Navigating the managed services glut

Forces are pushing industry players to come face to face and in some cases form alliances to serve enterprises who are demanding a multitude of IT and communications services combinations.

First enterprises both large and small are asking for more from their service providers. They are asking telecoms and IT providers to expand their service portfolio with an eye on large managed or outsourced services contracts but in reality simply testing the capabilities of providers, with little chance of mega-outsourcing deals emerging.

"Firstly while the notion of an 'all in one' outsourced solution is attractive, but it is just that--a notion," said Ross O'Brien, managing director at Intercedent Asia, a Hong Kong-based telecommunications consulting firm. O'Brien added, "Enterprises want to know that their service providers have every trick in their bag, but they would never want to pay for it all."

Intercedent's research on enterprise clients in Asia show that a very small percentage--less than ten percent--would ever consider putting all their ITC operations in the hands of another, for reasons of security, or a belief that one aspect or another is deemed the enterprise's own core competency.

O'Brien further notes that while organizations want managed service providers to offer everything under the sun, what the enterprise will actually want to pay for is a continuously moving target. "Financial and strategic priorities change frequently, and with them the CIO's definition on what is managed in-house and what is outsourced."

Service definition