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On the malice of the day

The True Value of Managed Services

The word “service-oriented” related to the internal architecture of IT systems ten years ago, today is widely used both in business and in everyday life. The idea to package certain role or work in a ‘service’ with certain characteristics and measurable indicators of the quality of service and response time, easily predictable cost, turned out to be very attractive from an organizational point of view.

Services enable you to assemble with ease clearly arranged, well-coordinated, well-functioning business process. Moreover, each service individually can be a ‘black box’, and you do not need to know how it works. And in case of malfunctioning, you can easily find a service that fails.

Finding the right managed services provider is crucial here. I will talk about some of the reasons why when it comes to ways how services create value from which sources. Today's CEOs are looking for partners who can help them thrive, not just survive in the modern digital world.

How the services work?

If the user has a computer problem, he or she does not address his or her administrator personally, but instead creates a request in a helpdesk service - this is a typical example of service concept. You need to order a specification for a specific product range – you fill out the form and click the button - this is a service, too. There are many examples of services: upload primary financial documents and receive consolidated financial statements, create five virtual machines of a certain configuration, order delivery from Budapest to Buenos Aires. Any business operation for 90% consists of tasks easy and convenient to arrange as a service.

Developing services alone is not typical, collaboration more common. The ability to improve productivity and reduce costs through third-party service provider expertise and innovation are important catalysts for success, and companies doing business alone will be a thing of the past. The right service provider not only takes care of productivity and costs, but also opens up new ideas for business.

The design and relationship of services, be it IT or business services, can be quite complicated. Service units deliver services to other parts of the company, and may themselves depend on internal or external services. Organizing such an extensive service framework is usually powered by a specialized service platform. Any business It should rely on the clear knowledge how services are related to the main subject of the business and how services create value.

Buying or building services is fundamentally different from buying or building products or technologies. Service is not a thing that you can build and run once and forever, or even for several years. A key feature of the service is the ability to evolve quickly. If you are not satisfied with the reaction time of the support service, you can demand to increase it or switch to another provider from next month.

Managed Services vs Project-Based Services

Project-based service is a one-time job, such as preparing a tax report at the end of a period, optimizing a cluster of virtual machines, and conducting a lawsuit with a law firm. Managed services in the same scenarios are year-round tax advice with immediate error correction, ongoing monitoring of the virtual machines or ongoing consultations to prevent litigation.

The provider of managed services performs works for the client constantly, or on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. I am deeply convinced that today, in the world of services, ongoing managed services are much preferable compared to other options. Consider some obvious reasons for this.

Lower Total Cost

Any business wins if you work on it gradually, every day in small iterations, and not by a storm on the last night. Storm approach is notorious for breaking deadlines, cost overruns and neglect of other issues.

Predictable expenses are much better than unpredictable ones. Thanks to managed services, you can more accurately predict your expenses and properly structure your budget. CFOs also love the predictability of revenue streams. In addition to money, the predictability of the workload and the necessary staff should be considered great benefits.

All this fully applies to the above examples with tax and legal advice and server management.

Better Scalability

Managed services improve the ability to scale operations and serve your customers well. For example, you have 15 servers, but due to some business downturn, now 10 servers are fairly enough for you. Even if you turn off the extra 5 servers, you will not be able to quickly and painlessly reduce the staff maintaining them. And staff costs are typically the largest and least scalable. If your servers are serviced by a service provider, cutting the contract from next month will not be a problem. And if your servers are located in the cloud, then it’s even easier - you can imagine that they simply disappeared at the click of a finger.

Six months later, your business goes uphill, and 5 servers are missing. Just replay the situation in reverse order!

You Are God for Your Service Provider

All companies that serve customers understand how important it is to love and respect them at every contact. This has a huge impact on customer satisfaction, especially when it comes to managed services, where it is important to make a good impression at every touch which happens, typically once a month. This means that your comfort will be a top priority for your service provider. And it is very unlikely that somewhere, sometime you will be deceived. Tell me honestly, do you count on such an attitude from your own employees or from contractors who perform one-time work for you?

It should also be said about the objective quality of work and services. Most likely, your provider has solved the same array of problems many times and gained extensive and valuable experience. It is also most likely well familiar with the best world practices. Tell me honestly again - do you expect the same from your own employees or one-time contractors?

Your Future is under Control

The ability to reliably anticipate your future is perhaps the main reason to use managed services. Their predictability will help to accurately foresee the costs and profitability of a business, personnel and labor costs, scalability requirements, and much more. And in the aggregate, all this will allow you to understand well what awaits you in the future. Wouldn't you like that?

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