Online services are reshaping the ICT services market, says Integr8 MD, Jan Roux.

The advent of the online forum as a platform through which to acquire, manage, and apply services could be one of the more significant developments in the ICT services sector over the past year.

This is the view of Jan Roux, MD of managed ICT services company Integr8, who notes the development is significant for a number of reasons.

“Firstly, it means the technology domain, and all it encompasses in terms of solutions, services and support, is available at reasonable rates to a broader marketplace. It is a direct challenge to the dominance the larger enterprise-sized operators have enjoyed on the technology solution development and implementation space,” he explains.

Roux argues that a market offering managed technology services, the ability to manage and comply with regulation, reinforce systems, enhance operation and add value to client service via available cloud-based infrastructure will result in a more mature, competitive and stronger sector.

Given the cost implications of deploying meaningful technology, Roux believes small-to-medium enterprises stand to gain.”One of the main issues and stumbling blocks for small-to-medium operations in their quest to acquire meaningful technology and reliable support has been that of cost,” he states.

“This is still the case – the global recession still forces the management at companies to seriously evaluate their spend, requirements, options, challenges, risk, and advantages. However, with the growth of Internet or virtual managed services, the decision-maker at a small-to-medium operation has more leverage, a stronger hand to play,” offers Roux.

Another significant aspect of this trend, he argues, is the rapid transformation of the services acquisition or outsourcing business model. “Influences like SaaS, virtualisation, and cloud computing has resulted in a shift from an outsourcing model to a co-sourcing model – a careful blend of the benefits of in-house control, knowledge, and values with the expertise, skills and market knowledge of credible service providers.

“At a time when human resource development, skills acquisition and application, and highly strategic technology investment and support clearly define the commercial landscape, the online medium and level of use has emerged as the primary differentiator today,” concludes Roux.