How IT co-sourcing and managed services can help your business succeed
The implementation of an IT co-sourcing or managed services strategy is a growing trend among successful businesses. Companies of all sizes are utilizing these models to control costs and reduce the inherent stress with the implementation and management of technology systems. These solutions develop a framework where existing IT staff is augmented with outside personnel to improve productivity and maximize the potential of technology investments.
There are several drivers of the increase in popularity of these services; chief amongst them are the ability to control costs and the difficulty in retaining qualified IT personnel. Necessary technology investments are often difficult to predict, making budgeting and forecasting problematic. Talented technology staff is also currently in high demand across the country, therefore, attracting and maintaining the right personnel is a complex task. IT co-sourcing and managed services allow for predictive technology support costs and the constant availability of trained personnel with the skill sets that the company desires.
When qualified IT employees leave a company, it can have a damaging effect to organizational continuity and its overall vision. Co-sourcing can help to implement a consistent strategy and direction, eliminating the need to frequently start from square one and reducing the possibility of a management nightmare resulting from personnel following multiple methodologies and strategies.
As technology infrastructure becomes increasingly complex with the advent of cloud computing, virtualization and advanced infrastructure, it is almost impossible for small to medium-sized organizations to keep up. Partnering with an advisor in a managed or co-sourced environment allows companies to focus on desktop and application support issues while implementing advanced technology.
Larger companies are also turning to co-sourcing to augment their IT personnel. Many businesses have unique skill sets and talents within their IT organization, but can still benefit from outside assistance, through implementation of industry best practices and segregation of duties, relieving pressure on current IT staff.
Interestingly, as technology gets easier for the end user, it adds more complexity on the backside for IT staff. Many more factors must be accounted for, from wireless infrastructure to mobile device management and storage requirements to become paperless. The ease of use generated for users demands an increasingly intricate environment on the back end. The capabilities of emerging technology have created an expectation for more information in real-time, and companies cannot afford to be complacent.
Organizations typically consider a co-sourcing or managed services relationship at a hardware, infrastructure and operating system level. These are defined and straightforward products where a strategy can be efficiently developed that supports the needs of the company. Specific services and applications can be more difficult for these solutions as software can be very granular and business specific and there may be a limited number of companies utilizing a particular program.
A benefit of utilizing a co-sourcing partner or managed services provider is their breadth of clients and understanding of the trends and technology implementations that are taking place overall and within your industry. This relationship can provide important strategic data and benchmarking to make more informed business decisions.
It is difficult for many organizations, especially small to medium-sized businesses, because of their scale, to leverage complex tools that require more resources and advanced knowledge. However, working with a co-sourcer or managed services provider can unlock the potential of those advanced tools and infuse that accelerated knowledge into your business environments.
For example, buying, implementing and maintaining a tool to assist with the monitoring and automation of your environment can be a daunting endeavor. However, by selecting and leveraging a managed services provider who has the advantage of size and proven methodologies, you enjoy the benefits of that functionality at a fraction of the cost and without the time investment of maintenance.
Businesses are constantly seeking to get the most out of their technology investments. At the end of the day, it is critical to have a consistent and efficient IT organization while also controlling costs. When evaluating whether to invest in staff or tools, you must determine which approach provides the most value. Utilizing existing IT staff bolstered by experienced outside personnel can provide a competitive advantage over your peers by helping to ensure that systems are reliable and secure while utilizing all the features and functionality of your software and applications.