A new 2014 State of Outsourcing study by HfS Research in conjunction with KPMG, has found that nearly a quarter of IT outsourcing customers will look to fire their providers if they haven’t helped them standardise, automate, or transform their processes within the next two years. Whilst the biggest reason for outsourcing is cost reduction, research like this is showing that when outsourcers fail to meet the requirements of the business and cannot provide flexibility, this is causing enterprise to look to get out of current deals, and search for something beyond the traditional outsourcers.We recently commissioned the Tech Deficit report to assess how internal IT departments across Europe are supporting the requirements of their business. It found that many organisations are discovering a gap between the services the IT department is capable of supporting and the services which customers and staff are demanding from the business.Meeting the challenge of this deficit isn’t about giving it to someone else in the hope of saving money – the report from HfS Research and KPMG shows that traditional outsourcing is also being judged as failing to help organisations achieve their business goals. Organisations want to strike the right balance between increasing profitability and responding to changing customer needs. However, the challenge lies in meeting daily operational demands, yet also adapting to future business needs – especially whilst many IT departments are restricted by limited resources and fixed budgets.Part of the solution lies in service-based delivery. This is set to shape how enterprises think, and I think as a result there will be a move away from just buying technology, towards embracing a service-based model. This in turn will enable businesses to become more responsive, through IT infrastructure that is capable of adapting to change. Business goals change so we need underlying technology that can also adapt. Take for example, cloud solutions for big data, collaboration and customer relationship management. These can be a real competitive advantage, and this intelligent technology reduces the reliance on rigid hardware, as well as facilitating newer solutions like remote working and file sharing. Service based-delivery in this new digital economy paves the way for businesses to service customers that increasingly expect quick responses to changing demands, as well as helping to support a more agile and collaborative workforce. It’s up to you to act now by making strong decisions around infrastructure solutions which are aligned to your business goals.