An increasingly global workforce, more demanding customers, and the rapid growth of cloud computing are all combining to make organizations more reliant on networks. The pandemic accelerated that trend as countries faced lockdowns and organizations needed to ramp up their work-from-home capabilities with cloud-based collaboration tools and increased mobility. As networks become more important and more complex, there is pressure to bring in more outside help to manage elements of those networks.
As shown in Figure 1 from our full report, Network Operations Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience, the frequency and level of outsourcing this function still remain low, compared to other IT functions in our survey. Still, organizations that outsource network operations are reaping favorable cost benefits.
Organizations will increasingly seek help with their network operations as applications, data, and infrastructure become more sophisticated and infrastructure shifts to the cloud. Network service diversification and virtualization also are driving the demand for full-stack skillsets from engineers, which comes with increasing labor and training costs.
Network operations is an evolving outsourcing category with a wide assortment of top IT and telecom industry service providers competing with regional providers. In addition, large equipment vendors are transforming their businesses beyond manufacturing of equipment to delivering value-added network services. In doing so, they provide the network backbone to enterprise organizations, a growing variety of network services, including network design and planning, and even network support.
There is a trend toward organizations outsourcing non-mission-critical operations to concentrate on those skills and abilities most important to the business. Moving network infrastructure to a service provider frees up IT staff and resources for functions that more directly affect the bottom line. Our full report shows an increase in the frequency of IT organizations outsourcing network operations as they shed data center operations through cloud migrations or data center outsourcing.
“Outsourcing can provide flexibility and tap into network expertise that may be hard to find or retain in-house,” said Avasant Director Mark Gaffney, who specializes in networks, IT management, and governance. “Enlisting outside expertise will prove for some organizations to be more effective and cost-efficient than trying to maintain the needed level of skills in-house.”
Our full report examines adoption trends and customer experience with network operations outsourcing. We report on the percentage of organizations outsourcing it (frequency) and the average amount of work outsourced (level). We also present data on the cost and service experience and how these trends differ by organization size and sector. We conclude with guidelines to consider when outsourcing network operations.
This Research Byte is a brief overview of our study, Network Operations Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience. The full report is available at no charge for subscribers, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website.