The role of managed services providers in an increasingly digital-enabled world
In an increasingly digitised environment, providers such as the managed services team within Nacelle help businesses navigate, what is for most, relatively uncharted terrain.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that organisations can no longer hold on to the view that what they’ve done for the past decade has worked well thus far, and will continue to work well for them in future.
Many of the technological advancements impacting almost every industry across the globe are subtle, while others fundamentally change the workings and even the very nature of the market itself. Even an organisation’s own employees, partners and customers are evolving and adapting to this new world within the context of their own lives, and thus their expectations rise to a level that only new technology adoption will fulfil.
In this context, there is no option but to overcome any fear of change, and bravely adapt to ensure the business still occupies a meaningful and relevant gap, and will continue to do so. The further away a business drifts from modernisation and adaptation, the harder it becomes to compete with those players that are quick to embrace technological change.
There are always ways to improve the workings of a business through technology, whether this be through the automation of certain processes and systems, the adoption of technology that streamlines adherence to governance controls and practice standards, or benefiting from AI to drive efficiencies and add value.
If we look at infrastructure and network design, for example, many of the current networks within organisations are no longer sustainable and cloud is just one technology that is both enabling businesses to overcome this problem, but also presenting opportunities for more cost-effective and efficient ways of working that didn’t exist before. We are seeing a continued rise in the demand for traditional data centres and cumbersome legacy networks to be upgraded and migrated into the cloud, and this brings with it unprecedented benefit and value to a business.
Historically, an organisation would go out with a CAPEX outlay upfront and invest in a certain amount of infrastructure, and that infrastructure would be sweated to its limit. Conversely, one of the primary benefits of cloud is being able to scale up or down based on what is needed at any given point in time and it’s this level of flexibility and ability to smoothly and swiftly evolve, that digital technologies are making possible. It is developments such as these as well as increasingly constrained budgets, that make the role of managed services providers more vital than ever before.
Managed service providers are essentially a one-stop-shop, offering a varied basket of goods, with all the necessary specialised skills and partnerships, to do whatever is needed when it is needed, to move an organisation from its current status quo to ensuring they have built repeatable, consistent, flexible and sustainable processes to run their business with.
Even from a resourcing perspective, Ryan Porter, Head of Managed Services at Nacelle, explains that: “If your team is not a multi-skilled, multi-disciplinary team, as is the case with the team we have here, you risk creating many single points of failure. If, for example, you only have one or two people looking after your networks, your servers, your monitoring tools, or your operating systems, what happens when a person leaves with that institutional knowledge? With legacy systems that haven’t modernised or digitised or moved to cloud, there are literally only a handful of people left that are in a position to maintain those systems.”
Managed services providers additionally benefit clients through their own curated partnerships. Nacelle, for example, partners with Microsoft which allows it to tap into its resources, including training, and draw on its knowledge base to ensure its own clients are well poised to stay up-to-date with what is going on in the industry and retain a leading-edge position in the market.
Right now, so much change is upon us, and so much is in flux. What is happening currently in the world, especially with COVID-19, is that, all of a sudden, organisations are coming to realise they are not as digital-ready as they thought they were. New ways of existing and working are being forced to the fore, in particular the urgent need for cloud storage, the necessity for remote work spaces and the rush to adopt collaborative technologies such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom or BlueJeans that enable this way of working. This shift was not gradual as we might of expected, but instead became a reality almost overnight.
Porter goes on to say: “As a managed services business, we continually strive to be on the forefront of those technologies that future-proof organisations and ensure we ramp up the skills and the abilities to be able to help people deliver on those technologies strategically and at speed and not be caught off guard.”
Even at this point in time, we have only begun to scratch the surface of what digital technology will enable us to achieve, but the reality is that there are technologies we don’t yet know about that will arrive like waves to shake things up, and it's managed services providers that are best positioned to prepare organisations for this or any other unpredictable challenge that may come their way.
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