IT Outsourcing May Not be Worth the Effort

Tony Bradley June 20, 2012
A new survey finds that IT outsourcing is often disappointing--more costly than estimated, and with lower quality than expected.

Outsourcing is the lifeblood of IT. The prevailing theory is that outsourcing saves companies money and enables them to engage a broader pool of IT skills and talent than they could in-house. However, the results from a new survey challenge that perception. 

Lieberman Software surveyed IT professionals at the InfoSecurity Europe 2012 conference and found that 71 percent of organizations outsource a "significant portion" of their IT needs. However, confidence in outsourcing is not as high as you'd think. 

Although outsourcing is often seen as a cost-cutting measure, 42 percent of the survey respondents reported that outsourced projects ended up costing more than originally planned--16 percent claimed the costs were "significantly more". That doesn't necessarily mean that it was more expensive than hiring, training, and retaining in-house talent for the same project, but it still reflects poorly on IT outsourcing in general.