Almost half of UK companies (46%) outsource parts of their IT department, according to a study by market research firm Vanson Bourne.
The findings, from a survey of 100 UK IT directors, show that outsourcing is fast becoming the standard way for firms to run IT.
Companies, however, are becoming more selective over which parts of their IT they outsource, the survey found. The main reasons IT directors choose not to hand over services were concerns about entering into a long-term contract and the perception that outsourcing services are unreliable.
Those that outsource their entire IT departments are still a small minority with just 11% saying they had done so.
Selective outsourcing is the hottest trend in the market. One in five companies (21%) outsourced the running of specific business applications, while one in seven (14%) outsourced the running of their network infrastructures.
The survey results challenge the belief that outsourcing is the preserve of large, multinational corporations. Larger companies are more likely to outsource.
More than half (54%) of companies with turnovers of £250m or more said they outsourced the running of all or part of their IT infrastructure.
However, the number of smaller companies outsourcing was also high. Just less than half (48%) of companies with turnovers of between £50m and £250m said they outsourced the running of all or part of their IT infrastructure.
The research was commissioned by Bluestar Solutions, the outsourcing services provider.
Outsourcing - directors' concerns
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- The perception that outsourcing services are unreliable (31% of respondents) and fears over signing a long-term contract (29%) were the main reasons why directors choose not to outsource
- Concerns about committing to a long-term contract (43%) was the most important factor among directors in smaller companies with a turnover of between £50m and £250m
- Concern about reliability was the main outsourcing turn-off for directors in large companies
- One third of companies with turnovers of £250m or more saw reliability as the biggest problem with outsourcers.