Even if you haven’t yet used managed services in your industry, you’re sure to run into one of the newer offerings that promise to do everything but butter your toast. The reality is that demand for managed services is steadily increasing across all industry verticals. Take, for example, the cloud-based managed services (telephony, conferencing, messaging, and contact centers) developed to support the emerging Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market where telephony providers are already jostling for position. Leading telecom providers like Ericsson are routinely inking managed services deals for maintenance of telecommunications infrastructure that includes both fixed and mobile networks, with the goal of “raising the quality and efficiency of [the customer’s] network.” And former infrastructure-as-a-service provider Rackspace has even announced its decision to exit the IaaS marketplace and focus on its “managed cloud” business as a way to rise above the noise—and the competition.
Why all this attention on managed services? Wikipedia defines managed services as “the practice of outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses.” Sounds good, right? I mean, what company wouldn’t want to improve operations and reduce costs? But if you take a step back to look at the current trends in managed services shown in the infographic below, it’s clear the advantages go beyond just saving money or becoming more efficient.
With so much at stake, how can you find out if managed services could prove to be your secret sauce? The best way to start is by choosing a managed services provider that can capitalize on 4 characteristics of tomorrow’s business landscape:
Say it with customization
Don’t settle for one-size-fits-all managed services when what you really need is a solution customized to meet the exact challenges your business actually faces. Pick a provider offering managed services that address your pain points—high availability, resiliency, disaster recovery?—so you can move on to helping your customers address theirs.
Build customer loyalty with insight
Let’s face it: Two customers can have the same problem but for different reasons: one needs a high-performance cloud infrastructure and the other needs a secure one to ensure compliance, for example. Managed services that offer insight into your customer’s needs can provide more than a technology fix: they can be key to customer “stickiness” or loyalty.
Avoid price wars with flexibility
For years, the justification for most IT implementations was cost reduction. But a new theme is emerging: operational readiness. Today’s leaders must be able to rapidly deploy solutions anywhere in the world, under any conditions, with any team—and do so successfully every time. Making sure your managed services provider meets that standard will ensure your business is flexible enough to handle tomorrow’s challenges.
Grow your business with predictability
One of the key trends in managed services is around “outcomes.” In the past, success in IT was evaluated against the reliability and availability of software, or “uptime.” Today, the emphasis is on predictable and measurable business results rather than on service levels. Choose a managed services provider that lets you deploy a consistent architecture or toolset worldwide. Shortening implementation time with standard processes and solutions will help grow your business.
If you’re just getting started with managed services, be sure to check out our Managed Backup, Managed Monitoring, and Managed Security offerings. Or contact one of our cloud experts today to talk about how managed services can help your company stand out from the crowd.
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