Desktop services outsourcing to grow, IDC says

Desktop services outsourcing to grow, IDC says

Outsourcing of desktop management services will grow to $US17.3 billion by 2002, topped by strong outsourcing growth in less developed regions, according to recent studies by market researcher International Data Corp (IDC).

The predictions on outsourcing desktop services, which IDC defined as a range of services from support of hardware and software to the IS help desk, were culled from multiple IDC surveys and interviews conducted with end-user organizations as well as providers of the services, according to Doug Chandler, senior analyst at IDC.

The growth of outsourcing desktop services will be fastest in parts of Asia-Pacific, with projected growth of 26.2 per cent, and Latin America, with projected growth of 22.3 per cent, between 1997-2002, according to Chandler. By contrast, in the US the growth of outsourcing desktop services is expected to be 19.5 per cent for that period, he said.

Companies in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America likely will experience the fastest growth because, unlike many US companies with mainframes, PCs are the first form of office automation they have had, Chandler said. "Those parts of the world and those companies are more immediately available for an outsourcing deal" than companies which have data and investments tied up in mainframes, he said.

Desktop outsourcing will also flourish in businesses with lots of customer transactions, such as banking and insurance, according to Chandler. There, outsourcing desktop service functions is seen as a way to free up IS staff to tackle pressing challenges such as the year 2000 issue and the conversion to the euro, Chandler said.

"IS departments are really strapped in general . . . and that's one reason why companies are looking to outsource this very time-intensive management of desktop environments," Chandler said. Companies want their internal IS staff to focus on "more strategic (projects) than desktop management", he said.

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