IT organizations are committing to outsourcing this year at the highest rate since the Great Recession, according to a new study from IT research firm Computer Economics.

While organizations aren’t broadly increasing the number of functions they choose to outsource, they’re increasing the amount of work they offload to outside service providers.

The percentage of total IT budgets being spent on outsourcing has increased from 10.6 percent in 2016 to 11.9 percent in 2017, the report said. That represents a major increase, as organizations have spent between 10.2 percent and 10.6 percent of their IT budgets on outsourcing for the previous four years.

“Not surprisingly, IT security was the fastest growing function being outsourced,” said David Wagner, vice president of research for Computer Economics. “The variety of threats and the danger they pose increase yearly.”

Finding and maintaining the right skills to meet these threats can be a challenge, Wagner said. Turning to experts to supplement internal IT security skills is a smart choice for most organizations, he said.

Other areas growing quickly include disaster recovery and network operations. Like cybersecurity, these are important areas and require specialized skills that are not necessarily core to the business, Wagner said.

Outsourcing is becoming more attractive to all organizations, the study said, but large organizations are growing IT outsourcing budgets the fastest. At the median, large organizations have increased the percentage of their IT budgets spent on outsourcing from 6.3 percent to 8.7 percent.

Small organizations are now spending 7.8 percent of their IT budget on outsourcing at the median this year, compared with 6.7 percent last year. Midsize companies have increased their spending at the median from 4.7 percent to percent.

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