Outsourcing Services: Critical IssuesThis IDC study provides an overview of IDC's IT Executive Program (IEP) Outsourcing Services practice. It describes how effective outsourcing assists business and IT leaders in managing external service providers. IDC defines outsourcing as a management practice that proactively engages external providers of services that replace the in-house provision of the same services at a lower cost with more efficient delivery. Increasingly, buyers expect outsource providers to deliver competitive innovation and flexibility above and beyond the efficient delivery of services.IDC's Outsourcing Services practice provides frameworks, guidance, and leading practices for buyers to achieve best value from outsourcing IT and business processes. The study identifies four foundational outsourcing issues (governance, security, skills, and asset management) and three emerging issues (service innovation, digital transformation, and changing global market) that buyers must understand and embrace for successful outsourcing activities. IDC's IEP research program will address these seven critical outsourcing issues over the next 24–36 months."All organizations with the need to conduct ongoing and significant outsourcing must master the fundamental concepts described in this document," says Ron Babin, adjunct analyst with IDC's Research Network. "The fundamental concepts will evolve as organizations adopt these and develop their own unique capabilities. Emerging concepts must be continually monitored to ensure that changes in outsourcing do not diminish the value that an organization receives and to understand how the buying organization can alter its outsourcing model to take advantage of new capabilities in the marketplace."