Survey: Cost is biggest concern of WAN outsourcing

Concerns about cost are at the forefront of IT executives' minds when evaluating wide-area network services outsourcing, according to a study released Monday.

ICM Research conducted a survey on behalf of Vanco, the U.K.-based Virtual Network Operator, to find out what 301 IT executives were thinking.

Of those respondents, 74 percent already outsource part or all of their WAN service needs. ICM says that's up from 71 percent in 2005.

According to the report, 76 percent of executives said low lifetime cost is a major factor in making their next outsourcing decision. That's up more than 25 percent from last year when only 48 percent said cost was one of the major factors influencing outsourcing decisions.

And the biggest problem for those that outsource is difficulty in quickly pinpointing network problems when they occur. The report says that 60 percent of respondents point to this as their biggest problem. That's up from 46 percent in 2005.

Other problems named include network restoration in the event of a problem and ongoing billing problems. A full 56 percent pointed to WAN restoration and 46 percent to billing issues.

Other factors that influence IT executives include geographic coverage, service capabilities, and network reliability. Of these factors, 31 percent said worldwide coverage is key in making decisions about outsourcing services, while 25 percent and 23 percent of respondents cited service capabilities and network reliability, respectively.

Surprisingly security was lower on the list with only 19 percent of respondents saying it plays a major role in outsourcing decisions, just ahead of bandwidth, cited by 12 percent of respondents.

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