SME IT outsourcing - now is the time
Written by Hank Albertze
For many years IT outsourcing has been an acceptable practice for large enterprise clients and has been the exclusive domain of the large global outsource companies like T Systems, CSC, EDS etc.
In South Africa local companies have followed this model with some success but mostly focused on "outsourcing" or "co-sourcing" elements of IT ie payment systems, DBA, data centre ops, networking or desktop support. This is the word from Hank Albertze, director at B-Logic.
The following are some of the factors that combine to make the SME market very well positioned for IT outsourcing:
Remote monitoring and management tools:
The recent advent of inexpensive remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools such as www.centrastage.com have made it a lot more cost effective to monitor and manage the server and desktop environments. Sophisticated end to end monitoring tools such as www.centerity.com have traditionally only been available from HP, IBM, CA and BMC at great cost to the managed service providers.
Technologies from the likes of Cisco and IBM are now very well priced and designed to giving value to the SME market that was not previously available to the SME market. Traditionally in the SME market, second tier products have been made to work on a best effort case with no support from the OEMs.
Impact of cloud
The IT world is now being hit by a storm cloud of Saas, SaaP, IaaS, Paas and many more cloud-based solutions. None of these solution take away the responsibility to manage the IT environment, does not matter where the applications reside, how they are provisioned or how they are paid for, somebody still has to manage the delivery of the services and all the connectivity issues surrounding the service. To an IT management company, it's just another business application that has to be managed and it does not matter where it resides.
Convergence of technologies
The convergence of voice, video and data have made it imperative that one does an end-to-end IT infrastructure design to encompassing all elements of the IT infrastructure. All the components now combine in order to form one converged infrastructure and it's more important now than ever before to have a holistic design and management strategy of the end-to-end IT structure. A chain is only a strong as the weakest link.
Aggregator and trusted advisor
Companies like www.b-managed.co.za provide a service whereby they advise the client on the best choice of technology and services as well as aggregate services across multiple service providers. The bottom line is the client has one throat to choke. A single point of responsibility for all IT functions.
IT support vs IT management
Many companies that provide server and desktop support present as managed service providers. They handle the support and admin of the LAN. This is not IT outsourcing or IT management. IT management is the action of managing all functions relating to the management of the IT Infrastructure and taking primary responsibility for all IT functions.
So who should be looking at IT outsourcing as a viable alternative to in-sourcing or co-sourcing? Companies with more than 25 IT users in total, and for whom IT is mission critical.
B-Managed is an IT management outsource company focused on the SME market in South Africa.