How companies are innovating with help from service providers

Deen Ferrell, Business Development Executive, Cal Net Technology Group

Instead of merely maintaining technology, IT service providers are increasingly being asked to become technology drivers and bring innovation and new product ideas to their clients.

Cliff Justice, author of the report, “The Death of Outsourcing,” was recently interviewed by and stated that there was a shift around 2006 to 2007 from outsourcing as a commodity focused on price to a service that’s value-oriented.

“We’re clearly seeing this shift,” says Deen Ferrell, business development executive at Cal Net Technology Group. “Clients want an insourcing partner today. Insourcing requires a broader talent pool, one that offers skill sets in all areas where technology touches the organization. Ongoing research passes critical intelligence of emerging technologies to the field so it can be applied to benefit the client. The focus is on best practices that better integrate technology platforms into a working strategy that drives profit while reducing redundancy and cost.

“The good news is that this shift represents a stronger commitment from the service provider sector. Providers are now expected to add value beyond ground-level support,” Ferrell says.

Smart Business spoke with Ferrell about the trend toward IT providers who help move business goals forward and the benefits to businesses from advancements such as cloud computing and unified communications.

Why is the shift toward insourcing occurring?

Mom-and-pop shops aren’t getting the job done because of a lack of depth and bandwidth — the proverbial ‘can’t see the forest for the trees.’ Providers get so focused on dealing with immediate issues that they can’t step back and think strategically.

A successful insourcing partner impacts all areas where technology touches the organization, as well as providing standard IT support and maintenance that allows companies to maintain core efficiencies.

What has been the impact on information security?

Retaining and securing sensitive information is a critical component of IT services. In a global marketplace where information is king, an ongoing managed security strategy can give organizations peace of mind related to risk management, security assessment, compliance issues and gap analysis.

What is meant by unified communications?

A unified communications strategy allows information to flow seamlessly through an organization by using tools such as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), video conferencing, mobility solutions such as iPhone, iPad and tablet integration, and call center functionality such as call recording and reporting.

How can cloud consulting benefit companies?

For cloud solutions to deliver on their promise of reducing cost and risk while improving competitive advantage, they must be viable, supportable and secure. Vendor research and management, with an understanding of hosted offerings such as Office 365, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS), are critical to helping the organization realize cloud potential while avoiding pitfalls.

How does insourcing promote innovation?

An innovative environment is one where workflow automation and collaborative computing free up valuable time and provide on-demand access to critical information through dashboards, scheduling and customer portals.

Insourcing partners are providing supplemental chief information officer services such as documentation, change management and vendor relations support, which allow companies to cut waste, streamline processes and better position themselves competitively.

With the insourcing crowd becoming increasingly innovative, cost-conscious and competitive, it appears that the outsourcing model is on its way out.

Deen Ferrell is a business development executive at Cal Net Technology Group. Reach him at (818) 725-5062 or [email protected]

For information on the benefits of insourcing to Cal Net, visit

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