It has become increasingly difficult to hire and keep warm bodies, not to mention competent IT personnel. With this in mind, outsourcing ceases to be an option and becomes a necessity. Web hosting, application service providers, and integrating legacy and ERP systems are just three examples of when outsourcing is the rule rather than the exception. Winning the Outsourcing Game: Making the Best Deals and Making Them Work provides the background and a framework to help you develop a sound outsourcing strategy, choose functions to outsource, and effectively manage the risks of using third-party contractors to carry out your company's IT functions.Typical reasons for outsourcing go beyond simple contingent staffing. Outsourcing is about partnerships between providers and clients. For the partnership to work, the provider must know the business of the client as well as the technologies being outsourced. You need people with specialized knowledge or skills-both technical and industry specific-in leading-edge technologies that are not yet widely deployed. Outsourcing vendors serve as wholesalers of highly specialized talent. They are able to maintain economies of scale without regard to specialization. By deploying these highly skilled specialists to multiple clients, outsourcing providers can justify the enormous expenditures necessary to develop people with specialized skills.In order to fully employ outsourcing, IT managers must be skilled in such diverse areas as project management, systems analysis and design, contracting, and strategic management. Winning the Outsourcing Game provides a system for understanding these topics and utilizing them to optimize outsourcing relationships. It enables IT managers to develop a sound outsourcing strategy, choose the IT functions to outsource, and effectively manage the risks of using third-party contractors to carry out their company's IT functions.At some point, every IT manager outsources something. Empire building notwithstanding, everything from programming or system upgrades to entire business applications are outsourced. You outsource the work to get the task done; you cannot outsource the responsibility to make sure the task gets done correctly. The difference between success and failure depends on cutting the right deal and making it work. Winning the Outsourcing Game: Making the Best Deals and Making Them Work covers everything you need to know to make successful outsourcing decisions.