Even though corporate interest in IT managed services has always been strong, the global pandemic of the past several months is resulting in a market shift where the outsourcing of certain computing and IT-related processes will become more integral to the success of a business in a digitally-focused environment. Andreas Bartsch, Head of Service Delivery at PBT Group shares his views.

Research indicates that the global managed services market is expected to grow from USD 178.5 billion in 2019 to USD 309.4 billion by 2025. But as more organisations have been tasking employees to work remotely over the past several months, due to COVID-19, these figures are likely to grow even further.

Says Bartsch; “Today, decision-makers are reliant on having the ability to access services and solutions from any geographic location and need to work with service providers that enable them to do so as cost-effectively as possible. This is making managed services even more attractive than before, especially in the IT infrastructure and data solutions space, where technology and data are proving to be key assets to continued business sustainability.”

By the end of April, it was reported that investors had already pulled out $83 billion from emerging markets since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Such has the impact of the pandemic been, that many analysts only expect an economic recovery to start taking shape from 2021.

To this end, organisations across sectors and industries are rigorously evaluating their budgets, with long-term financial forecasts having had to be scrapped in many cases due to the massive uncertainties organisations are currently faced with. In these difficult economic conditions, it has become increasingly costly to employ permanent skills especially in specialised IT areas.

Remote management

“This is where managed services come into its own, even more so when it can be done remotely,” adds Bartsch. “Not only does this save on resourcing costs, but people do not have to be in a physical office environment to make it work. Organisations can partner with service providers that facilitate this, ensuring that many of their IT project or data services requirements are taken care of fully, freeing up internal resources and leaving the business to focus on delivering on its core strategic mandate.”

Another benefit of going this route is that each managed services initiative can have a defined start and end time, making budgeting a more accurate exercise. Unlike outsourcing that centres on picking specific services for an external provider to work on, managed services facilitate a more integrated approach towards the services delivered to the organisation, also considering knowledge transfer and enablement. This gives the business more flexibility in the technologies that it can adopt while still benefiting from the technical expertise of the service provider.

Added to this, because this can be done remotely, the organisation can save on third-party costs considering there is no travelling or accommodation needed for the external consultants. The managed services approach also reduces the management overhead of a business, opens up the opportunity to leverage a skill set as and when required and thus offers predictable cost structures and costs efficiencies to the business.

Work from where you are

The world is rapidly changing as organisations start relying less on a physical presence and more on enabling people to work from wherever they have Internet connectivity. The same applies to their service providers especially those delivering managed services and support.

“In this dynamic environment, organisations require skills and resources to innovate and drive the change they need to remain competitive in the changing market conditions. However, they also need to achieve this in a cost-effective manner, with the opportunity to customise the service offering in alignment with their own needs.

“Going the managed services route that considers remote capability allows for this, as well as offers the opportunity to tap into experts who understand the intricacies of the technology needed to navigate the road ahead. Organisations must protect their own IP by retaining key business expertise, whilst managed services can complement the latter in a sensible way,” concludes Bartsch

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