back to article IT outsourcing: SLAs, patches – and how uptime funk's going to get to you

Outsourcing generally has a bad reputation, scarred by countless failed projects in the public and private sectors and with cost cutting, rather than improved sevice delivery, seeming to drive business decisions. It's big business: the global IT outsourcing market was worth $318.5bn (£232.5bn) in 2019, according to one report …

  1. Little Mouse Silver badge

    "the global IT outsourcing market brought in $318.5bn (£232.5bn) in 2019"

    According to the report linked, this figure was the size of the outsourcing market, not "added value" created by outsourcing.

    No money was "brought in" as such. It was just siphoned off elsehere.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't outsource

    It costs people jobs.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Don't outsource

      If it is done properly, it merely moves the jobs elsewhere and creates some new non-tech jobs.

      And should cost more than doing it in-house, unless you don't have sufficient work to occupy the person full-time.

  3. Blackjack Silver badge

    Cheaper and better don't go in the same sentence without a negative.

    At least half of the digital information blunders we see plastered all over the news could be avoided by investing more on IT instead of trying to save costs on just the one thing you really should not cut corners nowadays.

  4. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Not necessarily

    "A typical contract with the service provider will probably include the requirement to ensure that security patches are installed within a strict time limit after release."

    Particularly in the SME space (but I've encountered it elsewhere as well) an outsource contract may simply specify that the provider will do "everything necessary" in their own judgement to provide a secure service, and liability may well be expressly limited.

    It's a hard fact of outsourcing that in general individual customers are not unduly profitable. It's only en masse that money is made. So you may not always get what you pay for, but you certainly don't get what you don't pay for.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "it is far more economical to get in a third party with a bunch of bright, highly qualified engineers than it would be to employ your own"

    But this is hardly the case is it? What the PHB goes for is the cheapest he can get away with and then try to recoup money via the missed SLAs (that the MSP desperately tries to mitigate). That's assuming he stays long enough after getting his bonus to see it all fall to pieces, The MSP will, without exception, try and maximize the profit by assigning the cheapest resource they can get away with.

    And don't even get me started on patching and security. Its depressing seeing how many of these MSP contracts are signed with the PHB disguising the fact that most of their estate is pure junk the MSP can't patch because of some shitty in-house application someone wrote that won't run on newer operating systems!

    Its just a perverse game of risk management. How low can the price go where costs are reduced, the PHB gets his raise, the MSP gets a contract they can cream money off the top of, at a level of service shitty enough to be a problem to the business but not so much that they get shafted on the KPIs and SLAs.


    1. Medixstiff

      I used to work for the biggest outsourcer in Australia before moving on to my last employer.

      My new boss always fell for the sales speak, so we started going with him to meetings...which ticked off the vendors because all of a sudden we could shoot down what they said.

      We also eventually managed to get the boss to see, that they will always present their A-Team with the certs experience etc. but would send the B-Team or lower to site because it's all about cost cutting.

      Don't even get me started on the contracts and how we would pick those apart.

  6. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Outsourcing generally has a bad reputation

    From my experience, it deserves it. But I don't blame those companies necessarily: you've got what you pay for.

    The ones to blame are the ones who decide to outsource everything to the lowest bidder to save bucks, most of the time to the benefits of shareholders. Short term view leading to disaster.

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