Looking ahead: Outsourcing to increase, but so might insourcing, says SolarWinds

Networking vendor discovers mixed messages when it comes to provisioning of IT hardware and staff

A SolarWinds study, Future of the IT Pro, has found a mixed perception when it comes to insourcing and outsourcing.

On one hand, the survey discovered that 59 per cent of respondents expect to increase levels of outsourcing in the next three to five years , but there was an equally large amount of people expecting some of those functions to be brought back in-house.

In fact, 61 per cent plan to reintroduce data storage as internally managed functions.

SolarWinds vice-president, Sanjay Castelino, said the survey reflected a level of balance that surprised him.

“At any given moment, there is a push to do more of one over the other,” he said.

Castelino admits it is not necessarily clear why they want to bring the functions back in-house, but said it is “interesting that they do”.

Another key result from the study was 52 per cent expecting IT skills to be a key challenge, particularly in the NBN era.

Castelino said technology is moving very quickly and one of the challenges people have is staying on top of all of that.

“Technology is also getting more specialised,” he said.

“To manage that technology, and to have the knowledge to do something with new technologies, requires education and training.”

Whether it is virtualisation, storage or security, Castelino said the expectation is for IT staff to have a deeper set of skills and knowledge, which in turn makes it more difficult to find the right people for the task.

“Couple that with another challenge surrounding budgets, and you have this perfect storm of factors that people find difficult to manage,” he said.

Growing complexity

When it comes to managing networks, 56 per cent said network complexity will be a challenge going forward.

When one looks at big changes such as the NBN, Castelino said there are new industries that are emerging to deliver new types of services.

“That creates additional complexity in the network,” he said.

“It’s not the infrastructure per se, but the services that people will expect to be delivered once the NBN is in place.”

Servcies like VoIP and streaming video have already created complexity for the existing Internet setup, so once a high performance broadband network at a national level rolls out, Castelino foresees additional challenges from a network perspective stemming from the types of services that might be delivered.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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