2016 predictions: The year of managed service providers

Recently there has been an upward trend in the usage of managed service providers (MSPs). Up until the present, MSPs have mostly been contracted to help with technical and equipment issues.

ITS believes that there are three areas where MSPs will start to grow and become more popular. These predictions reflect trends that are already becoming apparent in the industry. ITS’s three predictions for 2016 are:

Prediction #1: Managed service providers will become more popular amongst small to midsized businesses.

Outsourcing IT support services to a MSP will be important for SMEs whose internal staff don’t have the time or skills to manage complicated office technology — especially considering the rate at which technology changes.

The service provider will not only oversee your day-to-day technology maintenance needs but also look for recurring problems and ways to strengthen your IT infrastructure. Plus, you’ll benefit from the provider’s knowledge of industry trends and experience with new technologies.

A high level of expertise is required to fully understand the implementation and use of contracted products (as well as the contract itself). This expertise can only come from years of experience in the IT industry. MSPs have this experience, along with the technical knowledge to make amendments to meet your requirements. In addition to helping businesses comprehend the complexity of contracted services, MSPs can assist in explaining regulatory rules and how to meet those requirements.

Prediction #2: Compliance overlay of management is critical.

When it comes to compliance, businesses often have difficulty keeping up with the constant changes. There are several aspects to keep up with, so it sometimes gets pushed to the back burner.

Some businesses are struggling with efficiently responding to regulatory changes, and 57 per cent say a communication breakdown with the government is to blame. To help deal with this challenge, some businesses, particularly in the banking industry, are creating positions for dedicated regulatory program managers. But this creates another problem with companies reporting a shortage in regulatory program manager talent.

This leads 48 per scent of companies to think senior management lacks integrated responses to regulatory reform. It's essential for all business functions to mesh, especially when it comes to compliance. If only half of the departments are considered compliant, the business is still noncompliant.

If your business is struggling to manage large amounts of data, stay up-to-date on regulations, retain in-house risk management experts or sync your business's goals with regulations, it might be time to look outside your walls for help.

Using an MSP that’s familiar with your industry can help you manage growing amounts of data, monitor regulatory changes and help your company develop a cohesive risk management strategy.

Prediction #3: Management of private and public clouds will separate.

Because the colocation market has been commoditised, public cloud providers are experiencing difficulty within the market. To diversify their service offerings, they are splitting up the management of private and public clouds.

Current colocation businesses have begun to get their engineers certified for public clouds from a managed services perspective. They are also looking at adding their own private managed services within their own data centres. In other words, their survival strategy is to transition from a commoditised colocation provider to a hybrid (private/public) managed services provider with various services within their data centres.

Considering these predictions, 2016 could be a big year for managed service providers and their clients.

IT Specialists (ITS)

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