Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NU1 - IT Services Outsourcing ­ IT department on Steroids by M080037

NU1 - IT Services Outsourcing – IT department on Steroids

Companies in the Philippines consider Information System as a necessary part of their business. From novelty shops to supermarkets, IT has taken a major role in operations. Most medium to large-scale companies have IT departments dedicated to the organization. Bigger companies even have IT departments dedicated to a division or channel. These dedicated IT departments are in charged of maintaining some system essential to the company’s operation. These companies rely on talented employees not just to maintain the integrity of the system and its data, but also to maintain confidentiality.

Last month, I went to PhilHealth to get a cheque. As early as 10am, there is a long queue already. It says on a bond paper, in Pentel Pen ink, posted near one table: System is Down. You see wires all over the place leading to the server room located a room behind the cashier’s cubicle. Last Julay, I am at an LTO outlet to renew my license. I was almost done when the main server in the Head office went down. No one, in the whole Philippines, can transact. The inspector announced that everyone should just come back the next day for the printed card. I opted to wait because I overheard that the main server would be restarted. In small offices, just like in San Juan, computers are in bad shape, often infected with a virus or that the drivers are missing. In some companies I visited, even with an IT department present, workstations are still in bad shape, let alone servers, websites, and systems.

Social Media and Online Marketing are now given considerable focus by both small and large companies. I wonder how these small-medium companies, whose computers are in bad shape, compete with its local competition; let alone worldwide. Businesses need a top-caliber IT team to compete with bigger organizations. These Multi-National companies have systems to monitor every aspect of their business. These systems give them critical data to support their decisions. Where will these companies who fail to implement a decision support system if the world market becomes fully competitive. Right now, this is already being felt. How long will these companies (those without computerized systems) struggle with hunches and gut feel?

With adequate skills and enough manpower, I believe I can transform those companies into a fairly advanced company in terms of IT resources. By setting up a “Nerd Herd” that provides services to these companies.
A small group of IT professionals will serve as a virtual IT department for 2-3 companies. They will implement the same standards: Brand of computers, OS Version, Software version, Printers, Network structure, etc. This allows them to know the problems as they arise. They can solve the problem with confidence. With the help of remote control services like LogMeIn and TeamViewer, these IT professionals can troubleshoot computers from anywhere in the world provided that they have an internet connection.
Another group of IT professionals can take care of systems implementation for SAP, Website Development, etc. These professionals need not do the implementation themselves, they will just serve as Project Managers.
Computers and Servers can be leased from the company offering the service. This allows the IT Professionals to quickly respond to emergencies.
These services can be offered for a fee. Companies can benefit from the expertise. While confidentiality is an issue, a contract can be signed to ensure that confidentiality will be maintained. Trusting an employee with your data is almost the same as trusting a company via a contract. This is an Idea I have been thinking of for years: an IT Department for whole industries.  Cloud computing? 4