IT outsourcing – definition and types

Many companies outsource their IT department to focus on the key aspects of business management and rely on the support of experts in infrastructure maintenance. Learn more about this concept and the main strategies of service outsourcing in the technology sector.

Definition of IT outsourcing

IT outsourcing is a model in which a supplier assumes some or all IT services of a customer. It may include the provision of technological and human resources as well as IT service management (ITSM) processes.

When outsourcing IT services, customers have benefits such as:

  • focus on the core business objective;
  • support from specialized professionals with broad market knowledge;
  • cost reduction, considering that an in-house team and infrastructure are not required;
  • reduced complexity of internal operations.


Types of IT outsourcing

Basically, there are three possible strategies for companies that want to outsource their IT services. Managers should determine which one is the most cost-effective strategy:

1. Offshore

In offshore outsourcing, companies transfer the tasks of infrastructure maintenance, software development, information security, and support to suppliers located in other countries. Regions where the cost of labor is lower, such as China, Russia, and India, become more attractive during periods of economic instability.

2. Nearshore

The nearshore model also prioritizes suppliers in other countries, but concentrates service outsourcing in closer regions. It avoids common issues in outsourcing, such as cultural, language, and time zone differences.

2. Onshore

In onshore outsourcing, the IT services are outsourced to companies in the same country. The cost may be a little higher when compared to other models, but it offers easy integration, fast support, and both companies operate according to the same legislation.


The different IT outsourcing models provide more flexibility when adapting organizations to the business environment in which they operate. The selection of suppliers can be decisive for the success of the operation in specific conditions of the market.


But process efficiency also depends on robust processes and specialized management tools. See how to implement the best practices in incident management in your company. 


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