Local IT market sees rise of ‘simplicity as a service’

Opinion by: Gavin Meyer, Executive Director at Itec South Africa

Who’d want to be a CIO or CTO in 2018? They’re being bombarded by an avalanche of new technologies and business approaches that are demanding their attention. Mobility. Artificial Intelligence. Internet of Things. Digital Transformation. Disruption. Innovation.

And while they’re busy trying to take advantage of the genuine business opportunities that all this new technology brings, someone has to keep the lights on and the telephones, security, content management, CRM and ERP working. To make things worse, many businesses have multiple systems and vendors, each with their strategy and approach, which take a huge amount of time to manage.

It’s time to bring simplicity to a complicated, noisy technology environment – and increasing numbers of CIOs agree. Demand for managed business services is on the rise among local businesses, who don’t have the time or resources to deal with numerous IT vendors, but also can’t afford technology outages, and the effects these outages would have on business operations, productivity and revenue.

That’s not to say that actual IT operations are getting any simpler. But by outsourcing their IT to a trusted managed service provider, businesses are outsourcing both the service and the ownership of that service, so there’s a clear line of accountability.

The three biggest benefits to businesses of using a managed service provider are:

  • Lower IT costs. A long-term partnership with a trusted provider saves money across the board by ensuring IT systems are updated and operating at the optimal level, reducing hardware costs, maintaining security, and freeing up staff to focus on customers and execution.
  • Increased productivity and efficiency. By taking a proactive approach to IT management, managed service providers take care of problems before they happen. The result: less downtime, and businesses that can focus on their work and increase their productivity.
  • Greater peace of mind. In today’s business environment, maintaining regulatory compliance and cybersecurity are critical. Security and data compliance is a discussion we’re having with 80% of our customers right now. It affects every business, and every part of the business – even linking back to your suppliers and your staff. Managed service providers take this pain away as part of their offering.

Beyond these benefits, good managed services providers act as virtual CIOs, helping the business make the most of technologies like cloud, mobile device management, and next generation security solutions. It’s all about being an IT partner to the business, and cutting through the clutter. That’s where the real value of outsourcing your IT comes in.