Think Managed IT Services is Outsourcing?
Think Again.


When Tom Johnson[1] partnered with a managed services provider to monitor and maintain his production platform, not only did uptime increase but revenue jumped, too. With less focus on break/fix fire drills, his internal teams are now working more collaboratively on initiatives to improve sales, customer service and product offerings.


If you’re still thinking of managed IT services as just a form of outsourcing, you’re missing out. Increasingly, many organizations with internal IT teams are turning to managed service providers to supplement their own trusted workforce.

There is a misconception that managed services is a high-cost option that takes existing IT staff, outsources them, and replaces them with offsite automation and staff that know nothing about your environment.

This is not the case.

A good managed services contract is all about increased efficiency at a reduced cost. Managed services allow you to bring in relevant automation and expertise that integrates with your existing team. In this way, a managed service provider acts as a cost-effective extension, helping you to navigate the challenges of digital transformation.

Here are the top benefits you can expect from engaging a managed services provider.

1. Eliminate roadblocks to digital transformation
Have you adopted cloud, mobile, social or big data strategies yet? Are you wondering how IoT might improve your products or services? Can you incorporate artificial intelligence into your workflows? If you’re like many mid-sized companies, chances are you are in the very early stages of adoption. You have worked hard to put together the right team, but they are pulled in many directions. While your entire organization wants to be on the cutting edge of digital transformation, many IT teams struggle to find the time or learn the skills to implement your corporate strategic vision.

Challenge: Digital transformation is no longer an option for companies that want to remain competitive: it is a requirement.

Managed service providers give customers access to a team of professionals who bring a depth of experience in the rapid evolution of specialized IT competencies. Managed services deliver the expertise necessary to fill specific knowledge gaps. Alternatively, a managed service provider can take care of monitoring and maintenance, freeing your internal IT team to focus on innovation and transformation.

2. Stop reacting, get proactive, and increase your security posture
When relying on an over-extended internal IT team, it’s easy to fall into the trap of responding to security threats as they arise rather than preparing ahead of time. When you engage a managed services provider, you have access to a partner that will proactively ensure that your IT environment is secure. This includes backing up data, patching servers, monitoring your environment and dealing with potential threats before they become a major concern. A managed service provider will have a team of experts whose sole job it is to understand the cyber-security landscape.

Challenge: Reduce the number of administrators as the majority of data breaches occur due to human error. [2]

Another benefit is that your managed service provider will act as an administrator. This eliminates the need for internal team members to have admin privileges.

3. Scale your business exponentially
This is perhaps the most important benefit of hiring a managed service provider for mid-sized companies. Why? Because of something called the IT tipping point.
The IT tipping point occurs when a business moves beyond the point at which their current IT infrastructure can support further growth. The tipping point includes the number of people required to support IT infrastructure and users, as well as the IT systems themselves.

Challenge: Adding more people as your business grows is expensive and won’t meet your need to scale.

What can you do when you hit the IT tipping point?

You can keep doing things the way you always have: increase the size of your IT team as your budget allows. The main problem with this approach is that you likely won’t ever be able to grow to the point where you could accommodate a larger team. The fact is that more customers, channels and products, combined with increased competition and an ever-shifting IT landscape, mean the odds are stacked against you. Despite the fact that they have the right expertise, vision and talent, many mid-sized businesses trying to scale using the IT infrastructure they started out with won’t have the resources required to remain competitive.

Summary
While managed services may have its roots in what we know as IT outsourcing, it has become a sophisticated and necessary business function for organizations focused on growth and scale. Managed services now cross a broad range of skills and capabilities that will augment your existing team and enhance your ability to grow your business rapidly and with confidence.
To learn more about the current IT landscape faced by Canadian mid-sized companies and the role of the managed service provider, download your free copy of our eBook, Don’t Go it Alone: Scaling versus Growing Your Mid-Sized Business in Canada using Managed Services..

Notes

[1] Name changed.
[2] Most Data Breaches Caused by Human Error, System Glitches – https://www.csoonline.com/article/2133631/data-protection/most-data-breaches-caused-by-human-error–system-glitches.html



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