The digital revolution in the last two decades is astonishing, and post-2020, it has gathered a lot of steam with new technologies emerging on a daily basis creating a highly competitive and highly volatile market environment. You won’t believe that more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies have become extinct just because they were unable to adapt to the digital landscape. Therefore, it’s time to reconsider if you are still not on the bandwagon of future-proofing your IT infrastructure.
IT infrastructure has become critical to every company’s survival and growth as we enter the realms of full-fledged digital transformation. Therefore, future-proofing your IT infrastructure should be your number one priority.
From an IT infrastructure point of view, future-proofing is about being fully prepared to adapt to any situation and support the company in all its endeavors. If you fail to do this, it will invariably lead to unfavorable results that will create future shock rather than future proof. So, what is the best course of action to guarantee the future-proofing of IT infrastructure? The answer is a three-letter word Managed Services Provider.
These days, Managed Services providers (MSPs) have become an integral component of the IT infrastructure ecosystems of every business, from Fortune 500 companies to small-scale firms. Managed Services offerings include critical IT services that will assist their partnered company in all their revenue-generating activities, from customer relationship management to 24×7 IT support.
These MSPs are uniquely positioned to offer expertise and operational assistance in multiple areas of your IT domains. Partnering with the right Managed Services provider can be a game changer in future-proofing your IT infrastructure.
IT Infrastructure Priorities
The global data center IT infrastructure market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 20% or more from 2023-2028. The components of the IT infrastructure powered by data centers include:
- Server Infrastructure
- Software-Defined Data Centre
- Storage Infrastructure
- Network Infrastructure
- Data Centre Backup & Recovery Software
- Converged Infrastructure
- Data Centre Automation Software
- DCIM Solution
To keep up with the pace of technological advances and consumer demands, you must take necessary actions to future-proof your IT infrastructure. Here are three priorities to remember:
- The first priority is to achieve continuity. Any service issues or downtime will impact normal operations and lead to revenue loss and a decline in brand image.
- The second priority is reducing the adverse effects of unexpected issues arising during digital transformation. As you execute the IT infrastructure modifications, you must ensure that your existing revenue pipeline is unaffected due to the transformative exercises that occur in the process.
- Lastly, you must ensure that future-proofing of IT infrastructure is done in a cost-effective manner so that you can maximize ROI (return on investment).
What are Managed Services offerings?
Managed Services providers offer various IT services to help clients build a robust IT infrastructure for long-term success. The Managed Services offerings vary based on customer needs but usually fall into the categories below.
- IT management and support: A Managed Services provider will offer all round IT management and support services, like 24×7 desk support, server and network management, carry out scheduled security and software updates and keep the entire IT infrastructure system up-to-date. Some of the digital tools used by MSPs to run their operations are:
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform
- Professional Services Automation (PSA)
- Patch Management Automation Tools
- Cloud services: Managed Services providers can help companies migrate business operations from on-premise to cloud-based services. Some of the processes that can be moved to cloud platforms are storage, email, servers, etc., which will improve flexibility and minimize costs in terms of hardware, office space and reduced hiring of IT staff.
- IT consulting: Managed Services providers can perform the role of IT consulting experts to help companies assess their IT infrastructure needs and make informed decisions on the right technology investments for future-proofing. They also provide various services like web hosting, VoIP phone systems, design, etc. By partnering with an MSP, firms can divert their in-house IT staff to more important tasks that are confidential and can’t be outsourced.
- Disaster recovery and Data backup: Managed Services providers can help companies build and maintain regular data backup and device disaster recovery strategies. It will ensure that critical business data is always accessible in case of a disaster or accidental data deletion.
Factors to be considered while selecting the right Managed Services Provider
- Flexibility of Managed Services providers
The type of customer experience you require from a Managed Services provider dictates how they go about offering assistance. To achieve future-proof IT infrastructure, you must have a clear plan for leveraging the Managed Services offerings. Are you looking for one expert from the MSP team to handle all technical queries? Do you want an expert MSP IT team working with you to build and deliver customized solutions? The MSP you choose must be flexible to handle just one task or an entire business operation so that you can utilize their services as and when required without any downtime or quality issues.
- Scalability of Managed Services offerings
Every company, small, big or Fortune 500 listed, aims at continuous growth, and scaling is part of the agenda. If you invest in a service that is not scalable is actually a waste of time, money and effort. So, the Managed Services providers must offer scalable services and assistance to ensure the company is not hindered in its growth at any time. Especially when you are building a future-proof IT infrastructure, the MSP with which you collaborate must have the expertise and systems to create solutions that align with the latest technological advancements, and there is no legacy component remaining when it is made live.
Look for a Managed Services providers that offers holistic services and solutions like cybersecurity, cloud computing, 24 x 7 desktop support, and network and server management. An ideal MSP is one that guides you at all times and gives suggestions on which services you require and which are redundant and not needed so that the IT infrastructure built is fully optimized and works at maximum efficiency.
- The extent of support provided by Managed Services Provider to clients
The experience of a Managed Services provider is definitely an important factor. But it doesn’t mean that newer MSPs can’t offer better service. Therefore, collecting crucial data as previous clients served, track records, and online customer reviews become paramount. Top MSPs will reveal their long-term client list and demonstrate their capabilities.
- Transparency and Accessibility
Managed Services providers must be transparent about their business practices, tools used for accomplishing tasks, and procedures followed to project a sense of ownership and accountability. Accessibility is another crucial factor to be considered while selecting the right MSP. The service agreement you enter when you collaborate with an MSP must include 24×7 support services with remote assistance capabilities. Downtime due to the unavailability of the MSP should be out of the equation as it can severely dent the business operations and result in loss of revenue and customer dissatisfaction.
- Cost-effectiveness of Managed Services offerings
The pricing model of an MSP is a deciding factor for any company that is building a future-proof IT infrastructure. As every Managed Services provider uses different pricing models, you must make an informed decision while finalizing the right MSP to cater to your needs and budget.
Building a future-proof IT infrastructure is not something that can be taken lightly as it can seriously dent your business prospects in the long run and therefore needs collaborative effort across the company. Partnering with a top-notch Managed Services provider can make your life much easier in making the required transition from a legacy IT infrastructure to a future-proof IT infrastructure that is equipped to propel your business to new heights.