It’s been the best of times or the worst of times, depending on which industry you’re in. Some sectors — online grocery and food delivery services, consumer packaged goods (CPG), logistics, e-commerce — have experienced significant growth. Others — hospitality, travel, live sports, brick-and-mortar retail — have had significant challenges.

Those industries that have done well in the last few months now want to create more efficient operations and use the savings they’ll reap to reinvest in their businesses. Those that have taken a hit are focused on cutting costs to survive.

Whatever group you’re in, you can reach your goal with greater agility and speed by working more closely with your IT outsourcing (ITO) service provider. Outsourcing is about cost-savings and about using technology to transform by automating and streamlining systems and processes, de-duplicating data and optimising resource utilisation. Strengthening your relationship with your outsourcing partner can provide a better way for you to use technology as a cost and competitive advantage, supporting infrastructure modernisation, operations modernisation and application/system/process modernisation.

Know what you need

Businesses don’t need to outsource their entire tech portfolio. Before you make any decisions about ITO, determine if there are pain points that may keep you from meeting your cost-savings objectives or increasing operational effectiveness so that you are prepared for the “new normal” of business.

Below are five possible areas to review to see if your organisation will benefit from working with an ITO provider.

  1. Application rationalisation. Take a close look at the applications currently in use. Are they all necessary? Which can be replaced, retired or consolidated? Consolidating apps reduces complexity and redundancy and lowers cost of ownership, but there may be hundreds of them in your application portfolio. Can you handle that job in-house?
  2. Data centre consolidation. This is one of the most important components of modernisation — and one of the ways to gain the most benefit, too, promising reductions in operating costs and introducing new and more powerful equipment into your environment. It’s an enormous undertaking, though. Do you want to go it alone?
  3. XaaS. Is your organization taking advantage of software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or desktop as a service (DaaS) solutions for applications and data, for storage, backup, network installations and workplace management? Are you equipped to move to one or more of these platforms as quickly and efficiently as possible? If you don’t make the transition, are you missing opportunities to cut costs and build continuity?
  4. Security. Increasingly complex networks, continuous deployment and integration practices, and new types of endpoints all pose security challenges. So does the cybersecurity skills shortage — 65% of organisations say they have a shortage of cybersecurity staff,  according to an (ISC)2 survey. If you’re operating under these conditions, are you finding it difficult to maintain end-to-end security of applications, data and infrastructure, access management and monitoring and modern identity?
  5. Automation. Intelligent automation underpins successful modernisation efforts, especially for application management and IT delivery operations, and enables DevSecOps. But you need to build up a strong foundation, including artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics. Can an ITO provider streamline your efforts to take a data-driven approach to automation?

This is an optimal time to revisit how you can get more out of your relationship with your ITO partner, whether you are focused on dramatic cost savings or want to take full advantage of this unexpected opportunity to create a more dynamic, modern IT environment.