Strategic IT outsourcing ‘key to surviving economic malaise’

19 Jun 2008

ICT managers in Irish firms need to collaborate with the technology industry to identify and spearhead outsourcing strategies that can boost their business’s bottom line, a Telecommunications and Internet Federation (TIF) seminar heard yesterday.

Tom Carson (pictured), managing director, corporate and government solutions, BT Ireland and chair of TIF’s outsourcing services industry group, told attendees of the seminar: “The difference between the leading organisations and other organisations is that they are thinking strategically about outsourcing. It is therefore clear that ICT leaders should collaborate with the industry if they are to deliver on their boards’ expectations.

“Strategic outsourcing is about striking the balance between quality, economics, flexibility and innovation,” he added. “With the correct approach and the right partnership, strategic outsourcing can dramatically improve a business. Both the public and private sector today relentlessly pursue operational efficiency and competitive advantage, particularly given the current economic climate.”

The value of the outsourcing industry in Ireland is over €600m and is expected to grow to €700m by 2010.

More than 80pc of Irish businesses are already using one or more outsourced or managed services. Covering all sectors from public service to financial services, outsourcing can prove a key means of gaining a competitive advantage, according to senior representatives from the telecommunications sector.

Mike Davidson, business development director, Eircom, summed up the message for Irish IT managers as “keep what you do best and outsource the rest”. Davidson told attendees they must identify what parts of their operation isn’t a competitive advantage and get experts to do it, leaving the in-house IT department to focus on activity that delivers competitive advantage.

John Staunton, head of outsourcing, Accenture, said the outsourcing market in Ireland for both IT outsourcing and business process outsourcing was at an early but rapidly growing stage of development relative to other countries.

“This means we can learn from the experience of these countries,” said Staunton. “While many initially choose outsourcing in order to reduce costs, there are often numerous benefits such as increased access to skills and expertise, better service, efficiency and reliability.”

“This seminar marked the first in a series of morning seminars hosted by the TIF outsourcing services industry group to promote the outsourcing services in Ireland,” noted TIF’s director Tommy McCabe.

By Niall Byrne