In Thomas Friedman's book The World is Flat he cites UPS as an example of a insourcing. UPS contracts with companies to deliver all kinds of services that you wouldn't suspect. They have a repair center for Toshiba laptops in Kentucky. http://news.cnet.com/Toshiba-taps-UPS-for-laptop-repairs/2100-1005_3-5201011.htmlcompany They also repair printers for HP in Europe and Latin America. HP extended its logistics work to the next level. Instead of just delivering the broken laptops or printer to the manufacturers, they are providing the labor to repair them.
How can I apply this to my thinking about education? Perhaps my school system should contract with an IT vendor to provide support for our systems. We have outsourced our custodial services to an outside company. We have a vendor that provides books and cataloging for our libraries. Maybe a third party vendor for IT would help us stay in step with corporations in our infrastructure and we could focus on our core competency of how to educate children.
Fifteen years ago there was no competition for public schools. Schools were a monopoly. Except for upper class families that sent their children to private schools, everyone went to their districted public schoool. And while I don't agree with the creators of Stupid in America who suggest that most public schools in America are failing because they haven't had competition. I do think reform for traditional public schools is necessary. Charter schools are competing with traditional public schools for students and tax money. I am not sure outsourcing IT is the right answer for my school district, but we DO need to start thinking differently about how we run our business because our world is flattening too.