Why are you outsourcing?

Outsourcing has moved a long way from its old one-size-fits-all origins. While the market leaders, such as IBM Global Services...

Outsourcing has moved a long way from its old one-size-fits-all origins. While the market leaders, such as IBM Global Services and EDS still chase the multimillion-pound mega deals, the market has matured with both industry giants and newer suppliers offering a number of innovative outsourcing models for users.

Our feature on page 48 highlights three new options available to organisations seeking cost-effective alternatives to in-house provision - selective outsourcing, strategic outsourcing and on-demand computing.

These new models can challenge your organisation's established commercial and cultural view of allowing an outside supplier to run parts of your IT function.

IT chiefs considering outsourcing may be tempted to go to established market leaders, but outsourcing is a rapidly changing market and it could be worth looking further afield, where new suppliers may offer both innovation and specialisation.

The growth of these new models and the emergence of alternative suppliers puts an increasing onus on IT directors and board members to thoroughly research the market and potential suppliers.

Costs, benefits, risk and exit strategies all need to be evaluated, and many organisations will find independent advice invaluable in guiding their decision making.

Make sure RFID is on your IT roadmap

The news that Marks & Spencer is conducting the largest in-store trial of radio frequency identification tags in the UK could signal the commercial coming of age of a technology that has been threatening to hit the mainstream for several years.

Stores such as Tesco and Woolworths have previously tested RFID technology for small items, but M&S is implementing "intelligent labels" across a wide range of clothing.

The backing of M&S in the UK follows the insistence of US retail giant Wal-Mart that its 100 biggest suppliers must be using RFID by 2005.

The technology is clearly here to stay and IT professionals working in the retail and manufacturing sectors can no longer afford to ignore it. Be prepared to work RFID into your technology roadmap if you have not done so already.

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