Recently I had the privilege to exchange thoughts at a roundtable discussion about the Future of Managed Services with our strategic partner Presidio. I would like to share some highlights from that dynamic dialogue.
We all agreed, the services industry overall is heading to a tipping point. Managed services are becoming more attractive to IT, and consequently the demand is growing exponentially. Our discussion focused on the key factors driving this demand and what managed service providers can do to stay ahead of customers’ needs.
Business leaders have ever growing expectations for increased IT speed and responsiveness. As the pace of change in business grows ever quicker, IT needs to become “Fast IT” – delivering new solutions at a more rapid pace In order to do that, IT needs to be able to integrate and automate all support interactions that it’s responsible for delivering.
Customer needs can change in a heartbeat. To meet these needs, organizations and service models have to be more fluid in order to adapt to the ebb and flow of the customer’s business. This embodies a new type of relationship between the customer and the managed services provider. Customers may want to use one service model for a few months or for a few years, changing models as the business changes – gone are the rigid, long-term outsource agreements that lock customers into one model for many years. Ryan Jordan, VP of Managed Services at Presidio put it well:
“Customers want more flexibility from their managed services providers. It’s true that just off-loading managed services allows IT to be faster on their feet. But offering a managed service that is also flexible and responsive adds tremendously to the goals of Fast IT.”
A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in an era of ever changing business needs. For instance, rolling out a new application and updating the infrastructure to support the trading desks for a global financial services company requires a different service approach from supporting the operations for a hospital.
A standardized cookie-cutter approach gives you better economies of scale, which supports profitability, but can sacrifice the opportunity to customize offerings by industry or customer. This can affect your competitiveness. The future of managed services is in tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of customers and can adjust as the relationship develops over time.
Presidio and Cisco are working together to implement a new model – built on a foundation of real-time service integration. In this model customers, managed service providers and the technology vendors are all connected in real-time. It creates a new level of transparency and collaboration, speeding resolution times and ensuring all parties have a common view of what’s happening as its happening.
I encourage you to watch the video and read the case study to learn more: