The IDC Managed Services 2012 survey released in October revealed 75 per cent of respondents plan to increase their spending on managed services in Australia or spend the same amount in the next year. Other reports indicate the top 300 companies in Australia are using some form of outsourcing to optimise their business processes.
Why are so many organisations gobbling up managed services, especially in a cooling Australian economy? Even with budgets tight, smart organisations know managed services can reduce their total cost of ownership, mitigate risk and help them incorporate new technologies into their environment more quickly and cost-effectively than they can do on their own.
Access to a greater breadth of skills and technology at a lower cost
The very basis of managed services lies in streamlining IT processes and lowering costs while allowing organisations to focus on their core business. Managed services provide “on-demand” IT skills so that special projects or non-core business functions can be taken off the internal IT department’s shoulders. This means organisations don’t have to hire additional salaried employees or pay for overhead to leverage the IT skills they need. And, if you choose the right managed services provider, these IT skills should come by way of a flexible, budget-friendly contract guided by a customised service-level agreement.
Technologies like cloud — which increased in adoption amongst Australian enterprises from 43 per cent in 2011 to 58 per cent in 2012 —, mobility and unified communications are further driving organisations to seek managed services to handle implementations and connectivity. While these new technologies and the management of them come at a cost, they are the most primed to enable cost efficiencies and improvements in service for organisations down the road. Having a managed services provider to help with the integration, network configuration and management of these solutions can ensure they work and fold into your existing infrastructure seamlessly. Managed cloud especially enables organisations to leverage the full possibilities of scale, rapid provisioning and lower capex costs while having their infrastructure handled by the provider.
Less risk of downtime
One recent estimate puts the cost of one hour of downtime at $660. That’s just one hour, taking expenses, overhead and employee salary into account. It doesn’t even begin to cover the lost employee productivity or revenue generation during that hour, or the time the IT department spends trying to fix the problem. Painted this way, downtime can spiral into a complete business breakdown.
Managed IT providers can monitor and maintain servers and other infrastructure, network requirements and storage devices and provide help desk support to prevent or mitigate issues like downtime. It’s not just the potential cost savings— it’s peace of mind knowing you have a continual presence that can catch issues before they have a greater impact on the business, something organisations with busy or small IT staffs can’t always guarantee.
How do you plan to use managed services in 2013?