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Managed Services

One of the most important concepts in the context of business management is ‘optimisation’. It means speeding up processes, minimising waste, reducing costs. Sometimes it is simply a matter of not doing something yourself if someone else can do the service for you cheaper and better.

What are ‘managed services’?

Managed services are a solution where the implementation of a whole process is outsourced to a third party. This can be compared to a somewhat more developed outsourcing. One important caveat, however, is the continuity of the service within a certain time frame while ensuring a specific level of performance.

How are managed services used in IT?

Depending on the needs, external companies are entrusted with tasks at varying levels of complexity. This could be maintenance of a newly implemented CRM or ERP system, complex infrastructure support or any narrow process requiring specialist knowledge. This way, the contractor assumes full responsibility for the tasks entrusted to it.

What are the advantages of using managed services?

·      Access to experts. The development of the IT sector brings an increasing emphasis on optimised dedicated solutions, which stand in opposition to the ‘one size fits all’ strategy. This means that both software and hardware are built to meet specific requirements. From the perspective of a company that undertakes an IT system development, this involves hiring people with the expertise needed to create a product that meets the expectations. However, the search for the right people can take a long time and the overall cost of the process will be high. If this is the case, it is much better to outsource the process to an external company that employs specialists in a specific field on a daily basis, so they are available immediately.

·      Facilitating project management. This one might seem a controversial point – after all, when you hire external companies, you don’t have full insight into their documentation or their methods of working on a project. Nevertheless, this is precisely what can prove to be a blessing for many customers. Instead of supervising multiple teams, controlling their work and stressing over fundamentally irrelevant issues, the company is only focused on getting the end product. Based on the agreements made at the start of the cooperation as regards costs or the technical capacity, an invoice for the service is paid monthly – this is where the customer’s responsibility ends, essentially. If any problems arise on the part of the contractor, it must solve them independently, without passing them on to the ordering company.

·      Convenient cost planning. Running your own IT department involves a lot of start-up expenditure. It is necessary to purchase the necessary software, install the infrastructure… The very process of introducing new employees involves costs related to training and the risk of termination after the probationary period. Even once the installation is up and running, the risk of failure cannot be dismissed. In other words, it is expensive to start, after which, ideally, costs decrease and remain at a relatively constant level. Sadly, the world is not a perfect place; a failure can happen, meaning unexpected (and often high) expenses. If you use managed services, the monthly cost of providing the services is defined in advance and included in the relevant contracts. As a result, no matter the situation, the ordering company is able to plan the budget in advance and prevent any unpleasant surprises.

·      Flexibility. Managed services-oriented companies specialise in specific areas and possess the right tools, such as the sufficient number of specialists or equipment. This means that the outsourcing company need not worry about whether it has sufficient human resources and reasonably powerful computing units. When the demand increases, you simply sign an addendum to the contract and increase the monthly rate slightly, without having to buy equipment or carry out new recruitment. Conversely, when the most labour-intensive part of the job is done, the ordering entity is not left with an unnecessary machinery fleet and employees for whom it needs to find work.

Is it worthwhile to look into introducing managed services in your company?

I would go so far as to say that it is not worth stopping at mere interest. The discussed model of service delivery and project delivery gives you the level of flexibility and cost savings that you just cannot achieve by trying to do everything yourself.

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