Applications outsourcing (AO): Contracting with outside providers to deploy, upgrade, and manage customized or packaged software.
Applications service provider (ASP): An outside provider of infrastructure and services that hosts primarily packaged applications.
Business process outsourcing (BPO): Leveraging technology or specialized process vendors to manage and supply an organization's critical and noncritical enterprise applications and business processes. Common examples of BPO are call centers, payroll outsourcing, and human resources outsourcing.
Information technology outsourcing (ITO): Contracting with outside providers to supply IT services. The client typically retains ownership of the IT strategy while the provider assumes responsibility for the day-to-day supervision and management of the resources required to deliver services in support of the IT strategy.
Infrastructure outsourcing: Contracting with outside providers to plan, maintain, and support an organization's technology infrastructure needs. IT infrastructure outsourcing services can include managing local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs); enabling internet access and internet services (e-mail, Web sites, etc.); providing hardware and software such as servers, workstations, productivity software, and specialized software; and providing user services.
In-house: Producing a service or commodity, such as IT management, by using an organization's own staff or resources.
Information technology infrastructure library (ITIL): A framework of best practice techniques to facilitate the delivery of high-quality information technology services. ITIL outlines an exhaustive set of management procedures to support organizations in achieving both value and quality in IT operations.
Offshore outsourcing: Hiring an external organization to perform business functions in a country other than the one where the service or product will be consumed or sold.
On demand: An enterprise infrastructure, software, and services delivery model in which a variety of IT resources are made available to the user as needed. The resources may be maintained within the user's enterprise or made available by a service provider.
Software as a service (SaaS): A software delivery model in which a software firm provides daily technical operation, maintenance, and support for the software provided to their client.
Ann C. Logue is based in Chicago and has written for Barron's, the New York Times, and Compliance Week, among other publications.