The decision to outsource their IT is rarely an easy one for companies, particularly when large challenging transformations are at stake. Does the outsourcing partner understand our company and our processes? Are its services a good fit? Can its teams work together with ours? How is the knowledge transfer structured? All of these questions make it clear: above and beyond technical expertise and specific solutions, management can underestimate the soft factors involved with IT outsourcing at its peril.
Whether companies are moving to the cloud for the first time or planning second-generation outsourcing: T-Systems has been taking Fortune 500 and DAX companies to the cloud successfully for over a decade – at all levels, from infrastructure to applications and devices and in every industry sector. These have included automotive groups such as Daimler, BMW and VW, energy corporations such as Shell and BP and equipment manufacturers like ThyssenKrupp. T-Systems' transformation teams draw on a global pool of experienced staff, from top management to 2,000 transformation managers. The largest current cloud transformation project – involving 80,000 workplaces and 9,000 servers in more than 100 countries – has more than 100 T-Systems experts working in shifts around the clock.
Heineken CIO Anne Teague speaks with Dr. Ferri Abolhassan, Director of the IT Division at T-Systems.
"T-Systems’ local presence and neutral cloud consulting skills are unique in the market. Customers also benefit from the provider's optimum end-to-end, one-stop shop operations." Experton Market Insight, Cloud Vendor Benchmark 2015, Germany
Digital transformation: why IT outsourcing is a sensible alternative to in-house IT
"A sensible digital transformation includes 'the entire company'," states a recent study by the University of Hamburg. IT outsourcing can provide excellent support for this process.
The reasoning behind this is that digitization is not about replacing solution X with system Y or partially automating analog processes. Instead, entire business models and even business concepts are subjected to a critical examination. In some cases, such as in the music industry, entire value-added models can disappear from the market, which are then replaced by new digitized players.
First-class IT outsourcing provides agility and flexibility
At the same time, CIOs are recognizing that change processes of this magnitude are increasingly difficult to tackle internally, without IT outsourcing partners. After all, entire processes may have to be digitized in a very short time frame. Technical complexity aside, this means core processes have to be digitized during the day to day life of the business.
The bottom line: the right IT outsourcing partner must have proven itself capable of reducing the level of complexity during the digitization process and must also show itself to be an especially trusted partner who stands for maximum service quality and the highest level of security expertise.
Success factors for your outsourcing project
Eight typical decision-making criteria that CIOs must consider:
Despite the ever-increasing cost pressures, the CIO is still expected to implement the necessary changes on time. Moreover, automation and standardization of the IT generate added value for the company's business requirements.
When it comes to IT outsourcing contracts, which are often worth 100 million euros or more, companies need more than just good chemistry. Trust in the capabilities and reliability of the IT outsourcing provider is therefore of paramount importance.
Whether a transformation of large IT landscapes, the migration of thousands of IT workplaces into the secure cloud or even the global IT outsourcing of data center capacities – companies need a partner that has the skills and expertise required for the implementation of large complex projects.
According to a Bitkom estimate, 350,000 new variants of malware appear each day and increasingly professional hackers represent a growing threat. Security incidents can be hugely detrimental to companies and institutions causing significant costs in the aftermath of an attack.
When deciding to outsource IT services, companies prefer service providers who have the capacity to be available quickly, as a sourcing study by IDG confirmed. Customer focus also means close collaboration of the outsourcing partner and its focus on the company's mission-critical factors.
IT outsourcing providers have to continually analyze new technologies – or develop, assess and implement them in-house – in order to differentiate themselves from the competition and to generate clear value. Innovation doesn't stop with increased energy efficiency or reduced operating costs, however.
Digitization is not possible without highly qualified experts – but how can companies be expected to digitize their business models when their IT staff are tied down with operating the conventional IT? The shortage of experts in the ICT sector makes it more difficult to set up an in-house "digital unit".
With regards to the increasing digitization of processes and entire business models, quality in particular makes a significant difference in IT. To ensure maximum reliability, T-Systems pursues a zero-fault strategy with its Zero Outage program.