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Managed Services: Providing A Way Through Tricky Economic Times

As capital budgets are slashed and operating budgets are subjected to deep analysis over the next two years we have to ask ourselves: Are we using our IT spend to its greatest capability? Indeed, are we best positioned to provide this IT service to our business?

Specialist skills don’t come cheap, and those skilled personnel are hard to come by in today’s marketplace. Everyone is hoping for stability from their current employer and few will dare to venture out into the marketplace for new opportunities.

So why don’t IT departments extend an olive branch to managed service providers who have invested in specialist consultants, especially in this restrictive economic climate? Let’s be clear though here. We aren’t looking at outsourcing, or residency, or contracting, but a complementary service to the existing IT department that is fully managed.

Service providers live and breathe their specialities. They have a greater depth of capabilities than single end user organisations because have dealt with problems in all areas, in many industries and with all scales of deployment.

Virtualisation is a prime example. Most organisations know the value of server virtualisation and many companies have also adopted it across test, development and production. Few, however, have the tools and in house skills set to manage it effectively however.

The question must be asked: Why would you have a full time employee (FTE) working on low value ongoing operations as opposed to the projects which will optimise your organisation and save it money? - particularly in the current economic climate.

Operating models that are simple, effective and measurable are often the ones that are the most successful. In these challenging times we should expect the operating model to shift more towards managed service providers, thereby leveraging their expertise, Intellectual Property (IP), highly skilled consultants and lower costs, to deliver a quality service.