Outsourcing and managed services are cementing their place in the global business environment. Recent surveys clearly indicate that CIOs now acknowledge that they need to become experts in service integration.
One survey, of 177 CIOs spanning 24 countries, the second annual Optimal Services Study from Logicalis, found strong support for outsourcing. The survey involved CIOs and IT Directors from mid-market organisations across 24 countries spanning Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.
The survey found that almost half (47%) want the majority (50% or more) of their IT services to be provided or managed by external service providers, including cloud (IaaS/PaaS & SaaS).
Over half the respondents agreed that by 2016, 80% of IT budgets will be based on providing service integration for a broad portfolio of internal and external sources of IT and business services.
A change in IT recruiting
The survey results pointed to a strong need to transform organisations' IT skills base. This means they will have to recruit specialists with broader, business IT orientated skills.
They must actively reduce the level of technology their teams maintain in-house, and they must succeed where they have so far failed – in refocusing the CIO role on strategic activities.
This latest Optimal Services survey also found that CIOs recognise the need for them to become experts in service integration.
In a key pointer to the growing presence of outsourcing, the survey found that: "Line of Business will now want access to a growing number of market offerings delivering transformational line of business applications making the selection, integration, governance and management of ‘as a service’ as important as maintaining in-house technologies."
Cloud deployments grow
Separate recent research by IDC pointed to the growing prevalence of the use of the cloud, both outsourced and internally. IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, for the third quarter of 2014 found that cloud deployments made up almost one third of combined worldwide server, disk storage and ethernet switch infrastructure spending.
The total cloud revenue grew 16% on the previous year, to US$6.5 billion.
"Whether internally owned or 'rented' from a service provider, cloud environments are strategic assets that organisations of all types must rely upon to quickly introduce new services of unprecedented scale, speed, and scope. Their effective use will garner first –mover advantage to any organisation in a hyper-competitive market."
Managed service providers
The survey results and the positive future for outsourcing bode well for organisations such as Logicalis, an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data centre and cloud services; and managed services.
Logicalis is now seeing managed services extend into the Cloud, where they manage a customer’s Cloud-based application environment.
Logicalis, with an average customer tenure of 5.3 years, deploys and manages secure, converged infrastructure that can increase agility, reduce risk for clients through a consistent and repeatable framework, with a record showing it can cut operating costs by 20-50%.
Range of managed services
Logicalis offers 'traditional' managed services around IT infrastructure, covering networks, data centre (compute, storage) and voice/collaboration. They can provide full management where the customer can’t make changes to their infrastructure; typically it’s co-management where the customer retains full visibility and control of their IT infrastruture, but rely on Logicalis to keep it all running.
In some cases, Logicalis has the flexibility to provide 'out of hours' management to augment a customer’s IT department, where they want to manage their environment during business hours.
Logicalis says that their advice to customers is not to focus on the technology, but to determine what service levels are required and what technical – technology skills are needed in-house (for example, for a business-critical application). Then to benchmark internal costs and investigate a managed service to take care of 'keeping the lights on'. Watch our latest managed services video to learn what it takes to support business critical operations with mature managed services.