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Debunking the myth of managed services

Does your managed services investment truly deliver on its promise, or is it merely ticking the boxes on the surface?
Managed services can be defined as a strategic and cost-effective investment into outsourced services which handle specific processes and solutions for the organisation. When done right, it has the potential to streamline internal workflows, speed up operations and cut back on significant costs. The day-to-day functioning of the business falls into the hands of experts and provides the organisation the tools it needs to focus on what it does best – growth and clients.

However, there is a dark side to the managed services moon where what is delivered doesn’t quite match what was promised. Many offerings don’t offer the right levels of in-depth insight into critical processes and are not nuanced enough to recognise and resolve issues swiftly. Here are seven steps to finding and implementing a managed services solution that really does tick all the right boxes …

1. Most managed services software is unable to report on critical errors in a timeframe which the client both needs and expects. The result is a monitoring service which isn’t reliable or insightful enough to assure of minimal downtime in the event of a failure.

2. The volume of information generated by the majority of monitoring solutions is often not managed properly. This leads to serious events being missed at the most crucial moment which has more than one unnecessary impact on the business. Another concern is the loss of vital data which can potentially be used to improve operations and drive business functionality. The information should be kept off-site in a repository for secure storage and immediate access.

3. A reliable solution must be able to determine instantly when operations are up or down, what is performing, where connections are not managed properly and where there are gaps in the business. This will then give the organisation the ability to really prepare for any potential event by having the right systems in place.

4. The scale of an enterprise-wide solution doesn’t allow for a person to log-in and see what may be causing a problem. A highly configured and well-designed managed services solution must be able to trace and check every person who has logged in, what they did and their keystrokes if necessary.

5. The speed of access to your network to determine the cause of a problem needs to be measured in minutes, not hours. Your managed services solution has to recognise an event instantly so it can be repaired at point of origin, not so far down the cascade that identifying it is both time consuming and costly. It must be capable of a comprehensive examination of the network, CPU, Memory issues and more, so it can determine status and provide data on historic issues alongside the current one for deeper insight into what may have gone wrong and potentially head off any future problems.

6. A well-designed managed services solution must provide the client with a comprehensive ecosystem that delivers reporting and functionality which can be attuned to specific business requirements.

7. Ensure that any managed services solution is technology agnostic and secure, giving the business the ability to pick and choose functionalities that assure of compliance. The looming legalities of POPI remain very much a reality and few organisations understand what it is and what it means for the business. Technology drives a lot of the data protected under the Act and a powerful managed services tool will give the enterprise greater control with the requisite layers of security.

Ralph Berndt is the Director, Sales at Syrex.


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