, proximity, cultural fit, and technical capabilities, to ensure the success of the outsourcing initiative.

IT Outsourcing Benefits


The state of outsourcing has changed dramatically over the past decade, and we expect the future of outsourcing to be even more dynamic. Given the unprecedented transformation of the global economy. Although outsourcing brings benefits and challenges, it is also an essential tool for companies to stay ahead of the curve.

Cost savings

You can eliminate the need for additional staff, office space, and equipment. As well as save on training costs, labor costs, benefits, and other overhead costs incurred when staffing in-house.

Increased efficiency

Outsourcing allows IT management to focus on its core competencies while the external company handling your business outsources tasks. 


As your business grows, you can delegate additional tasks to meet demand. Conversely, you can reduce the work outsourced if your business slows down.

Access to specialized skills

Outsourcing allows you to access skills and knowledge that may not be available in-house. For example, you can outsource these tasks to experts if you need help with web design, game design, or digital marketing.


You can hire outside companies or individuals on a project basis or for long-term contracts. This allows you to respond quickly to changing business needs.

IT Outsourcing Drawbacks

It's essential to weigh the advantages against potential disadvantages, including loss of control, communication problems, security risks, cultural differences, and hidden costs. By carefully considering the pros and cons, you can decide if outsourcing is the right option for your business.


Possible disadvantages:

Loss of Control

One of the most significant disadvantages is losing control over the outsourced tasks. You may have to directly supervise the work you delegate, which can lead to quality issues. Choosing a reputable company or team partner and communicating are essential to meeting your expectations;

Communication challenges

These challenges arise if the outsourcing company is in a different time zone or speaks a foreign language. Clear communication ensures that both parties understand each other's expectations and goals;

Security risks

It's essential to establish appropriate security protocols and ensure that the company partner has adequate safeguards in place, especially if your company is outsourcing sensitive information or tasks;

Cultural differences

It's vital to understand the culture and customs of the company partner and ensure you have clear expectations for work quality and communication;

Hidden costs

You must consider all costs associated with outsourcing to ensure it makes financial sense for your company.

How To Find a Competent Outsourcing Partner

Choosing the right partner can make or break your success. Extensive research and due diligence are paramount when evaluating potential partners. Look for companies with a proven track record, industry knowledge, and a solid portfolio of successful projects. 


Consider factors such as the company's reputation, client testimonials, certifications, and quality of work. A thorough evaluation will help you find the ideal partner that aligns with your company’s values and goals.

Best Practices for Successful Outsourcing

As outsourcing became commonplace, competition increased significantly. Today, well-educated outsourcing developers in India, the Philippines, China, and Eastern Europe earn only a fraction of the salary of their counterparts in Western countries. The IT management team must carefully consider the decision to outsource a function or process to an external service provider. If your team is ready to entrust certain tasks or processes to external partners and focus on your core competencies, we would like to share some insights on optimizing your outsourcing initiatives and finding a good vendor.


Clearly define your goals 

Identify the specific areas or tasks you want to outsource. Whether it’s software development, customer support, content creation, or another function. A clearly defined goal means communicating your requirements to potential partners and ensuring alignment with your business strategy.


Establish effective communication channels 

Effective communication is at the heart of successful business relationships. Establish clear lines of communication with your partner. Ensure regular meetings, progress reports, and a designated point of contact. Use collaboration tools and technology to bridge geographic or cultural differences and foster real-time communication. By fostering transparency and open dialog, risks can be mitigated and challenges proactively addressed, enabling a seamless workflow.


Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 

To measure the success of your outsourcing initiatives, it's essential to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that align with your business goals. Establish quantifiable metrics. They should reflect desired outcomes, such as project milestones, quality standards, cycle times, or cost savings. Monitor and regularly evaluate your outsourcing partner's performance against these KPIs to ensure accountability and drive continuous improvement.


Encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing 

Outsourcing is not a one-sided transaction. Instead, it should be a partnership where knowledge sharing and mutual growth thrive. Encourage your partner to participate in brainstorming sessions, share insights, and contribute their expertise. Fostering a culture of collaboration helps unlock new ideas, perspectives, and innovative solutions.


Protect intellectual property

Protecting your intellectual property (IP) is paramount when outsourcing critical business functions. Include legal provisions, non-disclosure agreements, and intellectual property protection clauses in contracts with your partners. Ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to protect your confidential information, trade secrets, and proprietary data. Proactively addressing intellectual property issues can mitigate risks and build trust with your partner.


Monitor and evaluate performance 

Successful business process outsourcing is an iterative process that requires continuous monitoring and evaluation. Regularly evaluate your partner's performance against agreed-upon metrics and provide constructive feedback. Conduct regular reviews to identify areas for improvement, promptly address any bottlenecks, and refine your outsourcing strategy accordingly. By taking a data-driven approach, you can optimize performance, increase efficiency, and achieve better results.

Choose your team managers with essential skills

As outsourcing has become more prevalent, the role of managers and executives has changed significantly. They have shifted from functional or operational expertise to integration skills. This type of leadership, referred to as "lateral leadership," requires managers to think strategically, make deals, manage partnerships, and manage change. As a result, companies are paying a high price for mid- and senior-level managers. So, companies hire those who possess these essential skills.

Most Commonly Outsourced Tasks in It

Understanding the most commonly outsourced tasks in the IT field is essential. The key areas where companies are harnessing external IT support to achieve optimal results are as follows:


  1. Infrastructure outsourcing

It means entrusting the management of your IT infrastructure to a third-party provider. It includes servers, networks, storage, and other critical components that form the backbone of your digital operations. Outsourcing infrastructure management allows your company to outsource the complexity and responsibility of maintaining a stable IT environment. As a result, operating costs are reduced, and you benefit from improved security, scalability, and round-the-clock technical support.


  1. Data center outsourcing

Managing and maintaining a data center can be a resource-intensive and complex task. It allows your company to transfer responsibility for managing data center infrastructure to a third-party provider. These providers have the expertise, state-of-the-art facilities, and robust security measures to ensure uninterrupted availability, performance, and protection of critical business data. By outsourcing data centers, you can reduce costs, minimize risks, and focus on your core business objectives.

  1. IT Staff Augmentation

Sometimes businesses need additional IT expertise for specific projects or times of high demand. IT staff augmentation addresses this need by providing qualified professionals to supplement the in-house team. Whether it's software developers, network administrators, or cybersecurity specialists, IT offers flexible and scalable solutions to meet the fluctuating needs of your business. This approach allows you to draw on a large talent pool, leverage specialized skills, and complete projects efficiently without making a long-term commitment to hiring full-time staff.


  1. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

BPO involves delegating non-core business functions to external service providers. These functions may include finance and accounting, human resources, customer service, etc. Outsourcing these processes allows you to streamline operations, reduce costs, and draw on expertise. In addition, BPO providers use advanced technologies and efficient workflows to streamline processes, increase productivity, and deliver exceptional results, allowing you to focus on your core competencies and strategic initiatives.


Choosing to outsource has become a popular cost-cutting strategy for companies. They want to increase operational efficiency and maintain competitiveness in a rapidly evolving business landscape. By outsourcing IT functions, companies can reduce costs, access specialized expertise, increase flexibility, and focus on their core competencies.

We discussed the benefits, challenges, and best practices in outsourcing. It helps companies make informed decisions, optimize resource allocation, and achieve goals. As a result, staying ahead of the competition in a dynamic global economy.

Kamil Osiecki

Leveraging his expertise in strategy, leadership, and teamwork, Kamil, CEO of Ideamotive, continuously inspires excellence and innovation. Kamil writes on management, growth, and business development, sharing his unique, results-oriented insights.

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