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Investigating managed services

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Although industry has conjured up new technological approaches to service provision, including software-as-a-service, on demand services and cloud computing, the South African marketplace still faces financial and skills shortage challenges.

So says Chris Dorn, senior manager of product management at Business Connexion, who adds that the control and ownership of infrastructure and information has undergone a shift.

“Firstly through virtualisation, which broke the link between hardware and software, and secondly through cloud computing, which further breaks the link between application and location. The world of computing is moving away from the on-premises IT model.”

As a result, notes Dorn, clients are demanding that service providers become more agile and flexible in terms of providing a fit-for-purpose sourcing model, whether it be traditional, multi-source, integrated or custom developed services.

In light of this, ITWeb and Business Connexion have initiated the Managed Services Survey. Dorn says the survey is aimed at gauging the propensity of client markets, such as enterprise, SME or consumer, towards the various service offerings.

He doesn't envisage trends in SA to be any different to the rest of the world, saying that “financial pressures are the same, with SA possibly having an additional exposure in terms of skills”.

One of the benefits of managed services is that it allows customers who own infrastructure to have a service provider look after the infrastructure and deliver it as a service according to a defined service level.

This allows customers to focus on their core business processes while leaving the IT to the service providers, Dorn concludes.

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