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Questions to ask in building your IT outsourcing strategy

Lately, I’ve been contemplating the questions CIOs should ask as they formulate or revisit their IT outsourcing strategy. The analysts at McKinsey & Co. must be reading my mind (or perhaps I’m reading theirs?), because their blog this week includes a post about how organizations can make IT outsourcing strategy decisions based on business requirements. This is pertinent even to those organizations already outsourcing IT functions, as business needs can change, particularly in this economic climate.

According to McKinsey, the four questions to ask when considering or revisiting an IT outsourcing strategy are:

1. From which areas is the business looking to derive value from IT enablement?
2. What capabilities are required to deliver that value?
3. What are the expectations for IT in creating those capabilities?
4. In meeting those expectations, how can resources be procured in a way that meets our cost, timing and skills requirements?

I’d add a few more questions to that list, since we’ve found that organizations are seeking to outsource functions that will allow them to globalize, operate more efficiently and, of course, save money:

1. Will the cost savings provided by IT outsourcing cover the risks and management overhead of doing so?
2. Are we interested in consolidating or broadening the number of vendors with whom we outsource?
3. How will we measure success in IT outsourcing? What are the baseline results against which we’ll measure our IT outsourcing activities to determine whether we are saving money, increasing customer satisfaction, globalizing the business or whatever business goal we hope to reach?

I’m planning to attend Forrester Inc.’s Services & Sourcing Forum in Chicago next week, and will share more insights soon. Anybody else going? Look me up via email or Twitter — I’m @rlebeaux.

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Hello Rachel, super interesting subject und discussion topic (IT Outsourcing Strategy & Leveraging Criteria). I look forward to read your feedback & inputs from the Forum in Chicago... I'm based in Munich. Kind regards, Nadine
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