Two examples of SSP-delivered services stand out: Compliance and data protection. These related services offer easily-identified benefits, if only because such services would likely be expensive for a company to bring on line by itself and would likely incur heavy costs to maintain. For SMBs, lacking staff as they do but also needing all the data protection and other services as their large competitors have, turning to an outside provider often will prove to be a no-brainer.
In both cases an SSP, doing the same service for many clients, will often have significant competitive advantage, an advantage that should be passed along, at least in part, to its clients.
When choices about how to acquire services cease to be based on technology and become business decisions, managers will find that going with an SSP for a particular service becomes less an issue of in-sourcing versus outsourcing and more a question of which decision offers the greatest economic benefit to the organization.
How organizations define the benefits—time-to market, lower operational expenses—makes no difference. Managers rising above the IT equivalent of “not-invented-here” will find that savings pile up nicely. Figure out which decision makes the best business case and go with it. What you need is a defined level of service. All things being equal, you shouldn’t care where that service comes from.
Mike Karp is a senior analyst with Boulder, Colo.-based Enterprise Management Associates, an industry research firm focused on IT management. Mike can reached at [email protected] .