Your Managed Services Vendor Should be Making You More Competitive
By Phil Wilson, Head of Managed Services and APAC Managing Director
Your company’s effectiveness and competitiveness depend on how quickly and effectively they evolve. And the role of managed services should be to help companies with that evolution. This is because as more value is produced digitally, more reliable, progressive and effective use of enterprise software and technologies will be a chief tool for differentiation and competition in the market.
In an Industry Week study commissioned by Oracle, only 14 percent of respondents had already been executing on their digital strategy and were in the process of refining it while others were in more rudimentary stages. A broader Harvard Business Review study commissioned by Oracle identified only 20 percent of IT organizations as Leaders, high in responsiveness to fast-moving technology innovation. These leaders outperformed Laggards by more than 100 percent in using digital to transform customer engagement, employee work processes, product offerings and business models. Laggards were six times as likely to say their IT organizations have caused them to miss opportunities because they could not respond quickly enough.
Cumulatively, entire national economies can rise and fall based on how fully, completely and effectively this digitalization or digital transformation progresses. A study by The Fletcher School at Tufts University found Singapore was furthest along in its digital transformation, followed by the United States while Hong Kong and South Korea have the greatest momentum.
In another recent study, risk management company Aon PLC cites increased reliance on technology as a risk business must manage in areas including business interruption, damage to reputation and failure to innovate to meet customer needs.
Managed services as an answer
While many leadership teams may see managed services as a line item cost required to keep their digital technologies operating, addressing only the business interruption risk cited by Aon, Inoapps and our customers are finding managed services can and should go beyond this, augmenting the IT organization with the bandwidth and expertize to become more responsive to change and more proactive.
In a recent article for CIO Magazine, Maria Korolov writes about how managed services organizations are changing to help their customers evolve in their use of digital technologies. Not only are managed services providers (MSPs) taking on responsibility for performance of systems to ensure their customers’ needs are met according to service level agreements (SLAs), but “determining proactively what technologies and services are needed to fulfill the client’s needs.”
“Managed service providers structure their business to offer technology services cheaper than what it would cost an enterprise to do itself, at a higher level of quality, and with more flexibility and scalability,” Korolov writes. “This is achieved through efficiencies of scale, as an MSP is able to hire specialists that smaller enterprises in particular may not be able to justify, and through automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning — technologies that client companies may not have the expertize to implement themselves … Managed service providers have evolved of late to offer services that support strategic and longer-term business planning, including digital transformation consulting, compliance audits, technology roadmaps, and needs assessments.”
How to get there?
Many proposals from managed services vendors may pay lip service to this more proactive approach, but one familiar refrain we hear from our customers is that getting an MSP to actually deliver proactive guidance outside of a separate consulting budget is difficult. Many MSPs are content to coast along on passive income, never delivering on the value-added services they have promised.
So how do you successfully turn your MSP into a competitive advantage? In a new whitepaper coming soon, we offer up advice for organizations intent on turning their MSP into a strategic ally, making them more competitive by helping them advance in their use of Oracle software and technologies.
To receive a copy of the white paper when it's ready, contact us today!