Organizations recognize the critical importance of technology in driving business strategy and enabling competitive advantages. As a result, business leaders are placing increased demands on the IT department to deliver innovative solutions and services. The problem is that IT still must dedicate significant resources to “keeping the lights on,” making it difficult to adapt to this expanding role. That’s why more organizations are investing in managed services to enable improved technology and business outcomes.
According to the 2018 Insight Intelligent Technology Index, 87 percent of IT decision-makers agree that their department is struggling to drive innovation initiatives while also keeping core systems running effectively. The IT decision-makers surveyed said that the primary challenges they face include:
- Competing demands and not enough resources to effectively support the organization (51 percent)
- Existing processes, practices and business operations not evolving to allow them to support innovation (35 percent)
- Shadow projects that divert IT resources to fix systems built outside of IT architectures and processes (26 percent)
- Out-of-process or hastily executed decisions on cloud strategy, architecture and platform selection (24 percent)
- A lack of clearly defined roles and responsibilities within the organization (24 percent)
These challenges are compounded by the fact that IT is still perceived as a cost center in many organizations. IT budgets have long been a pain point for businesses, and 52 percent of IT decision-makers surveyed said that monitoring budgets and costs is a top technology concern. Although 40 percent of respondents describe IT as being an even mix of cost center and innovation center, 38 percent say it’s still a cost center. Just 20 percent of organizations view IT as an innovation center, according to the survey.
However, managed services and the cloud are helping to alleviate this tension and transform the business. More than 75 percent of companies dedicated a portion of their IT budget to managed services in 2017. IT decision-makers say that investing in managed services enables their organizations to gain additional expertise and resources needed to deliver innovative solutions to the business.
The transition to the cloud has also facilitated organizational change. In 2017, 82 percent of companies invested in cloud services, and these services created a more flexible and collaborative IT environment (64 percent) and better remote access (61 percent). However, migration to the cloud does not eliminate IT responsibilities or guarantee success. In fact, many businesses lack the tools, processes and skill sets needed to maximize the ROI of cloud initiatives. Managed services can help close these gaps.
Many IT teams are facing increased demands to deliver new technologies that drive business success. However, IT still must focus resources on maintaining and supporting existing infrastructure. Managed services help to relieve these pressures by providing the expertise and resources IT needs to enable innovation.