According to industry research, the IT managed services sector will increase by more than 50% over the next five years.
Business leaders are discovering that internal expertise is insufficient to meet the day-to-day operational demands and drive core business initiatives.
Cloud computing, managed security, and hyperconverged networks are among the trends affecting managed services in the coming years.
Transformations are unfolding in today’s businesses on an enormous scale. The pace of this change has not been seen since steam power and machines swept away hand production that gave rise to the industrial revolution. Technology is the great force driving the tide, and it’s not only forever altering the workplace, but it’s also changing the manner in which businesses operate. That, in turn, explains the emergence of managed services.
Increasingly, business leaders are discovering that internal expertise is insufficient to meet the demands of customers, both internal and external. The impact on core operations is deep and potentially devastating. Failing to pay heed to the necessity of safeguarding and bolstering vital technological infrastructure means risking crippling vulnerability. Yet, the attention and skill required to keep pace with technology can siphon energy from efforts to build and grow business.
Here are the trends to watch as the year unfolds in the managed services sector:
1. The Continuing Techno Takeover Paralleling the swift rise of managed services is that of the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain. Active Internet of Things devices are expected to more than double in number from 10 billion next year to 22 billion by 2025. That development in itself will represent a makeover of the workplace, with smart devices making fact-based, real-time decisions that once were left to human guesswork. But keeping up with the technology and ensuring that it works in the way it’s intended will be no small chore in itself.
The same applies to the rise of blockchain technology, which already has begun pushing out the paper piles that have traditionally dominated business. Relying on blockchain for everything from documenting transactions to bookkeeping will unveil a new era for the records side of business. Businesses over the next decade will discover they must either get on board or get left behind.
2. Soaring Into the Clouds Budgets for cloud computing increased by 35 percent last year. Cloud and hybrid cloud computing eliminates or minimizes hardware infrastructure, resulting in huge savings. It also gives businesses the flexibility to adjust to sales peaks and valleys in a way they could not otherwise. Options are growing exponentially with the concept still evolving, and more choices mean more solutions.
But cloud technology is complex. Businesses are finding that to gain its immense benefits, they need expertise in how to capitalize. This fact that has opened the door for managed services providers to step in to help shape companies’ use of cloud and other technology.
3. Guarding Against Cyber Invasions Reliance on technology is overwhelming and deepening in virtually every workplace. This translates to a desperate need for effective security to protect data, information, and other critical operational components from cybercrime.
Smart companies not only have strategies and safeguards in place to prevent cybercrime, but they also have plans to recover if the bad guys somehow get in. Managed service providers can bring the kind of unique outside perspective and expertise needed to identify weaknesses and craft effective protections and responses.
4. Hyperconverged Infrastructure Kicks Into Hyperdrive Drawing all the infrastructure of a company together in what’s known as hyperconverged infrastructure—connecting computation, networking, and storage in a single easy-to-use system—may be the surest way to propel a real digital transformation.
It’s also an extraordinarily complex enterprise. One that must be taken on with care and expertise, the likes of which managed service providers, with their teams of experts, are uniquely able to deliver.
5. Outcome-Based Services Step to the Fore Technology’s many benefits include the ability to quantify results in real time, and that, in turn, is leading more companies to pursue outcome-based services. The pressure to deliver on promises using advanced analytics and reporting has never been greater, partly because technology slices through interpretations to produce irrefutable facts. Managed service providers will face challenges here along with their customers. In all cases, measurability will separate the leaders from the pretenders.