Improve business efficiency through IT network outsourcing

Guillaume Barre (UK)
09 Jul 2020

More and more companies today are benefiting from outsourced management of their IT network. But what is it that makes this approach to IT network management so appealing? Let’s first take a look at outsourcing in general, before zooming in on WiFi network outsourcing.

IT outsourcing: what is it?

Definition of IT outsourcing

Outsourcing involves calling on an external service provider to subcontract out the management of all or part of a company’s IT system. The partner, or Managed Service Provider, can be involved in a range of different services: installation, optimisation, security, maintenance, etc. In other words, IT outsourcing corresponds to the external management of IT systems, a valuable concept on several levels.

Outsourcing: advantages and disadvantages

The benefits of such an approach are indeed numerous, both for SMEs and for larger companies. In particular, it enables a business to:

  • Focus on core business, delegating a non-priority activity. 
  • Take advantage of the technical expertise of the service provider, specialised in the management of information systems and experienced in the most effective methods.
  • As a consequence, have at its disposal a reliable and efficient installed computer base, benefiting from the best innovations.
  • Be able to adapt its network in line with changing needs. 
  • Comply with the most stringent security and legal requirements. 
  • Control costs, knowing your exact budget needed for this task, and taking advantage of the best prices, thanks to the pooling of the provider’s resources.

In the "disadvantages" section, however, the company may feel that it is losing control over its information system a little and becoming dependent on an external stakeholder. This is why care should be taken when choosing a provider, with great emphasis on trust.

IT network outsourcing

Definition of network outsourcing and SLAs

Within this vast universe, there are several subsets. Among them, IT network outsourcing refers to the outsourcing of the management of a company's network, a crucial part of the IS, as it allows employees to communicate and transfer information.

As part of a service of this type, it is essential to explain an SLA (Service Level Agreement), which commits the supplier to respect a certain quality of service, measured by clearly identified indicators.

It is, therefore, a safety net for the customer, covering a number of elements such as: maintenance and monitoring of the computer network, integration, technical support, internet access, managed LAN, VPN (virtual private network), and WiFi.

WiFi outsourcing (WiFi as a Service)

Wi-Fi networks can also be part of an outsourced model. We generally refer to managed WiFi as “WiFi as a Service”. With such a system, the supplier takes full responsibility for the management of the professional wireless network. They are primarily responsible for creating a network architecture tailored to the customer's needs and deploying a suitable professional infrastructure. They then assume full responsibility for the quality of service throughout the term of the contract and take preventive or corrective action, as and when necessary. The customer can, therefore, rest assured that they are benefiting from state-of-the-art equipment and service built specifically for the management of their WiFi network under all circumstances. It is by providing this precise service that Wifirst has established itself as the leader of the French professional Wi-Fi market.

Network outsourcing: is it suitable for my company?

Network outsourcing is a service that is particularly suited to SMEs. In most cases, they do not have the internal resources to deal with the management of this essential element. However, having a reliable and efficient computer network remains critical for these companies. They, therefore, call on a service provider with the expertise and experience necessary to ensure the desired quality of service.

But this approach also has advantages for larger businesses too. Of course, these companies often have separate IT departments, but their IT employees usually have many different responsibilities. Outsourcing is, therefore, the obvious solution to be able to address all responsibilities within the scope of the Information Systems Department. Outsourcing the management of WAN, LAN and WLAN networks is advisable because ensuring the levels of service required in large companies involves substantial human, material and technical resources.

Calling on a service provider who specialises in computer networks is also recommended to address the following issues:

  • High availability – the need for very high service availability in terms of internet access and the computer network
  • High density – the need to equip spaces having large numbers of users and high bandwidth consumption
  • Complex environments – the need to deploy a WiFi network in spaces with specific materials, a number of obstacles, high ceilings, sources of interference, etc.

So, the question remains, why seek at all costs to internalise this service, when you can simply benefit from the knowledge of a trusted partner?