IT outsourcing is not enough

IT outsourcing today is no longer a slogan which, thanks to its vagueness, was the terror of the heads of IT departments. Today, many companies outsource these services without fear or even deliberately, which allows opening new doors to expanding market share or introducing a new product to the market.

I will not refer to the world or even the European market. I will deal with experiences from the domestic market. The basic feature of our market is the growing gap between domestic companies and their foreign competitors operating in Poland.

The global economy leaves no illusions to our native, imposing requirements for systems that must be ready and very quickly react to the changing conditions of the "market". Permanent access to the Internet opens new markets and distribution channels faster. The financial efficiency of Polish entrepreneurs, strained by recent economic fluctuations, will depend only on technological progress in the coming years. Everyone in the world places great importance on the unrestricted exchange of information between the links of the supply chains and distribution channels. This situation means that a factor, or even a requirement for development, is the uncontrolled diversification of IT tools and it is more and more difficult to keep the software and hardware infrastructure in check. Hence the growing interest of Polish market leaders in outsourcing IT solutions.

In 2007, Gartner outlined some of the main reasons why you should take your IT outsourcing service very seriously: 

  • In companies, the demand for an efficient network environment to which other types of devices, especially mobile devices, can be connected, is growing dramatically.
  • Enterprise networks are becoming more and more critical.
  • Network infrastructure is becoming complicated as more and more applications use the network
  • Network technologies will be subject to quite rapid changes in a moment.

This seems archaic eight years later. Today, this scope of comments applies only to some of the reasons for which it is necessary to introduce our Polish business pragmatism and organize the ratio of IT services outsourced to services that will remain in the company's structure.

Many new companies that start their adventure with business in the light of the Internet still do not see the opportunities associated with outsourcing. Although many of them use its various forms daily. After all, hosting their websites, e-mail servers, stores is absolutely a form of using external services. An increasingly used form of access to office or business applications is based on a subscription, i.e. a subscription fee. Today, none of the entrepreneurs, apart from a few exceptions, builds telecommunications infrastructure (GSM telephony or Internet connections) unknowingly using the market offer of telecommunications operators. At the same time, many mature companies build their own server rooms and maintain their own Helpdecks to increase the efficiency of the internal network and access to locally maintained resources of an increasingly extensive platform of ICT devices. Of course, the source of the current situation is not only the sluggishness of Polish companies. The basis of such a turn of things is also a mismatched proposition on our market. Individually, it is more profitable for the IT industry to providing the market with the transfer of specialist knowledge, which generates greater profitability at one time, while draining the client's meager budget.

Economic uncertainty in the world and the intricate arcane of the state's tax policy add to this situation its three cents.

What if you were to deal with business without limitations and not deal with IT and repetitive internal processes as a necessary evil?

An ideal solution would be to establish a business relationship with a company that is a multi-disciplinary supplier with an offer tailored to the size and stage of development of the organization.

Such a company should provide a consolidated package of IT services along with a proposal of a wide range of processes in the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) formula. Breaking down such an offer into its first parts, I would expect:

  1. Hosting or Collocation services for applications responsible for communication (WWW, mail servers) and internal processes (logistics and production) as well as external processes (CRM, e-commerce).
  2. Administration of WAN and LAN network infrastructure to maintain the highest level of data security over time, regardless of technological trends and legislative requirements
  3. Desk-services, i.e. administration of a fleet of laptops, smartphones, or tablet devices, regardless of their purpose in the economic process
  4. Production line maintenance services, i.e. external maintenance.
  5. Support services for accounting and HR and payroll services, so that regardless of the size of the company, the costs of supporting organic growth are easily quantified and predictable.
  6. Physical communication supervision services: means of transport rental services and their control and maintenance
  7. Maintaining constant control over fixed assets in dispersed organizations.
  8. Ensuring constant passive and active supervision over the facilities in which we conduct our business.
  9. Services supporting the cohesion of the organization through employee integration activities
  10. Legal service
  11. Storage and electronic archiving services for accounting documents and more

Of course, there are as many companies in Poland as there are fingers in one hand of a lumberjack, but they are also thanks to this approach, that is: "One Face Outsourcing", developing in the regime of the exponential function.

All these areas should be managed in the concept of one administrative panel, and their inclusion should take place based on a single e-commerce system, which should operate on the principles well known to us from the portals of telecommunications operators.

Based on the above information, we are on the eve of the revolution of replacing the old SLA with BLA (Business Level Agreement), where the entire distribution channel will be separated along with technologies, and the quality of IT services will be determined.

The result of this approach will be to shift workers from "production" tasks to "control-communication" tasks. The team will start to cooperate even more closely with each other in terms of business problems and not IT problems, so its morale is automatically growing. One can risk a statement that among the team of employees there is natural hygiene of work organization, i.e. focus on achieving a business goal. This is very often associated with a salary increase.

The evolution of this state will be the emergence of employees (in an organization) operating at the interface between IT and business, such as data processing analysis, parameterization of environments, and optimization for certain business applications. This knowledge will not be widely available, because even the same business applications in different environments for different customers may work differently.

To sum up, I believe that the only and natural development direction for many companies today is a complete and integrated system of outsourcing services provided by powerful organizations that can provide "One Face Outsourcing". The only danger is that we don't have many alternatives in our home market. However, I am convinced that the coming years will bring us a new type of operators who will integrate this type of wide range of services provided on our market by the Impel Group SA


Adam Piętera - Sales and Marketing Director

He gained professional experience in leading companies in the ERP market. He cooperated with, among others, T-Systems Polska or QAD Poland Sp. z o. o. Author of many publications on the sale and implementation of ERP and CRM systems. His articles have been published, among others in magazines: "Manager", "Modern Marketing" and "Accounting Monitor".