Cybersecurity (61%) and cloud services (53%) top the list of CIO investment plans for the new year, according to Gartner’s CIO Agenda survey. In order to realize those ambitions, however, CIOs not only have to advocate for IT spending, but also prove they can invest in cybersecurity tools and cloud solutions that deliver ROI for their company, fortify digital operations and provide value to users. CIOs’ instincts on where to focus their spend in the new year tells a bigger story though, as both of these areas of attention make a case for managed services.
Cost matters, there’s no doubt about that. But so does competition. For CIOs in particular, the call to bring in an external partner when IT team security and cloud management capabilities or bandwidths fall short is justified—and may actually prove out to be a profitable decision that separates a company from the pack.
These leaders need trustworthy, secure, reliable and expertly managed digital infrastructure to lead their IT teams into the future. Here’s what CIOs need to know about managed services in a certain-to-be competitive 2021:
Whether a company is hosting their digital operations, working with a hybrid setup or relying on a public cloud like AWS or Azure, a strong managed services operation can enhance other areas of cloud-centric IT. For instance, bringing on an external partner to manage web hosting or disaster recovery can open in-house IT teams up to focus on more strategic projects like improving user experience elements, overhauling web design and facilitating more back-end integrations that expand a site’s functionality. Time is everything. Productivity is hard. A focus on upleveling managed services can help on both fronts.
CIOs sit firmly in the C-suite, but often answer to both executive and IT teams. In order to be truly effective, CIOs need dependable IT teams and external partners that can work without the need for constant hand-holding or micromanaging. Especially if a company has complex web hosting or digital solution migration or support needs, it’s important to select or hire managed services experts that can be trusted to efficiently manage complex tasks, like driving webops, monitoring disaster recovery and providing IT support.
There are many managed services providers that offer speed and agility or expertise. CIOs should select the partner that can deliver all of the above—along with extensive cybersecurity and cloud infrastructure experience.
CIOs searching for external partners or looking for in-house experts should prioritize bringing on talent that delivers around-the-clock IT support—a necessary element to complement cybersecurity and cloud solution investments. In an ideal world, they should invest in a partner or in-house hire(s) that can maintain full-service end-user experience while supporting the security and operation of standard hardware like on-premises data centers, custom business software like Drupal 9, workflow solutions like Atlassian’s Jira and other technical support requests that come in from across time zones and departments. Today’s business world is fast-paced and very online. Regardless of its make-up, a corporate IT support operation—ideally one focused on security and cloud solution functionality—should be, too.