Conclusion: For many years organisations and agencies engaged a single IT provider when they lacked the wherewithal to integrate the services and used the engagement to manage the organisation’s risks. As organisations acquired the skills to integrate systems services and manage the risks, many opted to selectively source expecting to reduce their costs and get the right solution. A new management debate ensued.

In some ways the debate parallels that situation which occurs in organisations with operationally critical equipment and where management is unsure whether to enter into a maintenance agreement with one supplier or opt for a per call service arrangement with multiple suppliers.

While the maintenance versus per call service debate focuses on risk versus cost, the analogy unfortunately trivialises the efforts needed to integrate complex business solutions or implement multiple systems components of an end to end IT operation service with ambitious performance objectives.

Implementing complex solutions typically involves integrating offerings from multiple software and hardware vendors, directing the activities of specialist technical staff and coordinating multiple project management activities. The aim usually is to meet a scheduled completion date or deliver a system response time consistent with the project’s objectives.

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Alan Hansell

About The Advisor

Alan Hansell

Alan Hansell is an emeritus IBRS advisor who focused on IT and business management. Alan specialised in critiquing and commenting on IT and business management trends, ways to justify and maximise the benefits from IT-related investment, IS management development and the role of the CIO. Alan has extensive experience in IT management, consulting and advising senior managers in matters related to IT investment. He was a Director in Gartner's Executive program and adviser to over 50 CIOs and business managers and before joining Gartner a consultant with DMR Group. He also worked as an IS professional, manager and industry consultant for IBM for nearly 30 years. Alan is a CPA and Associate of Governance Institute of Australia.