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5 Considerations for Developing A Successful Managed Services Strategy

Stephen McCarthy
|Jan 17|magazine7 min read

Organisations outsource ICT to achieve different business goals, from reduced risk and costs, to achieving greater agility for competitive advantage. However, there are some pitfalls when shaping a managed services strategy that should be avoided. 

Stephen McCarthy, Senior Business Consultant, Managed Services Group at UXC Connect, said, “Over the years, organisations have tried many different approaches to outsourcing ICT. By continuously meeting and speaking with CIOs and other C-Level executives, it becomes clear that there are five core principles that can help organisations to develop a successful managed services strategy for the business.” 

These five fundamental factors are: 

1. Start from the top. Successful managed services arrangements are built from the top down, starting with an organisation’s strategic business goals. Don’t leave managed services contractual arrangements entirely to tactical or line-of-business staff. Set the framework by reviewing the overall ICT strategy, then match that strategy with the deliverables expected from an expert managed services provider. 

2. Set high goals. For ICT managed services to work, there needs to be a genuine commitment to continuous improvement, innovation and cost-reduction on both sides. A good managed services provider will be diligent in assessing ways in which they can achieve these goals. It’s critical to ensure these goals are protected within the contract as well as ingrained within the organisational culture and work practices. 

3. Make it a financial win/win. Successful managed services partnerships must be beneficial to both partners to be sustainable over the term of the proposed arrangement. Cost reductions and other benefits should flow to both the client and the managed services provider, to create incentives to pursue improvements. 

4. Get your team on board. It is essential that everyone is on board and organisations need to communicate expectations and goals for both the internal team and the managed services partner. By clearly communicating the strategy, addressing any concerns over loss of control and taking active steps to help embed the managed services partner’s staff within the internal ICT team, organisations can achieve the desired results. 

5. Trust and let go. It all comes down to trust and understanding each other’s role and strengths. Managed services providers need to be very focused on the needs of the business and the individuals that work within it, as well as being alert to using their vast experience with other clients to introduce best practices and new ideas for improvements. At the same time, all levels of the client organisation need to trust the expertise and experience of their managed services partner and truly share responsibilities to achieve optimal results from the partnership.