ICT Decision Makers Face Supplier Convergence Conundrum

Communications technologies may be converging, however this isn’t necessarily reflected by the number of ICT suppliers organisations use, according to research commissioned by Damovo UK, the enterprise ICT provider.

Over 60 per cent of organisations were found to have in excess of six ICT suppliers with over a third (36 per cent) in total having more than 11 suppliers to manage. The results revealed that only 30 per cent of the organisations surveyed were aware that their suppliers were in turn managing other third parties on their behalf.

The survey, conducted by Canvasse Opinion, asked more than 100 ICT decision makers at mid-sized (500+ employees) UK public and private sector organisations. The survey looked at attitudes towards contracting ICT services, from in-house support resources right through to full outsourcing. More than half (53 per cent), rated outsourcing to have medium to high relevance for their organisation. ‘Proven expertise’ (87 per cent) and ‘a cost effective route to resources and services’ (85 per cent) were the most important factors in ICT part or outsourcing decision making.

“What is clear is that there are varying degrees of contracting services, with all respondents using some form of external suppliers of services. ICT managers are facing tough decisions on how best to use these suppliers to provide full or part-sourcing services, that will deliver true business and operational impact,” commented Nick Dean, Managing Director, Damovo UK.

The survey then went on to ask which ICT areas decision makers currently have or would consider having managed by others. The most common areas, either out or part-sourced, are network management (44 per cent) and security management (38 per cent). Desktop management was currently the least out or part-sourced area (26 per cent), however a number of the respondents stated they would consider this in the future.

The overall research findings seem to reflect an underlying silo mentality, amongst the respondents, with organisations possibly packaging their outsourcing needs to supporting technology rather than an end-to-end service.

“With convergence driving the integration of once stand-alone services, this identifies the need for ‘convergent suppliers’. A smarter supplier model that consolidates ICT support into more logical functions makes sense. For example, those support communications and networking infrastructure should also support desktop applications and devices, as these are integral components of the real-time unified communications world of voice and data,” concludes Nick Dean.