'Outsourcing needs SLAs'

Not having clear service-level agreements is one reason why there is sometimes disappointment with outsourcing arrangements, says an IT consultant.

Not having clear service-level agreements is one reason why there is sometimes disappointment with outsourcing arrangements, says an IT consultant.

Bob Philipson, managing director of IT services consultancy ProActive, says organisations outsource to get more effective quality of service. Anecdotal evidence suggests some have been disappointed with what’s been delivered, he says.

“It’s got a lot to do with the fact that when those transactions take place, the level of service required hasn’t been understood and there’s been a poor understanding of the costs involved.”

Speaking to Computerworld after a New Zealand Computer Society breakfast meeting in Auckland last week, Philipson said IT staff also need to be more business-focused and the perception of IT departments as black holes into which money is poured needs to change.

ProActive has as its benchmark ITIL, the IT infrastructure library. ITIL is a set of books detailing best practice for IT management and its principles are recognised and used by companies such as IBM and EDS. EDS New Zealand is a user of ITIL. In Australia, AMP and the Defence Department make use of it, he says.

ITIL is the basis of BS 15000, the British standard for IT service management best practice.

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