Why you should keep (some) tech resources in-house

When I hear about the entire responsibilities of a network being handed over to an outsourcing company (from the safe hands of in-house engineers), I wonder whether the world has gone mad!

Here are some guys whose jobs are on the line if there are continuous problems with a network. In other words, they are accountable.

Lets face it, downtime is not just a buzzword for when you can’t log-in or check messages: it’s a potential company killer. Your organisation's network is not just one of the more important business functions.

It is fast becoming THE lifeblood of a company. There are massive financial issues at stake here.

When was the last time you've heard something like this: “Well I can’t get web access and I can’t check mails! I might as well go home!” “What happened to the phone and fax machines?”

It’s all changed and it’s changed forever. We can’t go back. The value in the reliability of a network is massively under-estimated and undervalued by business owners, directors and chairmen.

What is the cost to an organisation, especially in the current economic climate, if the electricity was turned off? Sudden death? Absolutely! The cost IS the entire business.

Because of the internet, word spreads like wild fire. We are all online, so we know about things that happen the other side of the world as they happen, not two hours later or the next day! I am addicted to news (like many others), so breaking news always grabs my attention.

If a company's network is down for half a day, customers hear about it. If it's two days, it spreads further. If it's a week, it can become national news and a potential death knell to any well established business. How could it survive? Who would feel comfortable doing business with a company that had such unreliable service?

Would my wife continue to shop online with a company whose network went down at the weekend, with an hour's worth of shopping lost? She might, but on the other hand, she might not. Online, she is only a click or two away from the competition. That could be a hard earned customer lost for the next couple of years - or perhaps forever.

Reputations are everything in business. They can be destroyed so quickly, can't they? So why jeopardize the entire company, for a paltry cost saving?

Why hand over the responsibility of a network (and your reputation) to some engineers you have never heard of? Engineers who work for a third party organisation that could never give you the same priority as your own people do?

I am not saying that outsourcing is a bad thing, per se. Or that some organisations don’t have the in-house resource to do everything. Or that some larger organisations don't need to have some network core looked after by the best means necessary.

What I am saying is that there should be at least a few engineers that are employed by your company that interact with the external (outsourced) team. This will ensure that the original reason for outsourcing meets its goal and that proper checks and balances are in place.

People care about their work, especially those who actually work for your company. People who are are on your team are more likely to get the job done right...which means that you can sleep a little easier at night!