Managed services: Catalysing business transformation and strategic success
By Charles, Courquin, Director and Board Member, Symatrix
In the face of rapidly-evolving technology and market dynamics, organisations are increasingly recognising the strategic value of managed services. This shift is driven not just by the need to address IT skills shortages and manage costs but also by the potential of managed services to foster innovation, drive business transformation, and achieve strategic success.
Addressing skills shortages and cost challenges
The journey towards embracing managed services often begins with addressing the acute IT skills shortage and the escalating costs of in-house system management. Symatrix recently commissioned a comprehensive survey involving 200 IT decision-makers, representing large businesses, all of whom were actively engaged in technology procurement and management for their enterprises.
The results highlighted the scale of the costs businesses incur from having to bring in expensive new talent, with over three-quarters of organisations (77%) seeing their IT recruitment costs increase over the past three years. Managed services offer a compelling solution by providing access to a pool of experts and cutting-edge technologies, often at a fraction of the cost of maintaining an equivalent in-house team.
The benefits of managed services extend far beyond cost savings and filling skill gaps, however. They are pivotal in driving business transformation and fostering a culture of innovation. On one level, managed services allow organisations to redirect focus and resources towards core business functions.
This realignment is crucial for strategic initiatives and market expansion. In fact, 28% of businesses in the survey identified 'freeing up IT staff to focus on higher value tasks' as a key driver for adopting managed services.
Technology is key to futureproofing
Obtaining access to the latest technologies and industry best practices via service and solutions providers can transform business operations. The survey found that 30% of businesses see 'future-proofing services using best-of-breed technology' as a major driver for managed services adoption, highlighting the role of providers in driving innovation.
Managed services provide the flexibility to scale based on needs, ensuring businesses can respond swiftly to market changes. This scalability is essential for agility in today’s fast-paced business environment. Providers offer expertise in managing risks and ensuring compliance with regulations. This aspect is increasingly crucial as businesses navigate complex data protection laws and cybersecurity threats.
The relationship between large enterprises and providers of managed services solutions can often evolve into a strategic partnership, providing valuable insights and guidance. This collaborative approach can often lead to tailored solutions aligned with specific business needs and goals.
Transformative impact of managed services
The use of managed services also helps organisations to make savings and achieve a rapid return on their investment, in turn enabling them to put more resources into driving the business forward. For instance, 61% of businesses currently managing their IT in-house believe they could save more than £50,000 per year by using a managed services provider. Moreover, 100% of respondents using managed services reported achieving a return on their investment, with a higher proportion recording an ROI within a year compared to those managing IT in-house.
Furthermore, nearly three out of ten (29%) respondents see 'cloud infrastructure management' as the area of a business’s operations where managed services can support the most savings, indicating the significant financial and operational benefits of managed services in modern IT environments.
In conclusion, managed services are a strategic tool that empowers businesses to navigate technological complexities, drive innovation, and achieve long-term success. By providing expertise, reducing costs, and offering scalable solutions, managed services enable businesses to focus on their core competencies and strategic goals. As the digital era continues to evolve, managed services stand out as a key enabler of business transformation, offering a pathway to not just survive but thrive in a competitive market landscape.