While reading Gartner's analysis of Kraft's $1.7 billion outsourcing deal to EDS, I was struck again by the importance of IT competitiveness in today's market place. The stereotype of sluggish IT can be broken if the organization promises to match the price and functionality of external bids for IT projects.
Such a process would provide CIOs with a baseline as to the department's performance and provide an incentive for the overall department to keep competitive. The process would also allow IT to prove its value to the rest of the business.
This strategy will also force hard decisions on IT. Should an investment be made in gaining internal telephony expertise? What sort of infrastructure acquisitions need to be made? Those issues and others will be closely directed by the ability to meet prospective RFIs. IT will need to listen closely to the business, understand its needs, anticipate the technologies required to address those needs and then invest accordingly.
At the same time, the business will learn of the challenges of IT. They will be forced to think about whether outsourcing will really deliver the customer care that they've come to expect from IT. This proces could alone lead to greater appreciation for the challenge in delivering complex computing services.
By outsourcing extraneous or commodity tasks, instilling competition within the organization, and educating the user population, IT should see customer satisfaction improve. What better guarantee can you get for job security?