IT Outsourcing Has a Surprising History

IT Outsourcing Has a Surprising History

You might have only recently heard about outsourced IT services, but you might be surprised to hear that they have been around for far longer than you previously thought. Even before managed IT, however, business owners and individuals alike were using the outsourced services of others to simplify operations and day-to-day tasks related to their technology management.

Managed IT has its roots in the 1980s, when Eastman Kodak and IBM made plans to create a large data center for Kodak’s needs. IBM’s role in this endeavor was to design, build, and implement a data center specifically for Kodak. This is a significant moment in the history of IT outsourcing specifically because it’s one of the first times a company outsourced a project of this scale to an external provider. During the implementation of this project, Kodak transferred many of their staffers directly to IBM in hopes the industry would take notice and move in an entirely different direction.

Instead of keeping their services in-house at all costs, companies could now seek to find value in the service of other organizations. IBM became a major service provider for its time and ushered in an era never seen before in the business technology environment.

Eventually, application service providers called ASPs, were brought to the forefront in response to businesses’ evolving software and service needs. Examples of such software solutions include payroll software or timesheet-keeping solutions, while others include productivity suites such as Microsoft’s coveted word processing and spreadsheet solutions like Microsoft Word and Excel. Sometimes these services were offered through a download by the user, while other times they were accessed through an online interface. Regardless, the end result was the same--the business acquired a solution that solved a very specific need.

The need for professional technology assistance gave way to many organizations offering what are called managed IT solutions. This was due largely in part to the old break-fix IT being such an inconvenience for small businesses due to restrained budgets and a general inability to manage IT as effectively as can be. Oftentimes, companies would have their own employees perform IT responsibilities in an attempt to save some money. This could have unforeseen circumstances, including responsibilities not being performed adequately, forcing companies to undergo the same project multiple times (and losing money each time).

Managed IT solves these problems by providing a single point of contact for the various needs of your company. Cloud computing, network security, data backup and disaster recovery, you name it--if you can think it, it can be outsourced for your company’s IT infrastructure. To learn more about what a managed IT service provider like SMART Services can provide for your organization, reach out to us at 586 258-0650 .

Let Smart Services position your agency for tomorrow’s technological challenges. For more than 25 years, Smart Services has helped agencies across the U.S. face a changing environment by providing innovative technology solutions that allow agencies to focus on growing their business. MyAgency Cloud, our complete cloud solution, covers all your technology needs in the cloud or at your agency. In today’s competitive environment, it’s time to make your agency technology a strategic asset, instead of a liability. Let us show you how. To learn more, please call our expert agency technology advisor at 586-258-0650.




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