The Business Case for Managed Services

Maintaining an in-house technical resource can be a bit of a balancing act. You need to maintain a standard of technical expertise that will allow the organisation to operate efficiently, but you don’t want a high-value resource wasting its talent on basic, day-to-day infrastructure management tasks.

It isn’t necessary for you to do everything in-house. Those more strategic, mission-critical operations may make more sense to keep close to home. Inevitably though, it isn’t possible to staff for every eventuality in-house. In many cases, it is more cost effective for lower-value tasks – such as break-fix and systems monitoring – to be managed by a third party.

Across the UK, organisations of all types are opting to outsource elements of their ICT; in the form of cloud, hosted or managed services. It is easy to see why, as the appeal of reliable access to enterprise-class technologies and services at a predictable monthly cost is strong.

Once you have made the decision to outsource some, or all, of your IT to a managed service provider, how do you go about building a business case for the transformation program?

Price predictability is one of the most attractive elements of a managed service. Provisioning support on an OpEx basis allows your organisation to manage future expenditure accurately.

The scalability and flexibility of an as-a-service proposition also allows you to maintain a right-sized IT infrastructure; meaning you are never over or under-capacity. The ability to pay-as-you-grow means you aren’t sitting on an expensive, under-utilised resource.

As your IT infrastructure becomes more complex, there is a need to ensure robust network security. An increase in users, end-points and applications creates new and evolving threats that an in-house team can find difficult to manage. Add to this the changing Data Protection Regulations and an increase in cyber-crime and it’s easy to see why improved security has become one of the key drivers behind Cloud adoption.

Another significant advantage of outsourcing is the time, cost and resource savings to be made. Leveraging a third party for routine systems maintenance and monitoring frees up your internal resource to focus on more strategic IT projects that can add greater value to the organisation.

A managed service typically includes a 24/7 user and technical support. With an increasingly mobile and flexible workforce, providing front-line support out of traditional office hours would be expensive if you had to provide this service yourself. Outsourcing provides remote desktop support and round-the-clock monitoring of your IT infrastructure.

There are other benefits to be had from partnering with a managed service provider. Not least of which is the opportunity to leverage their ongoing investment in best-in-class technology that may have been beyond your budget. High availability, resilience and security should come as standard from any Cloud service provider.

As an IT estate grows, it impacts on the efficiency of an in-house department. Systems sprawl adds to complexity and keeping your techs trained on all the latest technologies takes both time and money.

In addition to the enterprise-grade technology, you also have access to a wealth of technical knowledge and expertise. Managed service providers typically maintain a broad spectrum of hardware and software accreditations, which they keep up to date as a part of their vendor agreements. This provides access to a resource that it simply isn’t viable to maintain in-house.

Outsourcing is as much about mitigating risk as it is about improving systems performance. Choosing the right service provider can help reduce the commercial and operational implications of downtime, help maintain regulatory compliance and data protection and eliminate the risks associated with a loss of in-house expertise, should a key employee be on leave, off sick or move to another company.

Take a look at what you’re delivering in-house and what might be more cost-effectively delivered by a third-party service provider. Through outsourcing you could release some capital and free up some human resource that can be re-directed to achieve the overriding strategic business objectives.

If you’d like more help understanding what your outsourcing options are, contact ONI directly on 01582 429 999 or, for further information, visit: