Almost from the inception of information technology (IT), back in the dark ages when the function was called data processing, the use of contract staff has been a fact of life for many companies. These outside "consultants," as they are sometimes called, have consistently provided a variety of services, augmenting permanent staff. In the early days, contracting was the only method an IT manager had of obtaining additional manpower or specialized services. Over the past decade, however, a new word has entered the IT lexicon. "Outsourcing" has become a popular method of obtaining IT services.

Although there are similarities between the use of contractors and outsourcing firms, the two types of services have fundamental differences. This chapter defines the services, differentiates between them, and suggests the functions where each is most appropriately used.

Understanding Outsourcing

Understanding Outsourcing

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