Re: Where Should I Begin...
@Tony A, thank you for identifying the many pitfalls that can create a problem. I agree these pitfalls are very real and that's why I am always in favor of the knowledge, expertise, experience and insight of IT to be at the fore forth.
I feel that there are competing forces in the market. For instance, a SaaS provider such as Salesforce has achieved the economies of scale and can provide a medium sized business with a service that is cost-effective and the risk of vendor disappearance is pretty low. In-house specialization is good but, if the market has a player with the economies of scale as well as specialization then partnering with the player becomes extremely tempting.
Another example of economies of scale and specialization trumping specialization in isolation is on this very page. For instance, universities are supposed to be the providers of expert information, however, after reading this article and your insight -- it seems that spending one hour on this page is more valuable then, spending an hour in a university class setting.