European IT managers are a year behind their US counterparts in accepting outsourcing as an effective business practice, even though 68 per cent of European companies recognise the benefits.
The UK is perceived as the European market leader in systems and operations outsourcing, but it is also the most averse to the service, according to a recent survey of 300 European IT executives by Dataquest.
Suppliers are beginning to win network outsourcing contracts in France, Italy and Germany, while UK firms prefer to hand over their data centre operations to suppliers.
Responses from French executives found the term ?outsourcing? to imply more traditional service contracting.
The French IT services market is the largest and most mature in Europe. However, in systems management outsourcing, the strongest trend has been towards contracts for application management and third-party software maintenance.
According to Ben Pring, senior industry analyst at Dataquest, UK firms began to outsource their IT operations before their European counterparts because they were the initial target for large US services companies.
Although smaller national service providers were able to grow around Europe, they are beginning to feel the pinch from US top guns now entering the market, said Pring.
Roger Fulton, principal analyst at Dataquest?s outsourcing service, said: ?Outsourcing of IT management is the most significant growth sector of the IT service market in Europe.?
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