Some four in 10 large companies outsource short-term projects, largely due to scarce IT labour, but also because of budget and management concerns, according to a survey released last week.
Cutter Consortium, the information technology market research firm that is conducting the ongoing survey, said 40 per cent of the 154 responses have reported outsourcing special projects.
Cutter defined special projects as those that are relatively short term and don't require ongoing maintenance.
Analysts said Y2K and e-commerce projects are among the most common special projects outsourced. Most survey respondents were large companies, with an average of $US3.2 billion in annual revenue.
Cutter senior analyst Sheila Green said companies outsource projects when they need expertise in particular skills -- such as figuring a distributing computing architecture -- or getting a project up and running quickly. That's often the case for many e-commerce projects. Green said she wasn't surprised by the survey results. "Companies need more contract personnel as the complexity of their work increases," she said.
Amy Ryberg, president of Ingredients.com, on online supplier of skin and bath care products in New York, outsourced a special project: developing its Web site. It had a short window to launch its Web site -- between June when it received its first round of financing and the busy holiday season. The site went live on October 28.
Albert Nekimken, a senior analyst at Input, another IT research firm, said companies choose to outsource special projects because if "they use their own people, then daily management gets neglected".
According to Input, by next year roughly 75 per cent of companies are expected to employ some type of IT outsourcing to remain competitive or add to the resources and skills in their existing IT departments.