As companies restructure and change strategies to cope with the economic downturn, chief information officers must accordingly modify IT outsourcing engagements, a complex process, according to Yankee Group.

“Businesses in general, due to the economy, are facing severe pressures, and so are turning more towards outsourcing in all of its flavours for help,” said Andy Efstathiou, a Yankee Group analyst, adding that spending in outsourcing is growing at an 11 per cent to 12 per cent rate compared with last year, and outpacing spending in other IT services such as systems integration and consulting. “The CIO’s job isn’t getting easier,” said Efstathiou. “The multiplicity of competing (IT outsourcing) offerings and increased business problems exponentially increases the probability of a mismatch between the offerings and the business problems.” These days, CIOs are engaging in two major types of outsourcing, he said. The first is the traditional outsourcing of IT tasks and infrastructure, whose main goal is to cut costs. The second is the more sophisticated and complex outsourcing of business processes, along with their respective IT underpinnings.

Microsoft releases Service Pack 2 for Office XP

Microsoft Corp. has released the second package of bug and security fixes for its Office XP application.

Typically, Microsoft Service Packs contain a collection of all the bug and security fixes made available on a separate basis since the product’s release. But the recent Office XP Service Pack 2 contains a new fix, which is being made available for the first time, to address a security issue relating to Office Web components. In addition to bug and security fixes, Service Pack 2 contains the latest product updates designed to improve the stability and performance of Office XP, according to Simon Marks, a product manager on Microsoft’s Office team. Marks said the maximum download of Service Pack 2 (SP-2) is 15MB. Users can download SP-2 from Microsoft’s Web site or order a free CD and pay for the shipping charges.