Is a Managed Network Service Provider Right for Your Organization?
I&O leaders are challenged on a daily basis to ensure that they can deliver an effective and efficient IT infrastructure that meets and furthers the goals of the enterprise.
Being effective is key, since it is all about delivering an expected result. However, being efficient while doing so is equally important. Efficiency is typically defined as the ability to be effective without squandering resources to achieve the desired results.
The expected results are fairly apparent for most small and mid-sized organizations. Here are a couple of goals to consider:
- Ensure end-user and customer satisfaction on an ongoing basis. This includes all aspects of service assurance while ensuring that your business can operate in a predictable and reliable manner.
- Empower the IT organization to evolve. As your business needs wax and wane, the supporting IT infrastructure needs to morph as well to support changing business needs. There needs to be a focus on planning to cater to new business requirements, to incorporate technological advantages, and to manage the lifecycle of legacy systems.
Now for the “doing it well” part of the equation. It is not uncommon for an IT organization to be effective but lose the plot when it comes to being efficient. Here are the key questions to ask internally:
- Do you have the IT staffing, tools and process capability within your organization to meet the goals listed above?
- Are your IT resources getting overwhelmed with trouble tickets and issues tied to infrastructure management?
- Do you struggle with dealing with third-party vendors that provide hosted cloud applications such as unified collaboration and communication?
- Do you believe you are getting the best value for your investment dollars when it comes to the spend on the network infrastructure?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you absolutely need to consider if a Managed Network Service (MNS) provider is right for your organization. But first, what exactly does a MNS provider do and what are the benefits of engaging with one?
MNS Provider Capabilities and Benefits
Managed network services are essentially the provision of operational support to run and manage your IT infrastructure. The assets and network estate under management remain in your possession while the MNS provider ensures that the infrastructure operates at an agreed-upon level of service assurance.
There are several benefits. Here are two within the context of this discussion:
- Financial considerations. Organizations that work with an MNS provider almost always experience a reduction in their operating expenses. In addition, since the burn rate with an MNS provider is predictable, it is much easier to plan and predict finances from a budgeting perspective. The offloading of responsibility also has cost advantages related to not having to maintain dedicated staff committed to this activity.
- Expertise. MNS providers are in the business of technology. They ensure that they have the staffing, training, tools and processes to deliver superior levels of service assurance. For most but the largest of enterprises, having this level of expertise in-house is simply not feasible. They also strive to acquire and maintain manufacturer certifications – a key factor when it comes to dealing with third-party equipment, applications and services.
The Role of the In-House IT Organization
It is worth considering how working with an MNS provider augments the internal IT organization. By alleviating the day-to-day concerns of operating the network infrastructure, MNS providers enable the enterprise IT resources to focus on their next-level goals, such as planning and architecting solutions that can empower the business and provide a competitive advantage.
MNS providers enable I&O leaders to move beyond tactical work and focus on the strategic needs of the enterprise – leading to a more effective and efficient business model.