Chief Digital Technology Officer & SVP
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Yes, Even Windows Can Be Outsourced!
When I first read the article, "Outsourcing Windows: What you can expect" on ComputerWeekly.com, I said, "Finally someone is highlighting some of the many positives to IT offshoring." The article explains how offshoring gives you access to different levels of expertise, assists businesses in resolving complex issues and increases the level of productivity within an IT environment.
I think it is fascinating that even Windows can be offshored and that there are big benefits to utilizing outsourcers to provide this service--benefits businesses handling Windows in-house would not be able to offer. The article talks about gaining access to best practices and centers of excellence through strategic outsourcing. Here's an example of the kind of product expertise and solution excellence outsourcers can offer from our own Harvey Nash playbook.
The Harvey Nash Software Development Center (SDC) is the first company in Vietnam to deploy the Microsoft Competency Center. This Center allows Microsoft to help train our engineers with the latest tools and technologies and to assist them in delivering Microsoft's Certified Solutions to customers.
At the beginning of March 2006, the General Manager of Microsoft Operations (Southeast Asia) Pte Ltd and the Harvey Nash SDC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) creating a new strategic co-operation in IT development in the Asia Pacific region. As an IT solutions provider, we have the time, resources and business focus needed to forge and strengthen relationships with key technology leaders and constantly increase our product expertise. A business that has a different core mission will not and should not take the kind of time needed to expertly understand today's technologies.
Control more than anything is what today's business leaders worry about when they consider offshoring. I hear it again and again from executives nationwide. This article does an excellent job of explaining how control, in an outsourcing solution, remains with the client and is not blindly given over to the offshore provider. In fact, better control and information management is often the result of an excellent offshoring solution. As the article explains outsourcers must invest heavily in monitoring tools and solutions which is a big benefit to their clients: "There are some activities in the systems support tasks area that will be taken out of your control. For some of you overworked IT managers, that could be good news. Outsourcers invest heavily in enterprise-scale hardware and operating system monitoring solutions, such as HP's OpenView, BMC Software's Patrol or Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), and your servers will be monitored by a central team."
The bottom line is that being a part of an outsourced organization allows you to be part of a much larger, more experienced, faster, better resourced virtual team. And while some standardization will be required in the case of a Windows outsourcing solution, it's a small price to pay. In fact it's not a price to pay, it's an advantage. Standardization allows you and the outsourcer to better service your users and eliminates any issues that revolve around platform and image differences.
While the benefits are many to outsourcing, there still remains fear on the side of many businesses and their IT employees as they look at outsourcing as a possibility. "Outsourcing Windows: What you can expect" is a good article to begin with when first considering outsourcing. Author Mark Arnold addresses common concerns with matter-of-fact answers that explain why outsourcing will be a $50 billion a year business by 2007.