Are You Gutting Your In-House Expertise?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rahul Neel Mani

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The guys in the trenches doing the menial work that often gets farmed out to MSPs - are the ones who are your mid-level techies for the next few years. In that case, you're going to be taking chances on new hires that have even more responsibility on their shoulders.

Who factors this possibility into their cost analysis? Do you? Wouldn't you rather promote the guys who have proven track records of growth and professionalism within your own walls and inside knowledge about your network from day one?

Looking for and retaining talented techies is not terribly difficult if  they work for a company that treats IT with great respect. But at the same time, talented techies want to work for companies that make money delivering IT products and services. And that’s where the dichotomy begins – to outsource your non-core IT to MSPs or not?

But given today’s framework, even large organisations which consider IT as a core component to its business, are opting to make use of  MSPs for some portion of  their infrastructure, just like a small organisation that considers IT completely non-core to its business.

This issue of The CTo Forum talks about the universe of  MSPs in great details. In the survey we found that good MSPs can be friends to a CIO in the right circumstances, but a pretty extensive decision tree is needed to establish what those circumstances are. You cannot easily make industry-wide or country-wide statements about the value or lack thereof  of  MSPs.

Managed services are certainly compelling for smaller businesses that have limited resources and just want to maintain the status quo. But most companies with a CIO as an officer and not just a title probably has different needs and a different amount of  resources.

But as your trusted advisor, I would encourage framing this as an opportunity to assign managed infrastructure services by discreet service element to select service providers based on requirements, breadth of competency and mapping to desired global footprint.

By doing so, you are avoiding the predilection for a 'one size fits all' response to sourcing, i.e., no single service provider, regardless of  service domain, fits the bill for delivery of  all infrastructure services.

In the end, MSPs are neither necessary evils nor the perfect order of the day. We can,in all judiciousness, consider them as friends as well as facilitators to innovation.

Cross-posted from CTO Forum

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