Managed Services have become an important factor in your business’ ability to transform and drive innovation. But critically too, they can reduce your exposure to risk. For mid-sized businesses struggling with a whole host of risk dilemmas, Managed Services could be the answer.
But, let’s rewind slightly. There was a time when the role of IT (and to a large extent is still evident), was to simply keep technology up and running. It was essentially a reactive role, ensuring the day-to-day got done. If email crashed, you’d ask the IT guy to reboot the server. He also kept the network going, added or deleted users; and when space got too tight, would purchase some more storage.
But all of that changed with digital. Suddenly, your customers demanded more, better, faster and cheaper. Experience became the differentiator. And, the only way to deliver that in volume and at a decent margin, was to embrace new technologies and operating models to facilitate it.
Now IT has to make the transition from a purely operational posture to a transformational one. They need new skills, yet, they still need to have their pulse on the day-to-day. But if around 80 percent of their time is spent on being reactive and maintaining existing infrastructure, how do they make that shift and upskill?
IT strategy is now core to business strategy. Line of business heads want access to deeper, and more insightful customer information to make better decisions about the technology they need to use to create better relationships.
And IT has the answer. But the move to a more transformational role can’t come at the expense of the operational side falling away. Mid-sized organisations face more risks than ever before. For example, cybersecurity continues to be the number one priority and concern for pretty much all businesses. Then there’s also exposure because of a lack of skills and talent to be mindful of too.
These are just some of the challenges that can be solved with the implementation of Managed Services. If you’re considering it, but hadn’t thought about it in terms of helping to reduce your exposure to risk, here are four risk factors you can avoid with Managed Services.
Managed Services remove a skills deficit risk
Like many other mid-sized business, you probably find it extremely hard to retain high-quality IT staff. Trying to keep them entertained with mundane operational tasks means they’ll likely fly out the door quicker than the time it took for you to recruit them. With the pace of change in technology happening so fast, many skilled IT workers also want to keep their skills up to date by working on innovative new projects.
That’s if you get them through the door in the first place. If you’re struggling to even find the right people, the risk to your business is in its inability to advance at the pace you need it to. And, this could leave you horribly exposed to competition with the skills to surpass you.
On the flipside, Managed Service providers (MSPs) often attract great talent because of the interesting variety of projects they expose their people to. They get to design, implement and manage new technologies and go to market strategies to push their skills further. As such, businesses like yours can access these talents on a pay-as-you-play basis. This reduces your operational risk by not having expensive talent dragging down margin; yet keeps your business in line with the latest skills and technology developments needed to transform quickly.
Managed Services helps reduce operational risk
Quite often, the best of intentions to innovate are let down by simple operational oversights. Here’s an example – you may have even experienced this. After years of trying, you’ve managed to bring IT and the business closer together for the development of a new customer application. Using data and personalisation techniques, the new app will boost customer satisfaction and drive increased revenue by streamlining the overall experience.
But after it’s launched, the operational infrastructure underpinning the app isn’t up to scratch. And it’s not the app experience or design. In fact, it’s been so successful, the network simply can’t handle the volume of users you’ve attracted. So instead of driving better customer experiences, it’s done the complete opposite; simply because the foundational infrastructure supporting it has exposed your business to severe operational risk. This results in significant lost reputation, not to mention potential sales.
A Managed Services provider has the skills and insight to provide a managed network capable of supporting the app. It can plan and shift for the peaks and troughs of activity, scaling up when it needs to and allowing your business to thrive.
Managed Services reduces security risk
A Deloitte survey of global private mid-sized organisations uncovered cyberattacks as their biggest risk. With the volume of attacks rising yearly, mid-sized organisations like yours simply don’t have the time to keep reacting to security threats. It requires a full-time army of experts to even keep your head above water.
A Managed Services provider takes things to the next level. Not only can they react and respond to threats far quicker, but they can help you take preventative measures too. They can assist you in developing a security posture that’s appropriate to your organisation, based upon the vast experience they have dealing with other similar organisations. You gain all the learned knowledge and peace of mind knowing someone out there is looking after you.
Managed Services transfer commercial risk
Because of the way in which Managed Service providers operate, both your commercial and operational risk is drastically reduced.
In the days of old, you’d have to pay upfront for a service. Now, Managed Service providers make the investments to deliver the capability before realising any revenue from you, the customer. The platform has to be built before the user buys.
And, it’s good for both parties. For the MSP, they are becoming intrinsically linked with delivering a business outcome. Service level agreements are now increasingly common in contracts as a result. They are critical to the effective running of an organisation.
For you, the risk of paying for infrastructure simply disappears because of the nature of the new relationship.
Time to make the move
If ever there was a segment of the market ripe for Managed Services, it’s the mid-market. You don’t need to become experts in infrastructure. Your organisation’s skills are best used in driving the business forward through innovation and letting someone else wear your risk. With the agility to move faster than larger enterprises, and with more resources than small business, now is the time to make Managed Services an embedded part of your operational delivery.