Difficult economic times tempt companies to make drastic cost cuts – but leaders should take care not to undermine their chances of long-term success in the process.

This is the word from Hashiem Bardien of IT infrastructure services and solutions company IT Naledi, who says: “In previous downturns we’ve seen a lot of companies outsource their entire IT infrastructure and management as an aggressive cost-cutting measure.
“But that can be dangerous. IT is now so entwined with internal business processes that if you outsource it all you can lose very important strategic insight.”
However, he says there are still advantages to outsourcing.
“Keeping and maintaining scarce IT skills is a real problem for many businesses; people move often. A specialist infrastructure outsourcing company has an advantage in being able to provide attractive career paths, a variety of experience and the chance to constantly upgrade skills. Tapping that pool of skills is the best reason to outsource the management of your IT infrastructure.”
Bardien believes companies benefit most when they retain strong internal skills to guide IT strategy, then outsource the implementation of that strategy. “An external partner can provide technology perspective to help guide your strategy, but the direction needs to be given internally.
“It’s important to choose a partner with the right kind of high-level corporate experience,” adds Bardien. “Enterprise environments have very specific needs, so your outsourcing partner must not only be flexible, they must also have enterprise knowledge and experience if they’re to offer the right kind of partnership to their clients.”