We are living in a fast-paced technological era, and the success of businesses is hugely pegged to their use of new IT solutions. IT solutions offer essential benefits to corporations in their operations, irrespective of the size of the firm. A study conducted by Deloitte on small scale business owners revealed that IT solutions are a vital success factor. While IT solutions are vital for the success of any organization, small and medium-sized companies may not have the financial muscle and the necessary skills to keep up with technological advancements. Purchasing new technologies and maintaining them can be extremely expensive for such firms.
Small and medium-sized organizations generally lack the essential skills and experience to purchase, maintain, and run new technologies. Therefore, for such firms to be successful in today’s technology-driven world, they need to consider IT sourcing. According to Gurung and Edmund, IT sourcing entails getting IT-enabled business processes, infrastructure solutions, and application services from external service providers. IT sourcing is common today due to the numerous benefits that it offers enterprises – whether small or large corporations. The primary advantages of outsourcing include reduced costs, minimal labor expenses, increased business availability, and improved focus on core activities by the organizations. While considering IT outsourcing, it is essential to weigh between managed and professional services. While corporations are aware of the perceived benefits of IT outsourcing, there is limited information on the best implementation strategy. Therefore, it is important to answer the question by analyzing both professional and managed services and recommending the best approach.
Managed IT services refers to the reliance of third parties to help a business run its day-to-day functions according to “Innovating Managed Services Business Models.”
Managed services, therefore, take the form of typical IT support. While utilizing this strategy, a business depends on the external entities to ensure that the required IT solutions are up and running effectively. Common characteristics of managed services include day-to-day maintenance, routine troubleshooting, regular data backups, administration, and IT security provision. Managed service entails many IT services and solutions. Therefore, it is up to businesses to decide the specific type of managed service that they need to outsource. An example of a managed service is 24/7 IT support. Technical support ensures that customers and employees can report problems at any given time and get an immediate response.
Another example of a managed service is Desktop as a Service (DaaS), which has become increasingly significant due to the growing popularity of working remotely. The internet and the ease of access to digital devices such as smartphones and laptops have made working from home a norm. Remote working offers numerous benefits since employees can perform their duties from the convenience of their location without being enclosed in an office. Desktop as a Service helps businesses achieve remote working by offering a fully-featured desktop that users can access from any location. Finally, another example of a managed service is managed security. With the cyber-threat landscape growing significantly, small and medium-sized businesses usually struggle to detect and prevent cyber-threats effectively. Managed security ensures that an organization’s IT infrastructure is adequately secured and free from attacks.
According to Work Sighted, professional IT services help organizations overcome specific challenges via dedicated projects, such as migrating to the cloud or deploying new technology. Unlike managed services, professional IT services mostly involve a one-time project. However, they are highly comprehensive and can take different phases, such as planning, strategy, design, system implementation, adoption, user training, and future technical support and maintenance. Professional services require businesses to identify first-hand their specific IT security before outsourcing the services. They also ensure that the IT solution aligns with the goals and objectives of the firm. The service providers ensure the goals and objectives are fulfilled by conducting a detailed assessment of the company to identify all IT opportunities and risks.
Professional services are essential to big and small businesses. For instance, large corporations such as car manufactures may need to install new and advanced production lines that use IoT technologies. Therefore, to accomplish the objective, the companies hire professionals to design, implement, and train their employees on how to use the new systems. However, users can also request for professional IT services. For example, many people are converting their households into smart homes that use interconnected IoT devices to perform basic and complex tasks with limited human intervention. Most people can’t install these devices on their own, which implies that they need to consider professional IT sourcing.
Managed and professional IT services are essential for businesses in today’s world. Managed IT services involve round-the-clock running and maintenance of IT solutions, while professional IT services entail a one-time project. Looking at the two outsourcing strategies, it is clear that they are vital for the success of a business, and their application entirely depends on the firm’s requirements and needs. However, when considering managed IT services, businesses need to evaluate the type of data they are ready to share with third parties as is stated by Wang in “Enabling Cyber Security Data Sharing for Large-Scale Enterprises Using Managed Security Services.” This way, the organizations will avoid leaving themselves exposed to the third parties and their trade secrets being discovered.