Businesses are always looking for ways to control and reduce the cost of doing business as well as gain a competitive advantage over their respective competitors. The constant pressure of doing more with less has introduced many offerings designed to reduce the cost and complexity of the IT/OT infrastructures that support the business.
Let’s take a look at some offerings that have been introduced to address these challenges.
Cloud Computing, Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) are very attractive. These offerings had a slow adoption rate early on when they were considered risky, but now, they are widely adopted. Today, they help control and reduce the cost of on-prem infrastructures while providing the flexibility to spin up and down additional computing capacity as required by the business. These offerings address one piece of the puzzle, the cost of the infrastructure.
There are other critical and expensive pieces in the puzzle called “the cost of doing business.” One challenge I hear most frequently is the cost and/or lack of skilled personnel. Tripwire conducted a skill gap survey with 336 IT security professionals in 2019 that showed some alarming statistics. In that survey, 96% of respondents said they were experiencing or expecting difficulty in staffing security teams. Skilled personnel are expensive. The cost of ongoing training is expensive. These two critical components are typically the first to be cut from the IT budget. Simply, most companies cannot afford to hire a highly skilled FTE and dedicate them to one specific function.
Take a Security Analyst (SA), for example. The Security Analyst’s knowledge represents a highly sought after and rather expensive skill set. Hiring a SA and dedicating them to one specific discipline, platform or application is rarely ever implemented in practice, as it is just too expensive to do so. Rather, companies look for individuals that have a wide variety of skills and that can be hired to address multiple functions. They are not and cannot be Subject Matter Experts in everything they are expected to do. This is where a Managed Service offers significant value.
Inside the Value of Managed Services
Managed Services are not new. Organizations have been outsourcing their datacenter operations to managed service providers for years. Where Managed Services are evolving and expanding are their disciplines and applications. According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the Managed Services market is expected to reach $319.5 billion by 2024. Yet it has been my experience that most organizations still consider this a risk—just as the previous offerings experienced. IT and Business Management are reluctant to embrace this evolving and game-changing offering. This apprehension may be related to the unknowns of service levels and agility, the fear of potential exposure of sensitive data and/or simply the reluctance to relinquish these duties to a third party.
A Managed Service is head and shoulders above the status quo of “do nothing” alternatives. Ignoring the fact that current personnel cannot efficiently manage their day-to-day requirements and then hoping that this does not put the respective business at risk is not a consideration. Hope is not a strategy. Not to be a fear monger, but one has to consider that cyber threats are a reality. Our adversaries understand the challenges we face with plugging all the holes in the dike, and they also know how to exploit them. Boards, IT and Business Executives want to ensure the safety and integrity of mission critical computing environments. They fear the day that they come into the office to find all of the data is being held hostage by ransomware or to receive word from a government agency that they have fallen victim to a data breach. When you consider the cost of a cyber event, a Managed Service is worth the investment.
The best approach is a Managed Service that offers some of the characteristics of a SaaS and PaaS offering. A Managed Service that provides SMEs to care for the platform/application as well as the day-to-day operations, freeing up the companies highly skilled personnel to focus on other responsibilities, is a game changer! It does so by providing
- Reduced costs associated with:
- Audits, and
- Vendor Consolidation; and
- Improvements in:
- Security & Compliance Postures,
- Increased productivity of existing resources, and
- Mean Time to Repair.
For any IT or Business Executive that is looking for ways to decrease the cost of doing business and increase the value to the business while realizing a better ROI, I urge you to consider/evaluate these offerings discussed above.