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Plan ahead for managed service success

Determine which level of managed service best suits your company’s needs and how it is likely to impact digital transformation initiatives.
Read time 4min 20sec

In my first article on managed services, I noted that while the benefits and value are clear – how does a reduction of IT costs by 25% to 45%, according to Mordor Intelligence, sound − determining which level is best for your needs might not be as clear.

Consider the following: The managed services model trend is rising for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Increases in operational efficiency by an estimated 45% to 65% (Mordor Intelligence).
  • An increasingly shallow pool of highly-skilled, highly-specialised technology workers and difficulty in hiring them.

Additionally, EY’s article on how managed services can accelerate business transformation notes that 84% of organisations are trying to adapt their business strategies to address deficiencies in their current operating models.

Here are some useful tips to assist in selecting the right level of support needed:

Monitor managed services: Proactive application and solution monitoring is best if the company is seeking a solution that delivers incident notifications so that the internal team can take appropriate action. It allows for heightened visibility so issues can be resolved before they become end-user incidents.

System administrator: This is ideal if you have staff but are looking for a system administrator to manage daily tasks and keep the solution running at a steady pace. At operations level, these resources are needed to manage elective changes and enhancements, upgrades and solution expansion, as these services are not included at this level. The organisation can, however, supplement any service tier with add-on services.

Enhanced managed service tier: This tier, for example, includes adding a workflow to an existing solution workflow, and is best if the supplier’s managed services team is needed to manage and execute enhancements. Those enhancements may include, for example, incremental updates to currently deployed solutions, in addition to access to annual upgrades, strategic workshops and all the services at the operations level.

Expansion of managed services: If the company has deployed an HR solution and wishes to add accounts payable or other department workflow, it would be covered under this level. It is ideal if seeking experts to manage and execute the solution expansion beyond the currently deployed one, in addition to the service offerings at the enhanced tier.

Each of those managed services options provides a targeted, tried-and-tested strategy that lowers the cost of administering and supporting deployed solutions. The company also needs a service that enables teams to continually deliver an enhanced quality service for in-demand business requirements, such as security, performance, functionality, interoperability and user satisfaction, if not delight.

Seek processes and tools that empower the organisation with everything that is needed to get it to where it wants to be.

These various managed services options also provide access to a variety of skilled resources to optimise content solutions and the ability to operate with service levels and schedules that meet requirements, service duration and operational budget.

When it comes to expert content solutions, the organisation knows better than anybody else what works best for the business. But remember, seek processes and tools that empower the organisation with everything that is needed to get it to where it wants to be.

So, what is the potential impact of managed services on digital transformation plans?

As we zoom out from those tactical decisions and move to broader digital transformation goals, managed services can be the game-changing driver and enabler of successful outcomes.

As the business grows and digital transformation trends become must-have solutions, the never-ending asks from in-house teams is likely to start − or continue − to outpace the resources on hand.

Many organisations find themselves with stalled, or failed, digital implementations because they simply don’t have enough resources or the right assets to manage them.

This inequity between demand for services and supply of those services impacts not only the services provided but also the innovation that’s suffering as internal teams are forced to spend more of their time on those services instead of more strategic tasks.

However, IT leaders are faced with a bigger barrier to implementation of their digital plans. As evidenced by the results of Gartner’s 2021-2023 Emerging Technology Roadmap Survey, IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies, compared with just 4% in 2020.

This means that in many cases, IT leaders who want to deploy a new tool to boost business outcomes anticipate a lack of suitable workers to implement the technology. This talent shortage is a roadblock to digital transformation.

To compound the issue, board demands are increasing, with tougher expectations around return on investment and performance. This increasing pressure to make the most of technology solutions has led to an increased adoption of a managed services business model.

In my next article I will discuss managed services and digital acceleration.

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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