How managed services boost digital acceleration

The right managed services team allows in-house IT professionals to remove the burden of project management, daily maintenance and constant training.
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The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a massive shift in how organisations operate and what services are most needed. Work patterns have been altered forever, and business leaders are under pressure to accelerate digital transformation plans.

Pivoting to a managed services model can be a faster, more effective route to transformation than tasking in-house teams to manage it, or trying to acquire/hire specialised technology workers in an increasingly competitive market.

A managed services model provides access to the tools, talent and insights that can help companies achieve digital targets.

In the first two articles in this series, I detailed the cost and ROI benefits of adopting managed services and followed with an explanation of the types of managed services available to enterprises.

In this article, I’ll detail how managed services and content services – including the cloud – work together to achieve greater efficiency.

Managed services and content services

A content services platform lies at the heart of digital transformation because it extends data-driven capabilities, communications, case management and automated work to other critical systems and users wherever they are located.

A managed services business model broadens the innovation horizon. It enables organisations to exploit the full benefits that new technologies and solutions have to offer, especially if they are as complex as a content services solution.

The in-house team may be hard-pressed to support a broad content services solution that includes, for example, robotic processes automation, capture, digital asset management and more. But a managed services model would.

A managed services model provides access to the tools, talent and insights that can help companies achieve digital targets.

Leveraging a managed services model provides experts in the precise areas they are needed, when needed.

These specialists can manage the heavy lifting of solution maintenance and ongoing optimisation of configurations, including integration, development, automation and the strategic advice and direction that are so crucial to driving transformation strategies. Moreover, this frees your time to do what you do best – managing the core business.

The impact of the cloud

The managed services model continues to gain momentum as it is increasingly recognised – by organisations across the globe − as a crucial key to the acceleration of digital transformation.

Keeping abreast of the unprecedented pace of technology innovation and disruption has always been a must for businesses.

Today, digital transformation trends and technologies are redefining the way organisations – regardless of the sector in which they are operating − conduct business. Yes, it’s true that the idea of pursuing IT innovation is widely supported, but the reality is that competing priorities often take precedence over making time for ongoing digital transformation.

It no longer makes sense to rely solely on in-house IT teams for content services strategies, solution delivery and optimisation. Many organisations are choosing to move to the cloud and consequently adopting a managed services model for key areas. This ensures trusted partners expertly maintain their information management solutions and continually optimise them to meet specific business needs.

Partnering with the right managed services team allows in-house IT professionals to remove the burden of project management, daily maintenance and the constant training required regarding emerging content services capabilities to ensure solutions are performing as expected and needed.

It also enables in-house IT experts to rise to the challenge of planning, designing and implementing innovative technologies across their companies and as such build true differentiation in the marketplace.

What about the budget?

Managed services create a budgetary win for IT. When allowing a third-party to manage mission-critical enterprise platforms, the company also benefits from reduced operating expenses.

This is particularly true for firms struggling to maintain a large internal IT staff component, which is accompanied by the associated expense from required platform education, training and tools.

It also makes good financial sense for businesses with high employee turnover. The fixed monthly cost structure facilitates the management of IT operational budgets and removes the risk of unforeseen expenses.

Regardless of the number of issues that arise in any given month, costs remain the same. This consistent expense is invaluable to enterprises operating on a fixed budget, as well as those planning for long-term expenditures.

Rapidly-evolving technologies, industry standards, regulations and customer expectations mean businesses must have digital agility to keep pace with the competition. This last explains why managed services is not a ‘nice to have’ but is rather mission-critical because companies need digital agility.

Keeping pace and meeting all those needs and requirements in-house can be extremely difficult.

For example, with more employees opting to work remotely, cyber security is a critical consideration for organisational health and resilience. It’s vital in combatting threats that are growing in their capacity for disruption, financial loss and reputational damage.

The 2021 SIM IT Trends Study surveyed IT executives from 454 organisations with an average revenue of $6.8 billion, and revealed IT leaders’ top three most important IT management issues:

  • Security/cyber security/privacy
  • Alignment of IT with the business
  • IT talent/skill shortage/retention

These three areas of IT and organisational planning are increasingly complex and rapidly evolving. Staying on the cutting-edge of capabilities requires continuous education and training − something in-house staff may not be able to prioritise when faced with competing strategic initiatives.

A 2022 report noted that cloud maturity − not just adoption − will be essential for 2022 tech advancements; remote work is here to stay and surviving the great resignation will require increased investments in reskilling and upskilling programmes.

This last in itself is endorsement of the need for managed services. These outsourced teams ensure solutions continually meet the needs of evolving business requirements for security, performance, functionality, interoperability and user experience − with one aim in mind: successful outcomes, faster.

It all comes down to being prepared for whatever is coming next, especially in today’s digital-first, increasingly mobile world, businesses must be resilient and prepared to evolve in order to seize opportunity and thrive.

Being prepared means having the resources to ensure digital solutions adapt and optimise with the evolving requirements on which organisations depend. The ability to tap into the expert resources within a managed services model translates into being prepared for any business environment by adapting to change with solutions primed for success.

Monique Williams

Southern Africa regional sales manager for Hyland Software.

Monique Williams is the South Africa Country Manager for Hyland Software, where she is responsible for sales on Hyland's Content Services platform.

She has in excess of 20 years' experience in the information technology sector and holds an Honours Degree in Marketing Management and a Bachelor of Social Science in General Psychology, Industrial and Organisational Psychology, from the University of Cape Town.

Williams has worked for Hyland Software for over a decade and in that time, has been partner manager for UK and Scandinavia, and business development manager in South Africa. Her duties in her current role include generating revenue for Hyland Software by establishing and leading the execution of a plan to market, as well as managing existing and newly recruited partners in Southern Africa. Since being appointed to this role, she has increased sales revenue and has achieved year-on-year growth of a minimum of 30%.

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