A recent study by MarketsandMarkets predicts the global managed network services market will grow from $29.47 billion USD in 2012 to $58.39 billion USD in 2018. Industry experts attribute this predicted growth to a greater awareness amongst businesses about the critical nature of their networks and leveraging outsourcing as a tool to increase performance, reduce downtime and improve technology and virtualisation management. Here’s what’s up and coming in 2014 for this area of managed services.
What are Managed Network Services?
Managed network services are gaining momentum because of advancements in cloud computing, big data and mobility services. Managed network services enable enterprises to outsource their IP-based communication network and other in-house networking functions to third-party specialists.
Managed network services providers handle a range of support for organisations of all sizes. This includes remote infrastructure management, monitoring, patch management, performance tuning, optimisation services, periodic auditing and high-level IT reporting to aid the infrastructure planning and optimisation process.
Managed Network Services’ Return on Investment
There are several key business benefits that organisations can expect to achieve when investing in managed network services. These include:
- Cost Reduction: Managed network services replace functions and processes in organisations that carry significant recurring costs. Organisations can reduce recurring in-house IT costs by 30 to 40 per cent by using managed network services, while gaining a 50 to 60 per cent increase in efficiency, according to research by MarketsandMarkets.
- Access to Human Capital: Managed network services give organisations access to specific skills they may lack in-house, such as networking, security or communications. With a partner that specialises in managed network services, organisations also ensure these skills are up-to-date and scalable as organisational needs change.
A skilled partner can handle any networking needs, including configuring switches, connecting desktops and networks with routers, and setting up WAN links. These tasks, albeit critical, take time and experience that your internal staff may not possess. Training your in-house IT team requires a significant time and monetary investment that can stretch limited IT resources. These resources could be better devoted to core business competencies.
- Enhanced Security and Lower Risk of Downtime: With a dedicated managed network services provider,organisations can increase their level of security and reduce network downtime. A managed network services partner can ensure network components are properly configured, including routers and switches, and install firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Your partner can also ensure these critical services, software patches and protections are up-to-date and maintained, and sensitive data is adequately protected with encryption.
- Network Optimisation: Optimising your network effectively involves assessing existing infrastructure on a regular basis, conducting feasibility studies and audits, drafting service proposals and scoping, designing, implementing and testing various solutions.
A managed network services provider can take charge of these core functions to free up time for your C-level and IT staff to focus on primary business objectives. These partners bring extensive expertise in planning and provisioning to ensure your organisation makes informed decisions grounded in research and analytics.
Leveraging a managed network services provider is financially and strategically effective for organisations. Organisations can choose the level of support that best suits their unique business requirements and goals. With a dedicated partner,organisations can realise an increased level of flexibility and agility regarding IT infrastructure and technology needs.