It's not unusual for teams to utilize common resources, upon which they are all dependent. An obvious (and sometimes painful) example is a company’s IT infrastructure. People draw information from it, upload information through it and collaborate across it. They're all responsible for using those resources in an effective way, yet most of them aren't directly responsible for making that infrastructure work seamlessly when called upon. It's expected by users that “someone”, commonly an IT Engineer or Network Administrator, is behind the scenes building, deploying and supporting the infrastructure for the benefit of the entire team. And that person often reports to a senior executive who is ultimately responsible for keeping those resources secure and accessible. IT is mission-critical stuff in business today.
Resources like IT are managed centrally because of the dire implications for the entire organization if they fail or are compromised. Yet other essential, but less conspicuous, business resources don't always receive the same level of focused attention. They also may not have someone in the organization who is ultimately responsible for it. That's when bottlenecks, service failures and operational inefficiencies creep in, often unnoticed, and limit or damage a company’s potential for growth.
Often these overlooked resources are external “third party” service and resource providers. They may be vendors and they could also be subcontractors. If those are truly “local” providers, then it's typical for a local manager to have direct responsibility for the relationship; deficiencies in the work are quickly identified and resolved. When such arrangements might have been initiated centrally, however, but are later offered to other parts of the organization, the central pulse can get loss. Service suffers and there is local frustration. Interestingly, the third party is likely to be equally frustrated with how things aren't working. Theoretically, everybody is responsible for it, yet nobody is truly responsible. Who owns it?
If your broader team depends upon an important resource, but doesn't have truly local control over it, business leaders are wise to assure that a key person is, indeed, responsible for what’s provided and how service delivery will work. It's a delicate balance, but one worth achieving. Your growth and success may depend upon it!