In the current (Winter 2005) issue of Microsoft's Executive Circle magazine, there's an interesting "Open Forum" piece about what not to outsource.
- Ed Sefton, CIO of Commonwealth Financial Network won't outsource software development
- Dan Starta, Principal for A.T. Kearney, recommends only outsourcing functional areas that are mature—such as finance, HR, infrastructure, and so on— nothing that's associated with your firm's competitive advantage.
- John Parkinson, Chief Technologist for the Americas Region of Capgemini, says that firms can generally safely outsource data center, network operations, and help desk processes and consider additional areas such as printing and copying services, standard technology procurement, and support for operational apps and apps that you'r sunsetting. So what's left, he asks? "Setting and monitoring IT strategy—and keeping it aligned with changing business needs; maintaining and enhancing relationships with internal customers and working to anticipate needs; ensuring business continuity in the event of the unexpected; monitoring operational performance via service-level agreements; developing the potential of your staff; and acting as a source of innovation for the business."
- Chris Weber, General Manager of U.S. Server Marketing at Microsoft, is less specific, instead providing a checklist of questions you should ask yourself in the process of distinguishing between core and non-core processes (as candidates for outsourcing.)