Trends Report

Enterprise IT Outsourcing Models

Large Enterprise IT Outsourcing Programs Follow Consistent Patterns

April 2nd, 2007
With contributors:
Pascal Matzke , Caroline Roeleveld-Hoekendijk , Andrew Parker , Paul Roehrig, Ph.D. , Onica King


IT outsourcing decisions seldom result from an enterprise-level vision but rather from opportunistic corporate behavior. To make better and more strategic decisions, service buyers need reference points, like systematic outsourcing models. After years of observing the outsourcing market, Forrester has identified six basic outsourcing models. These "IT outsourcing maps" will fit almost all substantial outsourcing situations. They include: global outsourcing, infrastructure outsourcing, vertical outsourcing, best-of-breed selective outsourcing, combined infrastructure and vertical applications, and horizontal outsourcing. Of course, not all models apply to any one situation. Forrester anticipates that companies will increasingly need a systematic approach to analyze their position, select one of the six basic models, and build/execute a structured outsourcing plan.

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