Like many technology definitions, what becomes a standard understanding of a term, radically shifts and expands as the technology grows. The end result is confusion in the marketplace and for “Managed IT Services”, it’s no different.
A recent study by Comptia found adoption of managed IT services is growing, yet confusion over the definition remains a central issue in measuring adoption and growth.
Everyone has a different perspective of Managed IT Services and truly, businesses utilize a provider in different ways. To highlight these differences, we decided to shed light on our observations of key stakeholder definitions of managed IT services.
How the CEO Sees Managed Services:
The CEO in most mid-market and enterprise level organizations is shielded from the day to day work of a MSP- at least in most cases.
When the CEO is exposed, it is often from an IT disaster or a significant IT investment, such as a cloud migration. Unfortunately, a majority of MSP’s are retained for short term projects either as backup to resolve an IT disaster or as experts to perform a specific IT function.
A successful MSP will become more visible to a CEO overtime, as it positively affects cost savings and productivity. However, most CEO’s view Managed IT Services as a temporary team to resolve a short-term IT project.
How the IT Department Sees Managed Services:
IT departments often have the most jaded view of a Managed IT Service Provider. For small companies, IT can feel threatened. Outsourcing any technology is seen as a threat to job security. Although numerous studies, including the recent CompTIA research have found that very few IT departments are completely outsourced to an MSP.
Many IT departments at larger organizations are likely to still share the sentiment of smaller organizations, sending tedious and autonomous tasks such as IT help desk support, network monitoring and software compliance to a Managed Service Provider. Although many MSP’s are happy to free up IT departments for more strategic work, partnerships can be more beneficial when collaborative.
How the CFO Sees Managed Services:
The CFO is applying a financial filter and comparing the cost of retaining a Managed Service Provider with technology cost savings, one of the biggest benefits to using a MSP. Although productivity is another benefit, it is more difficult to measure. Unfortunately, many CFO’s don’t have the business analytics to measure productivity gains from a Managed Service Provider, failing to see the full scope of work.
How the CIO Sees Managed Services:
A CIO is best able to grasp the full scope of work and benefits from utilizing a managed IT services provider. Many CIO’s view MSP’s as a strategic asset, adding more predictability and flexibility to IT services, reducing hiring headaches and improving the performance of technology. In some unfortunate cases, the CIO could use an MSP as a scapegoat for larger organizational issues.
Of course, for organizations that don’t have a CIO, virtual CIO’s are provided by Managed Service Providers, giving IT a voice to the leadership team and making technology a strategic component to a business.
How NCC Data Sees Managed Services:
As a Globally ranked MSP, NCC Data views Managed Services with where it is headed, and is focused on becoming a long term, collaborative advisor for clients. Managed Services is no longer constrained to tedious IT tasks such as backups, monitoring and help desk support.
The scope of managed IT services has greatly expanded, with MSP’s at the forefront of leading businesses towards growth, cost reduction and overall organizational improvement.