Ask any successful entrepreneur what one of the biggest secrets to their success has been and they will invariably tell you, “Hiring the right people.” If any business is going to grow beyond a mom-and-pop shop, the person who planted the seed is eventually going to have to hand off parts of their operation to other people. Eventually, the whole thing gets too big for one or two people to manage on their own. So, others are brought aboard, fingers are crossed that they won’t mess anything up, and prayers of gratitude are issued to the heavens if they turn out to be reliable.
This concept of handing things off is nothing new, but what is novel is the scale in which corporations are heaping responsibility onto the backs of others – and to whom. Nowhere is this phenomenon more pronounced than in the IT sector. Management of the many ingredients that make up a corporate network, in particular, has become so complex and revenue-draining that companies are turning to third parties to take on the onerous task.
Just think about how many networking concepts have grown in importance in the average enterprise during the last five years: storage, e-mail, routers with more intelligence, servers, software…even good ol’ printers are becoming a headache for network managers. It’s not much of a surprise, then, that an entire industry is growing up around corporations’ desires to get rid of the headaches and maybe even save a bit of money in the process.
The network management outsourcing industry is one that is methodically gaining steam in Canada. Both heavyweight and lightweight vendors and services organizations have sales forces hitting the pavement, attempting to convince the skeptics (of which there are many) that this is the best way to go.
They have so far met with some success, but not nearly as much as they expect to see in the long-term future. Today, there appears to be a sense that potential outsourcers will listen with great interest to what the outsourcees have to say, and will even recognize that it’s the way of the future for many aspects of network management.
But there is still significant reluctance to hand so much responsibility off to another company. We can expect that to change as the outsourcing concept becomes more familiar and as services organizations further refine their offerings to make them increasingly attractive.