It’s a tricky proposition to enlist a Managed Services provider, but most businesses aren’t fully understanding why this is so. Furthermore, there is still a bit of uncertainty as to what it is all about.
What Managed Services isn’t really about
It is far easier to begin with this, as it involves concepts most professionals can relate to.
- Managed Services is not about cost. Using the price as your primary concern means you’re shopping in the wrong section. You can easily find a price comparison with most standalone services. Keep in mind, however, that cheaper may mean both passive and disengaged forms of service.
- It is not about the short term either. It isn’t necessarily going to fix an immediate issue; you can source other solutions for this. Its focus is on preventing such or similar issues in the future.
- It’s also not a fire-and-forget model. It simply isn’t something you implement and then leave alone.
- Finally, it has little to do with single items. It involves and encompasses a large set of concerns, usually in the entire scope of the business.
Managed Services is about protection
Information and communications technology (ICT) is typically the second-largest budget item in a business. Thus, this makes it a vital investment to look after. By protecting this asset, you are also ensuring that your productivity stays where it should be. Efficiency lost due to system downtime is a problem you can well do without.
Furthermore, the use of such a resource for your ICT means you are engaging with people who know how to look after your system best. You directly receive all the critical aspects, such as security, updates, flexibility and education. This means your provider keeps you safe, and helps you learn how to stay safe.
It’s also about convenience
A dedicated Managed Services team is as familiar with your needs as you are, particularly if they help you determine them. This paves the way for superlative service provision, as well as the chance to future-proof your ICT needs. You also receive a more streamlined service. There is no lag time between entities who manage the hardware and software.
Thanks to the advances in connectivity availability and reliability, managed services has grown into software as a service. This has created a huge advantage in the creation of template offerings. You can purchase automation as a pre-designed tool, instead of having to code it from the start.
Furthermore, managed services are no longer held hostage to either an insourced or an outsourced model. Connectivity allows for better communication between the components, which in turn permits hybrid offerings to exist. This is a boon in a country such as SA, where complete outsourcing is often eschewed due to key stakeholder discomfort. This type of approach also makes room for corporate culture differences brought about by geography. For example, one region may prefer an isolated service paradigm, while another may promote more interpersonal business relationships. Hybrid service offerings easily cater for both requirements.
It’s about improvement
The same team that looks after your requirements will also be able to tell you how to make it better. This is a seriously undervalued part of Managed Services.
Consider that you have a group of experts whose function hinges around ensuring your ICT stays as close to perfect as possible. In order to do this, they will constantly expand their knowledge of the very technologies they look after. What’s more, they are among the first to discover new technologies with greater potential and application. And they will likely do this automatically.
Mostly, it’s about building partnerships
You aren’t just buying a service, you are investing in a group and making them an integral part of your business. By the same token, they are investing in you by consistently supplying all the above features. And then adding value to them.
The bottom line is that they have just as much of an interest to see your endeavours succeed as you do. Your wins are shared with them, and your struggles are their own. This is what the relationship builds to and becomes all about: mutual interests, common goals and achievements.
Think of the value of such a relationship: you have a provider who actually understands the functions of your business. They know what you plan to do in order to grow. They comprehend the roles within your organisation. Their time and skills are invested in helping you gain.
Can you think of a better strategic partner for your long-term ambitions?
Why the time is right for Managed Services in ICT
We’ve previously written about where we feel South Africa is going with the Managed Services paradigm. Thus, there are a number of compelling reasons to consider developing the right partnership.
Firstly, connectivity in the South African landscape is where it needs to be. Fibre technology is rolling out all over the country, becoming more abundant and remaining reliable, Plus, there are many options for redundancy if and when required. Connectivity has virtually become a commodity, available via multiple channels, and the pricing is almost as if a race to zero.
This means that technology is going to be predominantly always reachable. The Internet of Things shows us that this is both possible and likely. With reachable technology, we now find that remote management systems are finally feasible. It also makes scaling the services easier, no matter how large or small the client may be.
Finally, it is far better to start early with Managed Services. The better business partnerships are the ones we forge over time. Longer exposure also means that a provider will be in a better position to engage with you regarding what you really need. And not just for right now – future needs, growth and development are also part of the plan.
Adept is a premier ICT services provider, with Managed Services being a core element of who we are. We believe that there is a massive potential for the growth of the Managed Services field within ICT, and consider it a part of our culture to contribute all we know and all we can do.