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Updated by Charles Bystock on 08/08/2013

mainframe outsourcing roadmapAs a top executive, everything you do is aimed at ensuring your company’s competitiveness. Either you’re working to stay ahead of the pack, or you’re striving to move up in position. It’s entirely possible that Mainframe outsourcing can help you get where you want to go, but you need a roadmap to smoothly negotiate the twisty bits along the way.

Without a plan, you can easily steer off-course, “advancing” in a wrong direction.

What’s your destination?

Wherever your enterprise is headed, your interim objectives, implementation priorities and ongoing operations requirements all have to be met to achieve your long-term vision. A roadmap lays it all out clearly so you can make the best mainframe outsourcing choices. It’s your strategic plan.

Maybe you’re headed toward planned growth. Expansion. You’re moving into new geographic locations, new sales markets, new product or service lines. Or maybe you’re still climbing out of recessive economic times. You’re still focused primarily on restraint – doing the most you can with limited resources. But knowing you have to be poised to seize opportunities that appear, if you’re going to progress beyond maintaining the status quo.

Elements of a useful mainframe outsourcing roadmap.

Keeping a clear picture of your destination and key points along the way in mind, you need to consider your point of departure. That means it’s time for self-assessment.

What is your current mainframe arrangement doing for you now, practically speaking? What are the costs associated with it? You have to account for every dollar, direct and indirect, to accurately determine you current total cost of ownership. A self-assessment gives you a solid foundation of functional and financial metrics so that you can rationally compare alternatives you might want to adopt.

What are your mainframe-related strengths? Where are you lacking now in terms of physical capacity or ability to deliver the service quality your people need? Are you having any IT staffing challenges?

Exactly what is needed to enable your company to reach your destination?

Sometimes it’s especially difficult to objectively evaluate your situation or needs, because you and your staff are just too close to the problem and the choices you make could have personal as well as corporate consequences. Bringing in an outsourcing advisory consultant to assist with this process can help generate significantly stronger, unbiased results.

Understanding your “travel” options.

Like many real roadmaps, your mainframe outsourcing map offers numerous choices to reach your destination. But of course some are more efficient and cost-effective than others. Outsourcing is no longer an all-or-none proposition, it’s a sliding scale of opportunity.

You may decide that a total transformation is in order, outsourcing virtually all your IT assets and functions. More likely, though, you’ll determine that some intermediate level of outsourcing is in order – a fabric of in-house and external solutions specifically woven for you.

You also need to investigate possible sourcing options – service providers and working partners that represent the best fit with your specific needs, costs and timeframe. It’s imperative to make choices that fully support system and data security day in and day out as well as a confidence-building disaster recovery plan.

Who’s driving this bus? You are. Even if you choose to make sweeping changes with  mainframe outsourcing, it’s your company and you remain in control, as much as makes you comfortable. Outsourcing can ensure you’re always operating with the latest security protocols and overall governance policies.

What if you want to take an unplanned side trip?

A good roadmap offers contingencies that help you enjoy your travels. A good mainframe outsourcing roadmap is the essence of flexibility, offering all the scalability for which outsourcing is known. That way, you’ll be prepared to weather expected business fluctuations along the way but ready to take a valuable turn when the opportunity presents itself.

With your roadmap carefully considered and your mainframe outsourcing implementation contracts in place, you’re ready to roll. 

Photo credit: chucknado via Flickr