Outsourcing IT on Campus

The Syllabus2004 Conference Yearbook, intended for IT people in university and college settings, offers an interesting sidebar, titled, “Outsourcing in a Nutshell.” (Scroll down the page to find it in a box.)

Here's an excerpt that I found useful, but I encourage you to read the entire sidebar as well.

Outsourcing: Do…

  • Spend time defining appropriate service levels.
  • Hire a full-time contract administrator.
  • Use or hire an experienced negotiator during contract negotiations. Remember that outsourcing vendors do this for a living.
  • Maintain a core staff of specialists to maintain knowledge of key systems and to support bringing services back in-house at the end of the agreement.

Outsourcing: Don’t…

  • Sign long-term contracts (example cited of a 10-year agreement for outsourcing administrative systems).
  • Enter into an outsourcing agreement without a plan to insource services at the end of the agreement.
  • Ignore or underestimate the impact of outsourcing agreements on institutional culture (e.g., salary differences, conflicting loyalty, fear of being fired).