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IT sourcing strategy guide for enterprise CIOs

In this CIO Essential Guide, learn how to craft a successful IT sourcing strategy in the enterprise and consider the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing.


Outsourcing is an arrangement in which one company provides services for another company that could be, or previously have been, provided in-house. In the age of cloud, big data and mobile technology, outsourcing is a viable option for any organization lacking the resources or budget to manage software and services within its own IT department.

There are several queries CIOs must consider in crafting an appropriate IT sourcing strategy for the enterprise. What are your primary objectives for outsourcing? Do you wish to contract with foreign and/or domestic providers? What services do you require to relieve stretched-thin IT departments? In this CIO Briefing, learn how to create an IT sourcing strategy that fits your organization, and get advice from CIOs who have been there, done that.

This Essential Guide on IT sourcing strategy in the enterprise is part of the CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.

1Outsourcing business processes-

The business of IT sourcing

The perceived advantages of outsourcing are well-known at this point: lower operational costs, reduced labor expenses and the freedom to focus on core business processes rather than on mundane, time-consuming tasks. But some organizations have gone beyond outsourcing discrete functions and are sending broad swaths of their business processes -- and the resultant management responsibilities -- to outside providers.

In outsourcing the information management segment of their organization -- including planning and business analysis, as well as the installation, management and servicing of IT assets -- enterprises hope to benefit from the collective intelligence of their outsourcing partners. In this section, learn about business process outsourcing (BPO) as part of a larger IT sourcing strategy.


BPM and BPO change business and the nature of work

In this column, SearchCIO contributor Harvey Koeppel explains how business process management (BPM) and BPO are evolving and converging into disciplines that will change the ways CIOs manage IT processes and tackle staffing considerations. Continue Reading


Transform the business and its processes with BPO

Companies looking to gain value through BPO beyond cost savings are reaping rewards from a varied IT sourcing strategy. In a column by TechTarget's Scot Petersen from the BPO/ITO World Forum, read how such organizations are driving toward process excellence. Continue Reading


Former CIO of GM and BP coaches others on IT sourcing

As the CIO at GM and British Petroleum, Jim Noble focused his technology strategy on quality and safety respectively. Now retired from his CIO positions, Noble is guiding other CIOs toward positive business outcomes through transformational outsourcing and "out-tasking." Continue Reading


Develop a strategy for successful outsourcing

According to Harvard Business School professor Lynda Applegate, "Strategy is what makes you different from everybody else, not the same; and the differences are what add value to everyone in the ecosystem." In another column from Petersen, learn about Applegate's strategic approach to outsourcing. Continue Reading


Outsourcing fuels disconnect between IT and marketing

Marketing departments have been outsourcing projects since the dawn of print media, giving creative services away for free in order to outsource media buys. In this Q&A, Greg Pfluger, vice president of information systems at American Family Insurance, shares how CIOs can adopt this CMO mind-set. Continue Reading


Let's talk IT sourcing strategy

In these videos, IT experts share valuable IT sourcing strategies and advice. Find out how outsourcing IT processes and tasks opens up business opportunities for both enterprise and SMB organizations.


Outsourcing to the cloud: Advice from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Nathan McBride, vice president of IT at AMAG Pharmaceuticals, explains how CIOs can work closely with cloud service brokers to develop outsourced cloud infrastructures.


CEB lists outsourcing as top concern for CIOs

Shvetank Shah, executive director at consultancy CEB, sat down with SearchCIO at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium to offer insights on how outsourcing and other IT trends are transforming technology priorities.


Outsourcing among missed opportunities for SMBs

Raymond Laracuenta, managing vice president at Gartner Inc., explains how outsourcing infrastructure, desktop, operating systems, servers, and applications such as email and calendaring allows smaller operations teams to thrive.

3Spotlight: The cloud-

Cloud services sought by outsourcing-oriented CIOs

Cloud computing is one of the more prevalent building blocks of an IT sourcing strategy. The sheer volume of cloud service providers has increased exponentially in the past decade, making sorting through their various offerings a formidable task. In this section, learn about the history of cloud computing and read real-life examples of how enterprises have soared thanks to cloud arrangements.


Isn't the cloud just outsourcing?

According to SearchCIO contributor Harvey Koeppel, all roads leading to cloud adoption are paved with misinformation. In this CIO Matters column, he debunks common misconceptions about cloud computing. Continue Reading


Cloud computing: An internal or external affair?

In this piece, Michael Davis, CTO at CounterTack, and Michael Beckley, CTO at Appian, share their experiences with architecting a cloud computing business model. Continue Reading


Do you know where your outsourcing is?

Some organizations are making more investments in cloud computing than their CIOs realize, with individual business units purchasing their own cloud services without the knowledge of their IT departments. Continue Reading


What creative destruction and outsourcing have in common

IaaS-, PaaS- and SaaS-related cloud computing services represent a major cycle of creative destruction within the IT industry. This tip uncovers how the cloud is changing the way IT services are obtained and managed. Continue Reading


The hybridized future of the data center

As cloud and hybrid technologies take hold, CIOs are learning about -- and in some cases reveling in -- the prospects of IT infrastructure configurations without all the traditional hassles. Learn more in this feature. Continue Reading


IT sourcing must-know terms

Before discussing outsourcing plans in the boardroom, make sure you and the rest of your organization's C-suite are well-versed in these IT sourcing terms.

5Outsourcing case studies-

The ins and outs of IT sourcing

How are your peers managing their IT sourcing arrangements? Are you getting the most out of your outsourcing strategy? Get all the fine-print details necessary for implementing an effective IT sourcing strategy, starting with fostering healthy partnerships; plus, read about where sourcing strategies might be heading next.


How to dodge problems with outsourcing partners

These six tips from SearchCIO contributor Scott Lowe provide a game plan for avoiding problems with your outsourcing providers. Hint: It's all about keeping the keys to your kingdom close, and core competencies closer. Continue Reading


Infrastructure outsourcing and multisourcing improve with ITIL framework

Learn about IT infrastructure outsourcing and multisourcing from top dogs Procter & Gamble and Hewlett-Packard. According to P&G's global IT service/infrastructure manager, integrating ITIL frameworks into the outsourcing process can make large-scale deals doable. Continue Reading


Consider outsourcing when developing a mobile app

DIY IT projects rarely go as smoothly as anticipated. CIOs tasked with developing mobile applications for their organizations, including those in smaller companies, should consider recruiting the help of experts outside their IT department. Continue Reading


Some CIOs quietly abandon offshore outsourcing plans

When President Obama announced a blueprint for U.S. companies to create manufacturing jobs in the U.S., there were mixed reactions from some IT leaders. Read more about this plan, and the resultant discussion on outsourcing and insourcing, in this column. Continue Reading


Evaluating outsourcing contracts to increase IT innovation

As CIO at H.B. Fuller, Steven John crafted a global collaboration platform, retired outdated IT systems and rid the company of a $150 million contract with a large outsourcing firm. In this CIO Innovator profile, learn what motivated his push for cloud services. Continue Reading


Quiz: IT outsourcing management considerations for CIOs

For IT departments, balancing the need to keep day-to-day IT operations chugging along while pursuing new projects and maintaining a reasonable budget can be a tightrope walk. CIOs must stay on top of not only recent developments in outsourcing, but also which vendors work best for particular IT functions, which areas are best managed in-house and more.

Are you up to date on these IT sourcing strategy considerations? Make sure you're well-versed in the ins and outs by reviewing our recent coverage and taking our quiz.

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