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The BIG “O” — Outsourcing that is

One of the quiet discussions I heard recently at TechEd had nothing to do with technology but everything to do with how it is implemented and maintained. I am talking about the big “O”—outsourcing that is. It seems to be a trend that is gaining momentum, good-or-bad, it seems to be happening as companies battle to cut costs and improve the bottom line.


Is outsourcing good-or-bad? The terms good and bad have implications of morality and perhaps that isn’t the right way to ask the question. After all this is a global economy and we are all using a product that is designed from the ground-up to work with a wide variety of languages, cultures, and business processes. The trends we have seen first in agriculture, than in manufacturing, are now hitting the information economy


I have to admit its difficult to look at this trend objectively, especially so if it is your job that is being outsourced. Face-it, most of us are tied to our jobs and we rather like them. Plus we get paid and that comes in handy when you want some of the finer things in life like; food, shelter, and clothing. Yet, there are larger forces in-play that we ignore at our peril. Productivity is important and companies must produce a good return on investment. Technological change is constant and it takes time to understand, master, and implement it!


So perhaps a better way of asking the question is: how can we provide a better value on the services our company needs than our competitors? How efficient are our processes? How current are we on today’s technology and how prepared are we for what is coming down the road? How well do we adapt to change? How well do we network and use our resources to be more productive?


Not easy questions at all and each of us will come up with a different truth. At the same time there are great resources like SDN and ASUG which can help us learn, network, and influence. And perhaps these are our most important skills. And they are a key part of the value-add we bring to the services we offer our companies.


So, my question to you is:


Are you currently outsourcing any of your Operations (Hardware/OS, Database, Basis, Security, or Transports), Application Development or Maintenance? If so, what did you outsource? And how effective has it been?


Please drop me a line at

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  • I think outsourcing is a great option for companies to save money and time.  Outsourcing major development or implementations has been around for a long time but now when the system landscape keeps getting more complex (just take a look at all the different technologies a technical portal consultant needs to be familiar with) it is going to make more sense to outsource things such as application support in a greater way then before.  It will mean more job losses in certain areas of the world, mostly where the wages and prices for office space are the highest with offshoring taking over a lot of jobs.  The jobs that remain will be different and more in the area of managing development and analysing business needs with end users and business managers.  Those are my 2 cents.