IT Outsourcing from the IT Staff Perspective

Windows IT Pro (formerly Windows & .NET Magazine) tackles IT outsourcing in its latest issue — though it's intended more for the IT professional than the folks leading the charge. Also, you have to subscribe to the magazine or the Web site to get access to the story. But I'll highlight some points here.

The magazine queried readers for salary data and included questions about outsourcing as well.

One striking quote: “Management, take note: If you're worried about losing your top IT people, it's safe to say that although outsourcing doesn't destroy morale, there will be a cost, measured in employee satisfaction, stress, and loyalty.” In other words, make sure you've identified the people you can't do without in your organization — and, trust me, they exist, whether you want to believe it or not. Then make sure they're taken care of. That means making sure they feel secure and appreciated, as well as well compensated, and have work that challenges them.

Not surprisingly, executive and IT management views the reason behind outsourcing differently from non-management personnel. Whereas only 29 percent of execs viewed better cost efficiencies as the driver, 43 percent of IT staff said that was the reason for outsourcing. And whereas 31 percent of execs saw outsourcing as a way to ease the burden on in-house resources, only 16 percent of IT staff saw it that way.

The types of IT work being outsourced are still dominated by programming — reported by 60 percent of respondents.

Thirty-seven percent said help desk and customer service positions were going to outside companies. And a rather sizable 41 percent report that IT infrastructure planning and design was going out of house.

Among US participants, 77 percent said the infrastructure/design work was staying in the US. The number drops to 64 percent for programming work and 62.5 percent for help desk work.

There's more to the story, but you'll have to track down the December 2004 issue to read it.