By Tanya Levitsky
Emerging, “intelligent” technologies such as advanced analytics, machine learning (ML), and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) are enjoying a hype cycle. But they won’t yield the results you expect if your people can’t access them when they want, where they want, and how they want.
Worse, your investments in intelligent functionality could actually result in employee dissatisfaction, because people can’t use them to do their jobs most effectively.
The solution? IT outsourcing. Effective outsourcing can give you the IT governance, infrastructure, and management to support intelligent technologies – and to ensure better employee experiences. To make outsourcing work for you, follow these steps:
- Recognize your resource constraints.
Whether their infrastructures are located on-premises or in the cloud, many IT departments lack the skillsets to enable intelligent technologies. That can lead to undesired results.
Key among those negative outcomes is poor employee experiences. If the employees who want to use those technologies are constrained by outdated IT infrastructure and services, they won’t just be limited in their capabilities. They’ll also become dissatisfied and disengaged.
- Make a business case for outsourcing.
A big challenge for organizations that want to adopt intelligent technologies is lack of internal skills. And it’s not just skills around analytics, automation, and AI. It’s also the knowledge and experience to design, implement, maintain, and operate the right infrastructure. That includes everything from hybrid cloud environments to cybersecurity, from application modernization to open APIs.
Another key issue is scale. To enable intelligent technologies, you need to be able to ramp up your IT infrastructure and IT staff. That can involve significant time, upfront capital expenses, and ongoing operating costs.
- Outsource for intelligence.
Many organizations – and many IT service providers – think of IT outsourcing as a contract that covers taking over IT operations. That can potentially reduce costs, but it does little to achieve real value.
A better approach is to think of outsourcing as a partnership of two service providers. Your outsourcer provides value-adding services to the IT department. And in doing so, it enables your IT department to provide value-adding services to the rest of the enterprise.
A partnership mindset transforms outsourcing from a reactive, budget-driven tactic to a proactive, revenue-driven strategy. It frees your IT function to collaborate with your lines of business – for example, to leverage intelligent technologies to gain new insights and innovate new products and services.
- Outsource for employee experiences – and business results.
Any outsourcing relationship should lead to measurable results: key performance indicators monitored, service-level agreements met. But the most valuable outsourcing partnership also delivers positive outcomes that can’t be measured with traditional metrics but are no less tangible.
Those results could cover implementation of intelligent technologies as well as adoption rates among your user community. They could include an increase in new product innovations and faster time to market. But just as important, your IT outsourcing strategy should extend to better employee experiences.
Tanya Levitsky is senior director of Managed Transformation Services for Pivot.