The outsourcing of IT and other services is now a common and established phenomenon. It can be viewed in many different ways, but certainly NOT as a route to passing on responsibility for service management or IT service management.The fact that the IT or other functions are performed by a third party organization does not mean that ultimate management responsibility changes. The method of management may vary, but responsibility will not. In many cases, the quality of the in-house management will actually be more critical in these scenarios.
ITIL and Outsourced ServicesIt could be argued that the fact that a function is delivered externally requires even more stringent and disciplined management structures than internal delivery. Certainly, there are a significant number of aspects that require close attention and for which the application of ITIL disciplines can bring substantial benefits.The application of ITIL is actually core in many of these areas. The different ITIL issues still need to be tackled, perhaps through slightly different methods: Problem Management, Change Management, Service Level Management, Continuity Management, etc. Are these and other disciplines, not central issues to an outsourcing arrangement? To the management of a service delivered by a third party?Of course they are!Certain ITIL disciplines will emerge as fundamental, such as Service Level Management. Others will be employed more actively during the outsourcing transition. However, the use of ITIL will certainly help ensure a more rigorous and robust arrangement, which ultimately should benefit both parties.
ITIL Based Outsourcing AidsA tool which is available that specifically uses the disciplines of ITIL to help organizations manage their initial and ongoing outsourcing arrangements. The IT Outsourcing Toolkit is actually a variant of the well known ITIL Toolkit, but includes components and documents to assist those undertaking an outsourcing operation.These include a pre-written service level agreement, a benchmarking audit kit, a service level requirements template, a blueprint outsourcing contract, a transition plan guide and various other ITIL and outsourcing related documents. ITIL, Outsourcing And SecurityAgain, security is an issue for which ultimate responsibility cannot be readily transferred. It must be managed. Within an outsourcing scenario, much of the emphasis will naturally shift towards agreements and contractual controls. Particular care should therefore be applied during project inception to ensure that these are not only in place, but are fully adequate and appropriate.