Instead, it talked about how Internet-based technologies are changing the delivery of everyday services to consumers. Traditional bundles of products and services are being broken up – we’re buying more and more things a la carte.
We buy a single music track, instead of the whole CD, or pay for a single TV episode, instead of 288 cable channels. Even healthcare and higher education are moving from fixed bundles to a la carte.
And the same is happening to the delivery of IT services.
Just call IT – they handle all that
Not long ago, every sizable company had a dedicated IT department. The more we relied on our computers, the more we needed someone to manage and fix them. Even small companies hired an “IT guy” to maintain the office network, set up the PCs and install the software.
Whether one person or dozens, that team was a complete bundle of IT services. One central team could build, service and support a company’s …
- Computer equipment
- Servers, printers and files storage
- Technology projects
For large companies, having IT on-staff made good economic sense. For smaller companies, it meant enormous overhead. But big or small, the all-in-one bundle – the IT department – was required to take care of our growing infrastructures.
Outsourcing – from one big bundle to another
In the early 2000s, communications companies built massive datacenters connected to the Internet with thick “data pipes.” They leased space and equipment to companies that didn’t want to maintain their own facilities.
At the same time, many businesses outsourced the actual function of IT – staff included – to IT consulting firms. These firms had the expertise, the staff and the equipment to handle all their customers’ IT needs.
Put together, these allowed even the smallest company to have a virtual IT department – virtual equipment, virtual networks and virtual staff.
For all the beauty of this model, it was expensive – and it was also all-or-nothing. In other words, the customers were trading an internal IT bundle for an external one.
A little or a lot – building your own bundle
But plenty of businesses fall in the middle. Neither internal nor outsourced IT is practical or cost-effective.
Small companies need to concentrate on growing their business, not IT. Growing companies need more IT, but not the expense of new infrastructure or staff. And big companies are faced with old technology and aging expertise.
Many of these companies are facing the simple fact that IT isn’t their core business – nor should it be.
And that’s where unbundling IT comes in.
A good managed service provider can offer a menu of IT services, allowing their customers to choose them a la carte. For example …
- Hardware and software procurement, licensing and deployment
- User management, profiles, permissions, desktop and mobile equipment
- Network management and cyber security
- Infrastructure monitoring and reporting
- Business continuity services to handle operational disruptions
- Cloud and data migrations
- End-to-end IT planning and strategy
With a la carte IT services, you make your own bundle. Augment your current IT staff. Migrate your infrastructure to a provider. Design a new network. Devise a road map to the cloud.
If you want to outsource it all, you can – the big bundle. But if you don’t, just order what you need.
Is it time your company unbundled some of its IT?
Today, the shared datacenter model is giving way to cloud computing. And the IT outsourcers have become expert managed service providers.
The all-or-nothing bundles are still available, but they are dwindling. Not every company can maintain a full in-house IT department. Outsourcing all IT functions isn’t for everyone, either.
The unbundling of IT means you can pick and choose which services you want to keep in-house, and which you want to outsource. Working with a reliable managed services partner, you can create your very own bundle.
After all, why pay for 288 channels when you only watch 11?