INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: OUTSOURCING

5-D
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: OUTSOURCING
Problem Identification:
Limited IT staffing, coupled with rapidly emerging developments in the IT field impair the City’s ability to respond quickly to new technology needs or to develop the internal capacities to manage new technologies.

Recommended Action:
Augment the City’s existing IT competencies with outsourcing services.

Classification:
Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
Citywide

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Not Determined

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Projected Implementation:
Ongoing

Next Steps:
Benchmark/evaluate services currently provided to identify opportunities for outsourcing. Investigate existing service contracts to see if there are opportunities for consolidation or multiple contracts of existing agreements that can be used by additional departments.

Analysis:
With limited IT staff available, the City must focus its technology staff on core functions. Outsourcing is a method by which non-core functions can be offloaded to service providers. Outsourcing provides a mechanism for supplementing the IT workforce with skills which may not exist among the employee population or by freeing existing employees from routine tasks, allowing them to focus on work intrinsic to the City’s mission.

A particularly appropriate area for the City to investigate outsourcing opportunities is the maintenance and support of PC workstations. Currently, each department is devoting resources to this effort independently and some are even stocking parts inventories to do their own repair of PCs. By outsourcing the installation, maintenance, and support (PC help desk) of PCs, City employees could be made available to work on critical application backlogs and projects intrinsic to the City’s core functions. A Citywide support contract would eliminate the confusion of who to call, eliminate the need to stock PC parts (many of which become obsolete before they are ever used), and provide an overall higher level of service to PC users.

A second area where outsourcing could benefit the City is in the area of network management. 24-hour, 7-day per week coverage can be contracted, which would not only detect failures when they occur, but could often provide diagnosis of impending failures allowing fixes to be made before an actual failure occurs. Additionally, traffic and network load information can be gathered, allowing the city to anticipate bottlenecks and to plan for upgrades and expansion of service before network constraints affect applications and system availability.

Additional candidates for outsourcing include: PC hardware installation and support, network management and monitoring, training, data center operations, Internet hosting.