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The Definitive Guide to IT Managed Services
Edition 1 – November 2018

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Chapter 2

Business Drivers of IT Managed Services

TAKEAWAY
Managed services will help your business reach its strategic goals, by:

• Freeing resources to support business growth
• Increasing operational agility to meet the challenges of a constantly changing marketplace
• Plugging skills gaps in your IT team
• Improving compliance and security safeguards
• Accessing new technologies without skills limitations

The business drivers for adopting IT managed services can vary from one business to the other. Outlined below are some of the strong drivers for consideration when building your business case.

Domestic and international growth
A lack of customers is not the only barrier to growth. Sometimes your own internal operations create limitations that slow your capacity for expansion. A lack of IT staff to handle increased demands for support or resources for instance.

Faced with saturation in the domestic market and increasing pressure from international competitors, many mid-market firms are being forced to increase operations outside Britain’s borders. This means extended operating hours – often 7x24x365 – and significant investment to ensure sufficient technical resource is available to support users and maintain systems at all times.

Partnering with an MSP can remove these stumbling blocks. They must provide the additional resources required to continue to meet the terms of the contract. Which means that your staff are freed to focus on the strategic projects that will help you achieve your growth goals.

Agility
Demands on IT resources are rarely constant. Consider the effect of the Christmas season on the retail industry for instance; demand on resources increases exponentially for a month or two before easing off again in the new year.

Under a traditional in-house infrastructure model you will need to ensure you have sufficient infrastructure and resources to cope with these peaks in demand. You could hire contractors to provide temporary cover – at significant additional cost. Or you could pass the problem to an MSP who can scale their workforce more efficiently than you can.

Talent deficit
British businesses face an unprecedented skills shortage. It is becoming harder to recruit for many in-demand IT skills and you may be struggling to hire the people you need to drive digital transformation or to properly secure systems against cybercriminals.

By working with an MSP, the problem of skills shortages is also delegated. Again, it is down to your infrastructure partner to hire the right people to keep your systems running. This means that should you wish to extend or enhance your operating platform, or to adopt new technologies, your MSP must source people with the relevant skills to assist.

Compliance & security
Whether you outsource, partner with an MSP, or retain all IT functions in-house, your business will always retain ultimate responsibility for matters of compliance and security. But your partner can help provide advice, guidance and implement safeguards to assist – particularly if they are experienced in your industry vertical. A financial services organisation would greatly benefit from partnering with an MSP who is familiar with FSA compliance and regulations for instance.

The issue of compliance and security is of increasing importance to your business, particularly in light of the recent General Data Protection Regulation. Security is a now a strategic priority – but most organisations struggle to keep pace with the criminals. As well as providing the manpower you need to manage and maintain defences, an MSP also uses specialist tools to detect security risks and breaches, allowing you to contain potential issues before they escalate.

Adopting new technologies
Your business may come to a point where it needs to invest in specialist service management tools and software to improve overall IT efficiency. Making such an investment is a big financial commitment – but a decent MSP will already have these tools at their disposal; in turn you can deploy them for your own service requirements, saving you money.

Furthermore, as your workforce cries out for more cloud-based technologies, you will be looking to modernise your infrastructure and your workplace. But how do you know which technologies to invest in? How much time and effort will it take in training and/or recruiting the staff to deliver them?

Your MSP will not only be able to advise you on where and what to invest in, but they will already have existing relationship with many of the key vendors. An MSP will be able to implement the solutions and manage the relationships quicker and more efficiently than you will.

Mergers & acquisitions
No matter how much due diligence your team undertakes, the merger and acquisition process is always time and resource intensive. Immediately after the purchase completes, senior management will look to consolidate and bring costs under control.

Following M&A, IT capabilities may need to scale to support the new business model, with new teams, new offices and new service requirements all needing IT support. Existing delivery and support models may undergo rapid change so a managed service partner can play an essential role in supplementing an existing team, or providing a new IT function.

More than one-quarter (27%) of respondents say that their organisation is at a competitive disadvantage because it is not agile enough to anticipate fundamental marketplace shifts.
Economist Intelligence Unit
According to 81 per cent of recruitment businesses, the UK workforce is unlikely to meet demand in cyber security over the next 12 months.
Recruitment and Employment Federation
The highest IT budget priority will be security according to 53% of businesses in 2018.
CBS Interactive

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david phillips
scorpio
ecic

I have no worries about our IT whatsoever because Acora is accountable for everything and is a one-stop shop for all our IT needs. Acora is just like another department within our business and whenever the need does arise for IT advice or assistance then I can simply call the Acora helpdesk and be confident that my issue will be addressed immediately.

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Managing Director, Scorpio

We have known Acora a long time and they have proven to be a very good partner for us. I am very happy with them as a team as they understand our business and know where we are going. We talk to them regularly about changes to our business and how they can support us.

Neil Crowther
Managing Director, Ardent

This joint partnership ensures we are delivering what what we need to do as a business. Acora are the technical experts supporting us. Being able to talk to them about our requirements means we can react more swiftly than relying solely on in-house resource. This ensures we continue to deliver high levels of customer service.

David Beldham 
Head of IT, ECIC

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