Gartner Research

Best Practices in Outsourcing End-User Computing in Europe

Published: 15 October 1998

ID: G0073373

Analyst(s): Stacey Hawkins, Jonathan Green-Armytage


Outsourcing is growing fast in Europe. GartnerGroup's Dataquest estimates that total organization spending on outsourcing services will experience a 20 percent cumulative average growth rate from 1997 to 2002. Spending for data-center (server/host) outsourcing will grow at a 17 percent compound annual growth rate and network (data and voice connectivity) outsourcing will grow at 18 percent. End-user computing (EUC), or desktop outsourcing, will grow fastest in the period at 32 percent. Desktop services will increase their share of the total European outsourcing market from 14 percent in 1997 to 23 percent by 2002 (see Figure 1). Given the desktop environment, the growth of EUC outsourcing is not surprising. Organizations frequently tell us that their EUC environment has become unmanageable without external help. The end-user environment is near chaos. Technology standards are ignored by end users and business units. Equipment inventories are incomplete and inaccurate. Skilled IT staff are in short supply, expensive and quick to leave the company for higher-paying positions. Resources are more than 100 percent occupied with emergencies, leaving little time for forward planning. This report examines why enterprises outsource EUC and identifies which functions they commonly outsource. Enterprises continue to make problems for themselves: they do not define desktop services properly and they do not assign responsibility for the service to one manager. Also identified are the different types of external service providers in this marketplace. Special attention is given to resellers due to their sheer numbers in Europe and their steady encroachment into higher-value services. Finally, this report identifies the common problems that occur in EUC outsourcing and discusses how they can be avoided by following best practices in constructing proposals, contracts and service-level agreements.

Table Of Contents
  • Management Summary
  • Why Enterprises Are Considering Outsourcing for End-User Computing
    • Control Costs or Make Fixed Costs More Variable
    • Improve Service Levels
    • Standardize the Desktop and EUC
    • Enhance Asset Management
    • Manage Technical Change
    • Augment Internal Staff
  • Analyze Desktop Activities
    • Acquisition
    • Asset Management
    • Maintenance
    • Deployment
    • Help Desk
    • Training
  • Suppliers of Desktop Outsourcing Services in Europe
  • Understanding Resellers as New Entrants in the EUC Outsourcing Market
    • Financial Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Dissecting the Price of an Outsourcing Deal
  • Preparing for Probable Problems
    • Rigidity in Face of Uncertainty
    • Workload is Higher Than Anticipated
    • Vendor's Inability to Deliver Services at the Agreed Price
    • Undefined Performance Measurements
    • How to Avoid Problems With End-User Outsourcing Deals
  • The Request for Proposal Process
    • Example of an RFP for Help Desk Services
  • Service-Level Agreements for EUC Outsourcing
  • Conclusions
  • Appendix: Acronym Key

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