5 Managed Services That Accelerate Business Initiatives

Businesses across verticals are implementing cloud-based initiatives, and those that haven’t will have to adapt sooner rather than later.

By Dipti Parmar

By Dipti Parmar November 14 2019

Making the transition to cloud-based computing services can be complicated and difficult for many enterprises, particularly those with limited resources. According to Flexera’s State of the Cloud report, enterprises of all sizes state that issues with governance, lack of expertise and security are major obstacles standing in the way of a successful shift.

Source: RightScale State of the Cloud Report

Creating a cloud-based management system that fits each organizations’ unique needs takes skill, knowledge and experience. Some organizations lack that kind of support within their IT department.

One solution for many organizations is to utilize managed services (or MSPs) to provide assistance throughout the process. Outsourcing this task to more knowledgeable professionals can take the complexity out of hybrid and multi-cloud services and accelerate the business’s scalability when it comes to digital transformation.

Cloud Optimization

Using an MSP makes the transition to cloud-based services much easier. MSPs can help transfer data, organize datasets, and enable instant system deployment.

Since MSPs have teams of professionals dedicated to digital transformation, they can also optimize the organization’s data systems for specific needs. For example, some enterprises may benefit most from a hybrid cloud system that provides automation and management consistency, with both internal and virtual storage systems. Others may need to use a multi-cloud approach in order to store and process various datasets separately.

Source: Nutanix

Using an MSP provides predictability for any cloud infrastructure or application update that affects critical operations in the enterprise. Anything that goes wrong with the implementation might impact the organization’s customer-facing functions, supply chain management or sales and revenue targets.

Cybersecurity

Security is often a top concern for many organizations when it comes to cloud-based computing. Since data is stored on either private or public clouds, it would seem to be more vulnerable to hacks.

Unfortunately, if data transfers through a cloud-based system are not properly encrypted, it will be prone to cyberattacks. It is estimated that 95% of all cloud security failures are actually the fault of the user – not the cloud provider. Further, 90% of data breaches are due to human error, such as improper data sharing or phishing scams, as per a report by Kaspersky.

Source: Baker Hostetler

Managed services can provide greater security within the cloud. Most MSPs have stronger security systems that alert the right people the moment there's a hint of a potential data compromise. They can also have security experts and professionals working on plugging the breach in much less time.

More importantly, MSPs can prevent data breaches by putting in place stringent user access policies as well as carrying out regular security audits. This is important because many users in the enterprise have little awareness of their level of access to privileged accounts. They don’t know where their data is coming from, where it will pass, and where it will end up. All of this can be tracked by the MSPs systems, according to their experience in providing security to the vertical in question.

Service and Support

For most organizations, the IT department is not entirely focused on issues related to the cloud. They are also responsible for hardware, software and networking duties. This includes implementing the governance of operating systems to improve functionality.

If one department or employee is having an issue related to a cloud application, it could take a significant amount of time before proper assistance from an IT professional arrives. It might also happen that the IT team may not have the capabilities or expertise to address all of these issues right away, which can stunt the flow of continuous delivery.

With MSPs, organizations can receive fast-tracked troubleshooting and teams that are dedicated to resolving issues the moment they arise. It’s part of the MSP business model. This leads to accelerated problem solving that allows businesses to stay on track and solve problems that could slow down operation.

Unified Communications and Accountability

An MSP is essentially a SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS organization all rolled into one. Depending on the organization’s area of focus, the MSP will be responsible for various aspects of customer’s cloud usage.

Source: CloudExpectations

In the cloud, MSPs can take ownership of data, applications and infrastructure across the private and public cloud. An increasing number of MSPs are starting to manage hyper-scale cloud vendors too, instead of directly competing with them. This means managing the OS, database, storage and backup services, as well as large scale applications in the enterprise.

Leveraged Insights

Arguably, one of the most important reasons that enterprises need to make a shift towards cloud-based systems is to uncover more ways to integrate data into their practices and initiatives. 

The business world today is driven by data and information; failure to adapt to technology shifts like Big Data, AI and machine learning will hold enterprises back from growth.

According to a (sponsored) HBR study titled Real-Time Analytics, 70% of organizations have increased their spending on real-time analytical solutions; currently, around 60% of all enterprises are using instant data insights to improve their customer experience. However, only 16% of these companies believe that they are delivering multichannel real-time interactions effectively, and just 22% claim to see real success due to limitations in data accessibility.

Source: Harvard Business Review

Many managed service providers can offer automation and detailed analytics for predictive insights that address these challenges with optimized analytical systems for real-time analysis and application.

This can be extremely influential on consumer behavior in both B2C and B2B realms, particularly when it comes to personalizing interactions. 84% of consumers and 83% of business buyers expect their online experiences to be customized based on their data, such as previous interactions or content preferences.

Providing this kind of experience requires large scale data collection and analysis. Managed services are able to offer better predictive insights with both internal and third-party data, which they have greater organizational capability to gather and use in real-time. Companies can then optimize their data assemblage and application initiatives with supported systems and leveraged insights coming directly from these MSPs.

Flying in the Clouds

Transitioning to cloud-based systems can be an intimidating task for most organizations – and many view this shift as a potential risk that can come at a great cost. In addition to the high financial investment associated with hybrid cloud implementation and management, this transition can also take the focus away from other initiatives during this period of change.

Working with a managed service provider to support, guide and optimize cloud-based services can make the initial shift as well as continued deployment more successful and efficient, resulting in sustained TCO savings.

Dipti Parmar is a contributing writer. She has written for CIO.com, Entrepreneur, CMO.com and Inc. Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @dipTparmar.

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