Outsourcing IT services is one of the two or three most important opportunities that SIs (systems integrators) face today. It's complex. It's services-rich (profits!). The hardware needs are often significant, making your vendor partners happy, and contracts tend to be long-term. Moreover, close collaboration with customers is required, giving you insight into customers' future needs and thus greater influence - provided you're already performing - in delivering those needs.
What's more, it doesn't matter whether your aspirations are to be the core general contractor taking on a client's total IT needs or one of many subcontractors collaborating in a huge "patchwork-quilt" deal. This is a high-growth, hot market with plenty of business to go around.
In fact, many upstart SI organisations are challenging traditional giants for a piece of this business - like a young Muhammad Ali stunning the boxing world with his knockout of Sonny Liston.
You can also compare Ali to SI because of the critical role that the efficient transfer of power and resources plays in making outsource deals work.
It represents the biggest stumbling block to success. Power transfer - from a bested competitor or even your customer - must happen smoothly and, if possible, quickly.
Just as Ali's preparation in the gym and speed in the ring made short work of Liston, so must your backroom preparation be followed by smooth, decisive deployment.
Get into shape and jump into this important business ring.