Managed Services is essentially the practice of taking up the responsibility for maintaining and anticipating the need for a range of business-critical processes and applications.

An alternative to the break/fix or on-demand outsourcing model, Managed Services is all about achieving a ‘business outcome’ for the client. There are clear measurables like business SLAs and NPS (net promoter scores) that often get associated with Managed Services engagements.

Since by definition, ‘Managed Services’ is about outcome rather than the means, the provider has the freedom to use any of the execution models in their arsenal to help achieve the goals of such an engagement.

Unparalleled evolution through time

Like everything else in life, Managed Services too has evolved with time. While earlier it was considered as more of a support function, today, it is seen as a continuous-value-improvement offering to clients. Managed Services providers, today, not only understand the business objectives of clients but also take all steps required to ensure that they are properly aligned with the same.

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The evolution of Managed Services

Essentially, this is a BIG move up the maturity ladder: from just providing skilled resources, to fixed scope offerings, and finally to managed engagements promising committed measurable outcomes. The evolution has been so unparalleled, that today, in some incentive-based Managed Services models, providers go to the extent of sharing profits and losses by interweaving themselves to the core business of the client.

How is it different from traditional support ?

Considering business outcome and benefits are accrued over a period of time, a frequently asked question is – how are Managed Services different from regular traditional support?

The latter is more of an operational offering focused on transactional goals – say a T&M contract with fixed hours of support, change requests, or system updates treated beyond scope and focused only on system availability or uptime SLAs. Managed Services, on the other hand, is more of a value offering. It is more about resolution SLAs, user satisfaction, and outcomes like enabling a three-day monthly book closing. It’s a service that encompasses all aspects of operational maintenance including updates/patches while delivering on targeted incident volume reduction.

So, essentially, Managed Services include continuous improvements and on-going value addition with technology interventions as the cornerstones of such engagements.

From enhancing productivity to reducing costs, here’s how you benefit

With the rapid move to Cloud and subscription-based models, businesses, both big and small are avoiding getting locked into linear long-term support contracts with low flexibility. Instead, they are considering Managed Services that offer value additions and continuous improvements, in a way that they are able to achieve their business goals.

A Managed Services engagement done well, helps achieve this by:

  • Enhancing productivity with 24/7 proactive and predictive monitoring of business functions/processes
  • Reducing expenses and risks associated with downtime
  • Lowering costs by avoiding hiring personnel and purchasing systems that are otherwise required to run a support team within the company
  • Empowering IT teams by freeing up their time to work on strategic initiatives rather than on mundane support tasks
  • Enhancing business performance with regular and on-time roll-out of new releases