Managed Services: The CEO’s Secret Weapon for Business Outcome Sustainability
By John C. Harris, President & CEO, Aspire Technology PartnersThe fast-changing and ever-growing demands of the modern enterprise pose an array of challenges that require leadership to make some critical decisions. In IT organizations, a common challenge is filling those gaps in operational efficiency and technical expertise that directly correlate to cost. In this case, one such decision is retaining an IT service management in-house or outsourcing/out-tasking to an expert service provider. A growing trend among companies is to “out-task” certain functions, often a combination of functions, around operational support, including application monitoring, infrastructure monitoring, latency monitoring, and other similar tasks. This allows the organizations’ internal technologists to focus more strategically around ways technology can provide value to the business, as opposed to simply running daily technology operational functions. This thinking around out-tasking allows CIOs and other business leaders to elevate their game by aligning the IT organization with specific business initiatives and the business as a whole. Out-tasking allows organizations to eliminate roles supporting specific functions that, while critical to keeping IT running, provide little to no actual value to a company’s mission. This means shifting the internal mindset to focus instead on things that represent more sophisticated and strategic thinking around technology. For many companies, there are a series of gaps when it comes to technology – gaps in knowledge as well as talent acquisition. Managed Services is a way for organizations to leverage some of the best minds in technology, not only to achieve better daily functional outcomes but more strategic technology outcomes as well. From the perspective of an organization’s chief executive officer, Managed Services represents the acquisition of a portfolio of sophisticated technologies that empowers an organization to focus on its core competencies.
In-House Talent Plus Out-Tasked TalentAs businesses become more reliant on technology to be competitive and agile, it becomes increasingly cost-prohibitive to acquire, train, and retain dedicated technologists in-house to achieve business outcomes. A Managed Services Provider (MSP) can scale, both in trained and vendor certified teams as well as the ability to support engagements 24/7/365 across multiple clients. Individual client organizations are simply unable to invest the same level of resources in training or support. For many such organizations, internal IT functional coverage and knowledge is thin and stretched across too many disciplines. This leaves little room to think strategically or long-term about the technology they will use to support and drive the business. With an out-tasked or Managed Services Provider in place to help execute on IT functions, the internal IT team shifts from being technology operators to being technology enablers to business initiatives. From a cost perspective, by working with a strong MSP, an organization gains a tremendous amount of certified knowledge and hands-on experience for the same expense as maintaining a smaller in-house team with less capabilities. The organization can then redeploy or release those internal resources to better serve the business while a group that is more expert in functional support manages its infrastructure.
Filling the Gap for the CloudMany organizations have adopted or migrated to cloud technologies to gain additional capabilities, improve customer experience, and reduce costs associated with capital expenditures. These organizations are also moving away from sole-source data centers toward a hybrid cloud model. This approach allows critical workloads the ability to move between on-premises and the cloud and to move between clouds as needed. However, they are finding that the cloud isn’t easier. In fact, the cloud represents a more sophisticated and complex environment that they need to maintain. Often, they’ve realized that they have made mistakes around which applications should or should not be migrated to the cloud. As the cloud becomes more sophisticated, many businesses lack the ability to manage and scale its use properly from within their organizations. This is where an MSP is able to fill the gap, enabling a seamless transition from on-prem to the cloud or between cloud environments for greater operability, including tasks like managing security, managing the orchestration and automation of moving assets and applications to the cloud, monitoring applications in the cloud, or monitoring the infrastructure.
A Tale of Two TrendsBusinesses today are seeing two trends. The first is the out-tasked model I outlined earlier, which is often happening in the small-to-midsized enterprise space – 250 – 1,000 employees. The second is a full outsourced model, happening in a smaller subset of the enterprise – anywhere from 100 – 250 employees. In this Managed Services model, CEOs are hiring a comprehensive team to consult on their infrastructure, hold themselves accountable for providing uptime, and make strategic recommendations for new technologies – all without the need to pay for personnel, training or overhead. Ideally, the MSP becomes a true partner, integrated as an extension of your internal IT team, or function as if they are your internal team, to the point that they share your overall vision and strategy for what you want to accomplish from a business perspective. Aspire’s team can work with your business to optimize operations and provide IT expertise for your company, so you can get back to focusing on more strategic outcomes. If you would like to learn more about Aspire’s Managed Services, please visit www.aspiretransforms.com for more information.
Aspire Technology Partners is a Cisco Gold Certified Partner engrained in solution pillars that set us apart as a true Cisco solutions provider. We are committed to the continuous improvement of expertise and skillsets around Cisco initiatives that enable us to help and guide customers in the adoption and management of technology architectures designed to transform their organization. We hold Cisco Master Specializations in Collaboration, Security, Cloud & Managed Services and is one of only 25 partners in the US to receive the Cisco Advanced Customer Experience Specialization.