IT Managed Services: The Right Hands To Fill The Digital Skills Gap

Ted Basile

Despite the debates on what to expect from digital transformation and which technologies to purchase, cloud adoption remains a critical strategic investment to further any business strategy. Organizations are improving customer interactions by quickly analyzing on an enormous volume of data, gaining a 360-degree view of every customer and developing mobile apps that strengthen engagement. Even digital assets are managed more effectively with growing use of real-time analytics and subscription-based solutions.

But perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of digital transformation is the evolution of workforce skills. While business process jobs steadily disappear, digital jobs are exponentially increasing. However, despite the widespread adoption of digital technologies in people’s personal lives, recent research reveals an 18%–37% skills gap when it comes to operating a hybrid IT environment, according to Henry Morris, IDC fellow of Big Data, analytics, and cognitive research.

Digital skills gap

Two options fill the digital skills gap, but only one is financially sound 

During the webcast “Managing the Transition to SAP HANA,” hosted by SAP, Morris shared that 73% of organizations are running on a mix of private cloud, public cloud, and on-premise solutions. To manage the infrastructure and applications in this environment, businesses are scrambling to find the know-how needed to ensure consistent service-level monitoring, support portable workloads to handle IaaS workloads, unify the service catalog, and automate activities with cloud tools.

Morris believes that two approaches can help businesses overcome this significant digital gap, but only one option really makes sense. “They can retrain or bring newly skilled digital talent on board, but they usually do not have the digital budget to support it. Another option is to take advantage of managed services to support these operations and tasks, and thereby free internal staff to engage in new types of work that can help the business use information and technology more effectively,” Morris said.

It seems that many businesses are starting to understand how managed services can provide the lift in digital skills they need. In fact, the “2017 IDC Application Services Survey” found that 30% of executives are allowing an external provider to manage their organization’s infrastructure and application portfolio today – and that percentage is expected to rise to 41% over the next five years.

Managed services are worth the investment – and here’s why

Why are managed services becoming a viable option for bridging the skills gap and accelerating digital transformation? In the webcast, Morris offered a glimpse into the top reasons why businesses choose to invest in managed services.

  1. Uninterrupted IT operations: External providers have dedicated resources to ensure continuous services and high availability of data. But if service issues arrive, they can apply their in-depth application knowledge, security expertise, and IT automation to speed resolution and minimize any negative impact on the customer’s business operations.
  1. Detailed services to fit specific needs: Every cloud does not meet every business’s needs – and the same is true for managed service providers. By building a relationship, the provider and its customer can work together to address needs at the moment. The best providers will offer a broad and specific catalog of services, can provision and integrate selected applications rapidly and easily, and can upgrade the infrastructure and solution portfolio as needed.
  1. High degree of localization: Providers can enable capabilities by geography, industry, specialization, and application.

By allowing managed services to take care of day-to-day operations of the digital infrastructure and applications, IT resources can be redirected to focus on more strategic business engagement. They can innovate data-driven products and services that can form stickier customer relationships. But more important, IT can elevate its value by helps all functional areas to make better use of data to make decisions that directly impact business growth and success in an ever-changing marketplace. 

To learn how to pick the right managed services provider for your business, watch the Webcast replay “Managing the Transition to SAP HANA,” featuring Henry Morris, IDC fellow of Big Data, analytics, and cognitive research, and Dr. Arndt Böhnert, global head of Enhanced Managed Services at SAP.

Ted Basile

About Ted Basile

Ted Basile is the senior director responsible for global marketing for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. His charter spans messaging, positioning, and building customer-facing assets to support all marketing and sales activities. @teddybgame | LinkedIn