PBT Group thought leadership
It is no secret that the current economic environment is somewhat strained. As a result, businesses, regardless of size, are feeling pressure from all angles as economic conditions tighten, and with this, are shuffling processes and strategies to ensure they remain relevant and offer a distinct competitive differentiator.
As digital transformation progresses, technology is often considered to be the key to driving positive business change and sustainability, given the many opportunities technology can open up to business. This is attractive, and especially during tougher economic markets, when businesses need to leverage opportunity – and quickly – to push through.
However, there resides this consensus that technology investment is no simple task and in many instances is not a relatively cost effective one.
Enter Managed Solutions. When considering IT infrastructure investment, the managed solutions environment is seeing strong growth – being leveraged by business as a means to allow the business to invest in technology products, services and platforms, as and when they need to, to suit their growth needs. In fact, research notes that the global managed services market was valued at USD 166.8 billion in 2018, and it is expected to reach USD 319.5 billion by 2024.
IT managed solutions and service platforms are gaining attention due to the benefits that can be reaped, which include:
- Cost – the provision of IT managed services can provide those IT-based services needed at a more competitive cost
- Access to experts – the services can be provided more efficiently by a managed solutions provider compared to what a business may be able to achieve in-house without significantly upscaling on talent and skills, which links back to costs
- Scalability – more flexibility can be provided in the nature of the services over what a business can achieve internally, and being able to upscale and downscale as required
The notable shifts
These same benefits and principles that apply to IT infrastructure, in today’s environment, also apply to the professional based managed solutions space. However, we are noticing a significant shift in the provision of such solutions – in that businesses can no longer afford to implement a professional based managed solutions project that would take 3 to 4 years to be completed and show a return on investment (ROI). With achieving a clear competitive edge being a critical goal, managed solutions projects are becoming shorter where the business needs to see the results within the same financial year.
Furthermore, given the pressures faced, businesses are now also looking for more agility and flexibility in how they provision their IT services, along with how they run their operations. This is resulting in the support function of managed solutions having evolved – and across all areas of the managed services stream.
Managed solutions and services platforms can no longer just be viewed or used as a support role – it’s no longer just about a provider going into a business and supporting an existing platform and solution – this is simply not sustainable. The demand today is much stronger.
With the need to grow the platform or solution, develop on it and ensure that it is keeping pace with what the business is demanding from it in support of the overall business objective and goal, the managed solutions function has to be viewed as a partnership, in order for it to be a consistent success. It is with this in mind that a business turning to managed solutions or services as a means to invest in technology trends, must do so by carefully selecting and working with the right partner.
And the right partner is one that can truly offer the business flexibility and is able to accommodate and support the business’ needs – that the business can focus on becoming more responsive to their market and achieve more in the way of growth than just being around to keep the lights on.