Thought Leadership

The Evolution of the Care and Maintenance of a Technology Infrastructure

business challlenges solved by managed services Business Challenges Solved By Managed Services

Very rarely does an organization set out looking for managed services, but as their reliance on technology grows and their systems become more complex, they soon come to the conclusion that managed services; proactive monitoring, preventative care, and strategic planning will improve customer satisfaction, reduce downtime, keep costs under control and optimize system performance.

What normally happens is that an organization that has a reactive posture will experience performance issues related to their network or applications and they’ll task their IT staff to ‘put out the fire’.   Whatever the problem ends up being, it impacts productivity and takes the IT staff away from their strategic projects.

As the lack of routine maintenance takes its toll, this scenario occurs more and more often and results in rising support costs.

Some of the driving issues that stakeholders deal with that lead to managed service adoption in 2015 are:

They lose sleep because technology isn’t in their wheelhouse[1]

They spend too much time thinking about their technology rather than thinking about their core business.

Their information is at risk[2] – Security & Compliance

System and data threats are here to stay whether they take the form of cyber threats, data loss or theft.   If protective measures languish then exposure risks escalate.

A survey carried out by Vanson Bourne for communications supplier Daisy found companies are planning to move 37% of their IT to a managed service over the next five years. A total of 67% said this is to reduce costs, and 55% said growing cyberthreats are driving them to outsource security.”[3]

Their reliance on technology is growing and it’s becoming more complex

Technology is the sum of complex applications and devices.  It’s not a single entity.  Who’s the best person to talk to for a particular issue?

Who’s responsible for mobile devices?  Who’s responsible for managing the network, the workstations, or servers?  The ISP is down.  Who should it be reported to?     It gets confusing knowing who’s responsible for which component.   A single point of contact for all things IT can be worth its weight in gold.[4]

Reliability Issues – There are too many surprises!

Application and system performance are unsatisfactory.  The application is slow today.  The internet wasn’t working yesterday. Our email was down with a virus last month.   Does anyone know if the D/R site actually works? What’s next?

They’re spending a lot on IT, but it feels like they’re spinning their wheels  

Their IT costs are up, but most of it is being spent on putting out fires rather than being used on initiatives to propel their business forward or improve interaction with clients.

Adding to or replacing aging system components

As the need arises to add or replace components to operate more efficiently the chances for instability and disruption go up.  Mitigating these risk and creating predictability in an IT department are huge benefits of managed services.

There’s too much for the IT Staff to do on their own

Monitoring, preventative maintenance, patch management, strategic planning, end user support and project work are the responsibility of the IT department.  Many departments are stretched thin and have too much on their plate to do any one thing well.     Managed services equip and enable IT staff with the time they need to implement their innovation strategies.

The other main reasons to move to managed services include the desire to gain organisational agility (50%) and a drive to optimise existing IT resources (40%).”[5]

Oops, their backups haven’t been tested

If and when an organization either loses data or decides to run through a disaster recovery test and find out their backups are corrupt, they discover that a deliberate approach is necessary to reduce the impact of a disaster (whether small or large) if it happens.

If and when performance issues persist, regardless of whether they’re directly related or not, support costs rise, productivity wanes, frustration mounts and there’s less and less time available for the IT staff to work on projects to improve the business.

At some point, someone asks the question, “Why does this keep happening?  There has to be a better way?”

There is!

Managed services is a proactive effort designed to identify and correct issues before they cause problems.  Managed services relies on monitoring, patch management and regularly scheduled maintenance to care for and protect the systems you depend on while giving you the foundation to stabilize your IT budget, minimize downtime and initiate proactive IT planning.

Technology and the information it captures is the lifeblood of your business.   When it’s operating well, your staff and customers are happy. Managed services is a tool to maximize uptime, add capacity and skills to your team on an as needed basis and provide the assurance that the routine maintenance your systems require are being handled within a stable monthly budget.

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[1] http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Architect-benefits-from-outsourcing-IT-to-managed-service-provider

[2] http://www.computerweekly.com/news/4500248075/Growing-cyber-threats-challenging-cost-reduction-as-reason-to-use-managed-services

[3] http://www.computerweekly.com/news/4500248075/Growing-cyber-threats-challenging-cost-reduction-as-reason-to-use-managed-services

[4]

[5] http://www.computerweekly.com/news/4500248075/Growing-cyber-threats-challenging-cost-reduction-as-reason-to-use-managed-services

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