Compiled By Traci Purdum Nearly three-quarters (72%) of companies are outsourcing IT functions, according to a recent survey by ITtoolbox, a knowledge-solutions provider based in Scottsdale, Ariz. The 2003 ITtoolbox Outsourcing Survey, which queried 612 IT professionals worldwide, also reveals widespread growth of outsourcing within the IT industry and projects steady increases over the next two years. When asked about the top strategic reason for outsourcing, 36% of participants cited the lure of cost savings, followed by 15% who voiced a need for special skills and/or services. Of the 31% of participants who indicated they presently outsource abroad, 21% are outsourcing IT functions to India. "The topic of outsourcing generates a great deal of interest for businesses and individuals dependent on IT for their livelihood," says Dan Morrison, ITtoolbox co-founder, CEO and president. "Many factors combined are responsible for the recent trend toward outsourcing. Some of these include the rapid emergence of highly trained IT workforces in lower cost regions of the world, the ability to distribute IT work globally over the Internet, and an economic slowdown that has led many companies to look to third parties to manage non-core business functions."