Outsource When Possible

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-11-06 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Identifying core processes and centralizing tech decision-making are among the keys to success.

3. OUTSOURCE Getting outside firms to handle routine I.T. matters—the help desk is one example; commodity infrastructure is another—can be a great idea. It's a mistake, though, for midsize companies to entrust mission-critical I.T. work to outsiders. For one thing, firms in a position to provide affordable I.T. contract services to midsize companies may not have the skills to do complicated custom work. And sometimes their deficiencies aren't obvious until a project's completion date is frighteningly near.

There are exceptions to this rule about not giving key assignments to third parties. The customer relationship management system at Churchill Downs is a core application, providing information that helps management get racetrack customers to wager more. Yet the Web-based system the company uses, Epiphany, runs off complex application servers, and the e-mail campaigns it enables often require JavaScript development. Rollins' 28-person staff was not used to dealing with these technologies, so he handed off the Epiphany implementation to Knowledge Tranzfer, a Dallas-based consulting firm. "We still have employees on staff that drive where we go with this application," Rollins says. He adds that while he'd like his team "to eventually manage more of the system," he's not rushing things.

Next page: Adopt New Technologies



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