With the shortage of skilled workers, both the pressure to digitize and the project requirements are increasing. The corona crisis has exacerbated this trend once again and forced small and medium-sized companies in particular. […]
No other department is subject to such rapid development as IT. For a long time, the department was considered only a technical expert, but now it is responsible for the strategic direction of the company, new business models and innovations.
Staying in old patterns is not an option in a constantly changing VUCA world. And so it happens that companies increasingly rely on managed services. Which managed services are best suited depends on individual needs: From hosting critical systems such as SAP S/4HANA to full IT outsourcing, everything is possible. According to the “Managed Services 2020” study by IDG Research, more than half of the companies surveyed now operate their (business-critical) workloads in the cloud. In particular, the infrastructure-as-a-service market as well as the topics of communications, collaboration and security have experienced an upswing due to the switch to the home office during the corona pandemic. Five reasons to use managed services:
1. Relief of internal IT
Although the role of internal IT is developing into a “business transformer”, everyday business is (so far) dominated by routine tasks. The targeted outsourcing of tasks in SLA-based professional services enables the highest quality combined with constant innovation and continuous improvement by the provider. On the other hand, it also creates the necessary freedom for internal IT for new tasks.
2. Speed and agility
A partner provides access to the latest technology and infrastructure as well as the associated specialist knowledge. The boost is to make use of the experience of specialists and from different customer projects specifically for your own company. And in the short implementation time required for innovations.
3. Higher level of security
According to a recent ESET survey, almost a third of all employees in the home office work at least partially with private hardware. The use of unknown devices not only poses an enormous security risk with regard to business-critical data, but also with regard to insurance cover in the event of damage. Managed security services are an often underestimated, but highly recommended tool, especially in medium-sized companies, to quickly and precisely address the complexity of IT security.
4. Cost efficiency
The blanket statement that outsourcing is expensive is no longer true. Through the targeted use of managed services, high-quality and cost-effective services can be provided. The art lies in the selection and definition of the services including the detailed performance components and elaboration of tasks and responsibilities as well as interfaces. The choice should fall on the provider, which offers best practices and standards, while being able to flexibly adapt to the needs of the customer.
5. Flexible and demand-oriented use of resources
In-house operation usually requires dedicated resources and only allows the use of shared models with hardware and personnel to a limited extent. Terms such as ”pay as you Use“ or ”shared pool” are on everyone’s lips today and contribute to the success of managed services. In the end, the customer only pays for exactly the resources he really uses in the hosting service. The same applies to human resources: specialized consultants bring the highest competence and maximum experience, have shared models and are also much cheaper than their own staff.
Which managed services are particularly in demand
One of the most frequently used managed services is certainly hosting in general and, in the SAP environment, application support and SAP license maintenance in particular. In addition, infrastructure operations are currently experiencing a further boost due to the increasing orientation towards private cloud providers and hyperscalers. Customers are well advised to identify a partner who holistically and individually develops and operates the best of the two worlds – private cloud and hyperscalers. Today, SMEs often have several (production) locations spread across national borders. Connecting these locations via network and WAN management, establishing secure communication and ensuring security is of great importance when it comes to managed services. End-user services such as User Help Desk and Workplace Services are also a steadily growing market, as are services related to Microsoft Office 365 in particular.
What to consider when choosing a Managed services Provider
Before companies outsource their services, they should precisely define their own requirements for the provider. This includes not only the required resources, but also the service level agreements (SLAs). Here, the providers differ greatly in the flexibility and scalability of their services, as well as in the price. A good partner must act at eye level and be reliable. He must be able to establish and enforce clear standards in the right place, but also meet special customer requirements. Only those who know how the processes work and have established levels of escalation can give confidence and share responsibility. In addition to the services, a suitable governance structure is an important success factor. The coupling of ticket systems, dashboard information on service levels and tickets as well as meetings at different levels provide the right contact persons with relevant information and promote communication.
Ultimately, larger tenders with standardized queries provide good comparability between providers. Companies should pay particular attention to the criteria of customer references, industry expertise, technological know-how and a convincing overall portfolio with regard to obtaining all managed services from a single source.
*The author Stefan Rother is Executive Director Managed Services of Nagarro ES.