Maximising IT value in a tough economic climate: How managed services can help
The economic outlook for the UK in 2023 and beyond is looking grim, with a long – though probably relatively shallow – recession almost guaranteed. Most organisations will continue to rein in capital investments while seeking to extend the useful life of their existing systems and technologies.
What might that mean for your business?
- As systems reach end-of-life, the support burden will only grow: compatibility and security issues will start to emerge, and upgrades will become riskier and more complex.
- With your IT team increasingly focused on maintaining the status quo, who will be delivering the innovation the business needs?
The biggest cost for most organisations is people, and there will be increasing pressure to justify the business value those people generate. If skilled IT staff are tied up in routine, low-value maintenance, they will have precious little time to devote to value-added services.
And even if your organisation is one of the lucky few with budget to expand its team, the current recession is – unusually – combined with an extremely tight labour market: it’s hard to find the right talent at any price.
Given these pressures, it’s the perfect time to look at how you source IT skills with two goals:
- Reducing the cost of maintaining the existing capabilities.
- Increasing the value that IT brings to the business.
Optimising systems and freeing up internal staff to add more value
By engaging a managed services provider (MSP) to handle the routine support and maintenance of key systems and platforms – “keeping the lights on” – you can reduce support costs while freeing up skilled people to work on higher-value projects.
Better still, an experienced consultancy like Northdoor can also deliver software and hardware optimisation into the bargain so that business systems run better and at a lower cost. That’s exactly what we achieved recently for a financial services organisation based across two geographically dispersed sites in the UK.
The company had many Microsoft SQL Server instances underpinning critical internal and customer-facing applications and insufficient resources to manage this environment. Corporate acquisitions had brought a number of different systems into the mix, and in many cases, the deployed versions of SQL Server were obsolete and out of vendor support, raising the cost, effort and risk involved.
While the financial services organisation undoubtedly possessed the internal skills to review and optimise this complex database landscape, the relevant people were already working full-time on other priorities. Engaged as external experts, Northdoor ran a full assessment of the landscape, proposed a plan to update, rationalise and consolidate it, and then executed that plan. We drew on our 30-year-plus experience of serving blue-chip businesses to ask the right questions and minimise the risk and disruption of the migration.
And having successfully optimised the database landscape – which remains fully on-prem – Northdoor now runs it as a fully managed service. Our highly qualified SQL Server engineers provide expert round-the-clock support and ongoing optimisation, leaving our client’s team to focus on more glamorous and higher-value projects for the business – which is likely to increase their ability to retain IT staff.Northdoor's SQL Server engineers provide expert round-the-clock support and ongoing optimisation, leaving our client’s team to focus on more higher-value projects. Click To Tweet
Economies of scale make managed services the right approach
With managed services delivered by a team of experts that spreads its time over multiple client environments, you can get the level of support you need without the high cost of a dedicated in-house team. Our economies of scale reduce the cost below what any individual business could achieve, and this approach also avoids concerns about how to cope when key staff go on holiday, take sick leave, or (particularly if you have a small number of absolutely critical systems) become deskilled from not having enough to keep them busy.
To find out more about how Northdoor can keep your critical systems running optimally while freeing up your skilled people to do the clever stuff on top, contact us today.