What is the Real Value of Managed Services?
Ask The Right Questions Of Your Managed Services Provider
The value of managed services is often reduced to discussions about cost-cutting and taking a mess off the customer’s hands. However, the real value resides in ways that managed services help streamline operations, innovate with new technologies, drive more IT value to the business, and actually clean up the IT mess. It all boils down to the kind of discussion that the customer holds with the provider—reframe the discussion, ask the right questions, and find out how valuable the provider’s managed services offers really are.
The Discussions You’re Probably Having With Your Managed Services Provider
It’s nobody’s fault really, when the discussion about managed services focuses on the short-term tangible benefits of cheaper IT services. Customers generally want the best deal they can get—more IT services for less cost.
Providers of managed services get this point very clearly. They come to the discussions armed with comparative analyses – showing how deliverable by deliverable their services cost less than the market competition. It’s the end result of commoditization of goods and services.
But managed IT services should never be looked at as a commodity. IT services underpin nearly everything an Enterprise does. IT bolsters all the innovation, transactional activities, marketing, sales, and communications of the Enterprise to compete and thrive. The very existence of the Enterprise depends wholly on the health of its IT infrastructure.
What Is The Real Value In Managed Services?
The mindset of maintaining the status quo for less cost and “taking the mess away so we don’t see it,” prevents the customer from obtaining real value from a managed services provider and what value it can truly bring to the Enterprise. To understand the real value of managed services, you have to ask the right questions by placing the emphasis on your business outcomes and the true ROI of managed services.
The right conversation should focus on all the key areas of the Enterprise that vitally depend on different parts of the IT infrastructure and then map the proposed managed services to those functional areas. For example, being able to identify the groups and organizations within the Enterprise where rapid technology adoption would significantly impact the corporate bottom line for the better is crucial.
A managed services provider worth its salt can accommodate these type of discussions and delineate clearly just how its deliverables provide larger business outcomes and positively affect the core business of the Enterprise. Managed services should be a transformative journey through which the managed services provider guides you and your Enterprise. And it all starts with the discussion between you and the provider, and the questions you ask.
The Right Questions for the Right Discussion
Here are some questions you should keep in mind and bring up during sales pitches and exploratory discussions with managed services providers.
- How does the managed service help us compete more nimbly?
- How does the managed service help us adopt technologies more rapidly?
- How does the managed service help us transform our business to more digital-capable and cloud-consumable applications and services?
- How does the managed service provide us with transparency into IT issues without defocusing us?
- How does the managed service fix our IT infrastructure problems and optimize our environment, not just take the mess away from us?
- How does the managed service enable better collaboration and innovation within our organization?
- How does the cost of the managed service get repaid in bottom-line contributions to efficiency and innovation?
- How does the managed service prepare us for the next technology wave rather than prevent us from catching it?
- How does the managed service encourage a partnership rather than just a business transaction?
- How quickly can the managed service program adapt to new market trends with complementary capabilities for new technologies?
IT services are core to the business, and not only can most of the problems be resolved with proper managed services, real advantages can be extracted in the process that positively affect the corporate bottom line. Done correctly, managed services eliminate (rather than hide) the mess through the proper balance of intelligent and experienced technology professionals, powerful and insightful tools, and industry-accepted best practices.
More than that, though, managed services give the Enterprise a competitive leg-up, with faster technology adoption, increased efficiencies, better internal communications which lead to more creative innovations, and transformational power to tap into next-generation digital and collaborative services.
CMS Loves These Kinds Of Questions
Cisco’s Cloud and Managed Services group has the most comprehensive managed services offers for Cisco’s network, collaboration, data center, and security technologies. Our delivery teams are staffed with the best and brightest technology professionals who are committed to delivering value-added managed services that complement and advance your core business.
We don’t take your mess for less—we help fix the situation, optimize your IT infrastructure, and keep everything running smoothly. In order to do this, we ask ourselves the above questions every day, to make sure we not only have the right answers but provide the right service for our customers.
To learn more, see how Managed Services from Cisco can help empower your business.
Authored by Trevor Morgan, CMS Offer Manager.