Technology should not be ruling us – we should be ruling over our technology. In a world with endless demands on our time, managed services (MS) are critical to efficiency and efficacy.
The IT manager of today is under ever-increasing pressure to enable performance, meet operational targets and ensure the organisation’s security needs, while watching budgets and protecting the bottom line.
Simply put, an MS is the outsourcing of the specialised and ongoing operations of key applications. The benefits of a well-managed MS are threefold: it provides more capability to your workforce (the end user); it allows in-house IT to focus on strategic initiatives rather than day-to-day troubleshooting; and it frees up your team to focus on the business’s core competencies.
When considering MS’s, it comes down to evaluating the alternative. On the one hand, you could rather expand your in-house IT capabilities. Typically, this ends up costing far more than an MS would and, later, is viewed as inflated and is slashed, rendering the need for the MS once again.
The other thing is that even in a fully staffed IT team, niche specialities may mean you need to bring in external support anyway. Ultimately, it also pushes your internal IT support onto the back foot, holding them from proactive strategic interventions.
On the other hand, you could always choose the Break-Fix-Model, which is when, as it sounds, you wait for a problem and then call in someone to fix it – spending the other time hoping all will be fine. The risks, the unnecessary administration and the fuss outweigh any benefits, namely higher costs, less control, reactive and short-sighted.
Think of MS as having bits of the best parts of in-house expansion and Break-Fix. Choosing MS brings in a practical delivery of a predictable service model to swiftly and effectively introduce new IT services to your teams.
MS solutions also come with a predictable cost model, most commonly on a subscription basis. Businesses looking to pay a monthly, flat fee for services understand the value in knowing what you are paying for and being sure in what you are getting. Often the offering is tiered and packaged, with options to scale up or down, or to customise within limits.
This makes MS far better for cost control. It is also easier to manage risk with the backing of a provider armed with the infrastructure and best practice to navigate niche technicalities of specialised solutions.
Avoiding downtime thanks to the constant availability of mission-critical IT services is also a massive benefit that speaks for itself. Relying on proven systems also prevents organisations from undertaking their own prohibitive research and development costs, taking much longer to set up than a ready-and-waiting platform.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of engaging with MS is when you look to the future. For starters, trusted providers make it their priority to stay ahead of new technologies and regulations so that you do not have to. This makes sure that your service is future-proofed and built to withstand disruption.
At the end of the day, the best thing about managed services is simple: less time pulling your hair out and more time spent on what you are good at and what you are actually there to do.
Contract out your non-core functions and let them be taken care of by specialists so that you can focus on what you specialise in.