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Updated by Charles Bystock on 08/01/2013

infrastructure outsourcing delivery modelGartner says IT demands will skyrocket in the next few years. You could have predicted that yourself. Already, next-gen infrastructure outsourcing delivery models look very different from the original all-or-nothing approach.

Remember when your long-term plan stretched out ten years? Now you can’t possibly see that far into the future, given the rate and scope of global change. Your enterprise certainly has specific objectives, even a future vision, but these days your strategic business plan can be defined in a single word: flexibility.

Outsourcing has become common because it can help you achieve that needed flexibility. But now, the “right” infrastructure outsourcing delivery model is uniquely tailored -- a comprehensive package of solutions precision-matched to your goals, your internal working style and day-to-day operations requirements.

What works for some other company could be ineffective or even disastrous for you.

Fortunately, today’s marketplace is all about choice. Not so fortunately, it can be a very tough job discerning which among the choices will work best for you. Teaming up with an IT sourcing advisory can smooth this process and help you get better results.

IT itself has taken on an entirely new role.

The geeks in the basement have emerged as a critical component of your ability to function, to be prepared for the future (and in case of disaster). They’re sitting at your C-level roundtable, as well they should be. IT is no longer an “internal utility,” it’s part of your creative process. Meanwhile, your legacy systems haven’t turned that corner. Aside from the fact that they’re aging, their formerly state-of-the-art capabilities have become virtually obsolete.

Alternative infrastructure outsourcing delivery models can help reduce costs. In most cases, you always have the latest technology, without the recurring capital investment and ongoing maintenance costs. The right solutions can ensure the highest service availability and reliability, and even open the door to new sources of revenue.

So you’re ready to make that transformational journey. But how do you make the right choices?

Understand your options represent a continuum.

Service delivery can range from fully centralized to widely distributed. You can continue to handle most everything in-house, or go to the opposite extreme and outsource everything. Technology tools can be hosted in-house, owned and operated by you but located elsewhere, outsourced or floated into the cloud. You can augment your current IT staff, outsource services or infrastructure or applications, even related business processes. And there are several IT cloud computing options.

The need for that tailored “combo” solution mentioned earlier becomes even more apparent, if you’re to achieve seamless, consistent, reliable service throughout your enterprise.

You have to lay the proper ground work to make sound decisions.

Assess your current IT situation, in every functional and financial detail. Ask yourself:

  • What are we doing?
  • How are we doing it?
  • How’s our service quality?
  • What is it costing us?
  • How do we compare to peer organizations, especially our competitors?

Now you can build a sound business case to see if outsourcing makes sense and where you need to focus your efforts. So ask yourself:

  • What do we need to meet future objectives?
  • Do we have to deliver more or different services?
  • What’s do we need to accomplish that?

The infrastructure outsourcing delivery model you design has to address your most pressing concerns. It has to prepare you to address anticipated issues, so they don’t hold you back. And it has to give you that fundamentally-important flexibility to address the entirely unknown, keeping you on track smoothly and effectively.

You’ll find that governance plays a greater role than ever. You need policies and procedures that reflect evolving IT realities in order to successfully implement the solutions you select. And as you move forward, you’ll find that well-chosen metrics and ongoing monitoring will keep you headed in the right direction, ready for the next new generation of technology changes.

Photo credit: lord enfield via Flickr