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Digital Transformation, Staying In-house vs. Outsourcing to Niche Providers

The ever-evolving tides of today’s digital economy -- IoT, AI, big data 2.0 -- are redefining how enterprises interact and transact business with their clients, placing enterprise firms under more pressure than ever to deliver on digital transformation efforts. Siloed digital platforms, security vulnerabilities, lack of specialized talent, migration challenges, alongside changing compliance and regulatory requirements are chief among the litany of challenges that enterprises face. Another fundamental addition to the list: the decision to digitally transform in-house vs. deploying digital sourcing for technology mobilization projects. Despite ongoing pain points, updating legacy systems remains a must. What's the most efficient and cost-effective way to upgrade your old enterprise systems?

Leveraging your current assets

There are a wide array of options to undertake a digital transformation operation in-house. Ahead of full replacement or comprehensive migrations, firms may choose to prioritize reengineering. Business intelligence is one of your greatest assets and you want to be able to retain as much as possible when upgrading legacy systems. Choosing to stay in-house can mean an increased level of transparency and control -- the do-it-yourself approach will assemble your existing infrastructure and technology components, full-time staff, and/or undertake the staffing an entire DX team alongside new IT investment, either piecemeal or comprehensively. Creating custom platforms and/or reengineering existing systems can deliver on scalability, but enterprises will need the expertise to capitalize on their current assets and likewise be burdened with managing the ensuing hardware, software, DevOps, security, and ongoing staffing concerns to maintain new IT infrastructure and application performance. All in, having a full scope of your digital transformation efforts (including full transparency and control) through the in-house route will inevitably prove to be costly, time-consuming, and all-encompassing from management to compliance. Enterprises will also be tasked with breaking down departmental silos, aligning business and technology objectives, and ensuring adoption across employees, partner vendors, and clients.

Understanding your limitations

Technology shifts beget technology expertise. In large part, the changing IT landscape is refocusing IT investment on talent rather than overall cost. No matter how well-staffed and talented your enterprise firm is, competition for the latest and greatest technical talent is fierce. Critical digital resources -- i.e. new IT product managers, AI experts, big data engineers, advanced developers, UX/CX designers -- won’t likely be available in-house, and the processes involved in hiring and retaining talent are steep and sustained. Opting for short- or long-term contract deals with niche providers that are experts in a particular digital field is increasingly becoming the game plan for enterprises across verticals. Flexible, continuous delivery models leveraged through on-demand providers enable you to fill in your talent gaps when you need them and for however long you need them to power lower costs, faster time to market and easier maintenance.

No matter your approach, enterprises need to connect the dots through to truly align business objectives with new technology, prioritizing digitization targets and operations. Technology spending and digital-first strategizing has proliferated, and there are no signs of abatement. Talk to us about what service model works best for you.

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