The customer comes first. CIOs looking to outsource parts of their IT provision are increasingly using best practice frameworks such as IT Service Management (ITSM) according to a survey of 370 CIOs.

Dimension Data, which carried out the survey of global CIOs, believes the increasing adoption of ITSM and the standards within Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) demonstrate that outsourcing has become a more strategic decision. ITSM is known for being a standard that is closely aligned with the customer’s needs.

Organisations surveyed reported that they were facing increasing pressure from clients to ensure that outsourced service providers are delivering a better quality service with improved reliability. Increasing regulation also means outsource procurement requires a more strategic approach.

The survey found that a fifth of CIOs would like to abandon the internal management of IT service continuity and IT change management and hand these responsibilities over to either a fully or partially managed service.

Dimension Data surveyed CIOs in 14 different countries in five continents to gauge attitudes towards outsourcing. “Our survey indicates a widespread desire to reduce reliance on internal IT management,” said Scott Petty, services executive at Dimension Data. “CIOs seem to be in favour of diversification of sourcing and management modes.” He describes the new approach as an “inclusive approach to sourcing combines the traditional mode of internal management with fully managed solutions and partially managed”.

If organisations are to outsource more of their IT, Dimension Data said they will need equip themselves with the skills required to manage relationships that are complex and can involve a number of different suppliers.

This will become especially important as the number of outsourcing deals a CIO will be responsible for increases. The company, which was formed in South Africa, believes ITSM can help and Petty said more organisations are adopting it. “There are several frameworks and best practices that strive to provide a common language to drive quality and efficiency, and they are being successfully implemented by increasing numbers of companies wanting to implement high-quality IT services,” he said. He said ITSM promotes a service-oriented approach to managing IT and assists in managing supplier relationships, especially in the complex multiple supplier environment.

Over two-thirds of the CIOs that were surveyed said they were “engaging with ITIL” and rated it highly for applicability, clarity and relevance. Petty said, “it brings discipline and a structured approach to IT Service Delivery. ITIL is an ideal tool for companies wanting to improve outsourcing relationships.”