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[Discuss] core competency

There's a third reason companies outsource. It allows them to have the
illusion of fixed, low IT costs.

Often in larger companies, they don't separate the cost of projects from
operating expenses. The basic outsourcing contract includes infrastructure
support only, everything else they do is billable time and materials. You
want a new server setup? You'll need a project plan and budget. You want to
try some new technology? You'll need a project plan and budget. Since these
"projects" are no longer bundled in with your IT infrastructure support
expenses, it looks like you have low, controlled operating costs. This is
particularly important if the company is going to be sold or audited.

My argument doesn't apply to situations where a consultant is brought in
temporarily for his / her specialized expertise, I'm referring to the
wholesale outsourcing of an IT organization at a larger company.

On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 8:58 AM, Grant M. <gmongardi at> wrote:

> So I've only read the most recent posts, but I think there are two
> different
> ways of looking at this:
> 1. Outsourcing to save money (this seems to be the most common)
> 2. Outsourcing for expertise.
>    We actually do the latter, and often interact with the former. The
> painful
> part of the process is dealing with incompetence due to outsourcing. This
> is a
> widespread issue in IT, and I think is actually hurting big business. We
> often
> come across customers that have outsourced their IT and those outsourced
> people
> don't even understand the simplest of technologies. Depending upon the
> company
> it can take years for them to realize their mistake. You get what you pay
> for.
>    We sell a different level of support, based mostly around our products
> and
> market space (Advertising & Print). I can't remember the last time I
> encountered
> a tech with a higher level of experience than what is available here. For
> our
> customers they tend to defer to us for the complicated answers. Customers
> will
> pay for it, but we do find ourselves arguing the point often enough, just
> not
> with the folks that count (typically bean-counters).
>    So you do get what you pay for. Much of outsourced IT is built around
> Windows
> Desktop Support with a bit of Windows server support. Paying more and
> getting
> more, you may get a reasonably skilled MIS/Enterprise IT support that will
> be
> well versed in Microsoft products, networking, and perhaps some SAN/NAS
> products. However my experience is that *NIX skills (includes Solaris,
> and Linux) is something you actually need to pay a premium for. Often
> there are
> in-house admins, and higher-level systems engineers get contracted for
> projects.
> So day-to-day administration is always available, but complicated projects
> or
> issues that directly affect the bottom-line get either T&M resources or
> contract
> experts applied.
> Last point: GOOD Linux system engineers are very difficult to come by.
> Competant
> Linux admins are out there, but it's not always easy to tell them from
> mediocre
> Linux admins. Tinkerers calling themselves admins, and admins calling
> themselves
> engineers are far too common.
> Grant M.
> --
> Grant Mongardi
> Senior Systems Engineer
> gmongardi at
> 781.894.3114 phone
> 781.894.3997 fax
> NAPC | technology matters
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at

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