Last year at this time, I highlighted some key new IT developments that were heads above the rest in 2016; especially in big data and artificial intelligence. Virtual reality, SpaceX, and drone ships aside, 2017 was a turbulent and unpredictable year unlike any before.
But predictability, based on widespread IT outsourcing, is possible. Outsourcing of specific functions or services continued to soar throughout 2017. In fact, a 2017/18 study by Computer Economics shows 47% of respondents to their questionnaire plan to increase the amount of work they outsource. It’s predictable, then, that outsourcing will continue to be a favored business strategy in 2018.
5 Extended Benefits of Managed IT Services
The top reason for outsourcing used to be cost savings. But benefits of managed IT services reach far beyond finance. Doug Plotkin, thought leader in outsourcing for Deloitte, says with authority, “outsourcing is reinventing itself”.
Looking beyond cost savings can open the door for great benefits. Here are five benefits of managed IT services that can make your 2018 a stellar year.
1. Find More Opportunity for Innovation
This can happen in at least two ways. First, you contract a vendor to manage only commodity skills; let’s say Help Desk and Web Operations. That will give your in-house IT more time to spend on innovative work that’s more closely related to your business. Second, innovation can occur when the vendor implements techniques beyond your in-house IT capability. Data security is a prime example—vendors should provide the most cutting-edge, iron-clad security systems around.
2. Get More From Your Company’s IT Budget
IT budgets overall aren’t increasing significantly, which is an incentive for IT organizations to do more with less. Adopting certain technology and best practices, while selectively outsourcing can produce excellent results.
3. Build Your Brand With Reliable Service
Another of the benefits of managed IT services is ‘always uptime’. In our global economy, where you could conceivably have a customer in every time zone, ‘always uptime’ is highly valued. You instill trust and confidence in your customers if you avoid disrupting their business with downtime.
4. Outpace the Competition: Position Your Company
It’s difficult to keep up with advances in technology. But it’s not cost-effective to make the investments needed to keep up, either. Outsourcing offers an alternative way to keep up. It also enables you to focus on what your company does well (its core competencies). Without the option to outsource, your in-house IT specialists would be burdened doing all the work themselves. Little to no time would be left to “create the skills that are the foundation of competitive advantage.”
5. Avoid Security Breaches to Convey Credibility
This is a big one (actually, it’s gargantuan). According to a 2017/18 study on outsourcing by Computer Economics, IT security outsourcing is growing at the quickest rate of all functions.
Mark Nunnikhoven, Vice President of Cloud research at the security company Trend Micro, says high-profile security breaches in 2017 have been a wake-up call for businesses whose security needs are top-level. It affects the bottom line.
Remember how fear spread through the global business community on May 12, 2017? WannaCry ransomware hit that day, crippling hospitals and emergency rooms in the UK, delaying medical procedures, and causing chaos for thousands of people.
A month or so later Petya malware infected networks in multiple countries, like Merck Pharmaceuticals (U.S.), Maersk Shipping (Denmark), Rosneft Oil (Russia). Hard-hit Ukraine also suffered disrupted utilities and central bank functions.
The stakes are higher than ever. In recent years hackers have started demanding money to unlock files (pssst…Yahoo, Equifax, Uber…you don’t want to add your company’s named to that list).
In fact, in 2017 they cost victims two billion globally in payments, globally (twice the amount paid out in 2016).
But choose a vendor mindfully, because customers are legally responsible for keeping their data safe. Use due diligence when shopping around. Contrary to popular belief, Mike Palmer of Veritas writes, “cloud service provider contracts usually place data management responsibility with the customer.”
Bottom line: don’t skim—read every word of the fine print before signing anything.
We’ve been digging deep behind the scenes while you and your office mates have been trying to gain traction for this promising New Year. The 2017 edition of How Managed IT Outperforms In-House IT Every Time may have helped you…but our new 2018 edition could be just what you need to gain even greater momentum. You know how timing is everything?
Now that you’ve scanned five benefits of managed IT services that go beyond cost savings, do you think that a reinvention of outsourcing is underway? We may even give it the moniker Outsourcing 2.0. Whatever we call it, the fact remains that outsourcing creates opportunities for impressive benefits.
This may be just the right time for your company to make the shift to managed IT services. And start reaping the benefits of managed IT services.