IT IS difficult to clearly discern current trends in outsourcing in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector since in some areas Slovakia lags behind other countries of the world but in others the country is at the forefront.
“The reality is that for the last five years only a very low number of really ‘big’ outsourcing contracts were clinched,” Gustáv Budinský, the executive manager of the IT Association of Slovakia (ITAS), told The Slovak Spectator, adding that the crisis was partly behind this but the maturity of the ICT market was a more significant factor.
ICT providers in Slovakia currently offer all the services involved in IT infrastructure outsourcing or IT application outsourcing, Budinský said, noting that the only exception here is the outsourcing of business processes – a step which is happening almost exclusively among foreign projects in Slovakia.
Budinský said that, so far, simpler kinds outsourcing, such as outsourcing IT infrastructure or IT applications, has prevailed here while other parts of the world have a much broader definition for the term outsourcing. Budinský said this is somewhat paradoxical in that at least two companies in Slovakia use so-called complex outsourcing that is commonly used in other parts of the world but “you will find outsourcing with a similar scope in neighbouring countries only with difficulty”.
Budinský thinks outsourcing is a tool that can help local companies “re-start after the crisis” and hopes to see more outsourcing in Slovakia in the near future. He particularly views the financial and telecommunication sectors as areas where outsourcing can grow here and added that his association “believes that within some time somebody will be brave enough to also enter outsourcing of business processes”.
ITAS views cloud computing as a welcome extension of outsourcing rather than as an alternative to outsourcing, Budinský said, adding that it provides thus-far unseen capacity opportunities for businesses and other clients.
Budinský does not view reduction of costs as the only positive outcome of outsourcing, stating that when outsourcing works well, apart from a lower price, it brings a more flexible relationship between costs and scope of service, meaning that costs are not fixed and can flexibly change with demand and that costs do not grow linearly when service volume increases.
“We also should not forget one of the most important features of outsourcing and that is the reduction of risk,” Budinský added.
9. May 2011 at 0:00 | Jana Liptáková