Managed IT services primarily provide proactive service, IT maintenance, network perimeter security, and user support. With more businesses adopting cloud technologies, businesses today began to look for Managed Services Provider (MSP) that delivers cloud and security-first service offerings.
Many services providers like GOBI Technologies began to change their services to continue adding value to their customers and enhancing customer security, processes, and user experience. All while maintaining cost efficiency.
This article delves into the importance of choosing a managed services provider that develops a strategic approach with cloud and security in mind and how the build a strong relationship.
Defining an IT Strategy
Successful customer engagement starts with developing a well-thought-out IT strategy. Creating a roadmap and IT strategy that both the customer and the Managed Service Provider (MSP) agree upon is crucial for ensuring a strong partnership and effective collaboration. This mutual agreement serves as a clear guideline for both parties and sets expectations for the project's scope, objectives, and timelines. Some key aspects of a successful roadmap and IT strategy include:
- Alignment with business objectives: The IT strategy should be closely aligned with the business's overall goals, ensuring that technology investments contribute to achieving strategic objectives.
- Clear communication: Open and transparent communication between the stakeholders and the MSP is vital for building trust, addressing concerns, and fostering collaboration.
- Resource allocation: The roadmap should outline the resources required for the project, including personnel, hardware, software, and financial resources. This helps both parties understand their responsibilities and commitments.
- Milestones and timelines: The roadmap should include specific milestones and timelines for the project, allowing both parties to track progress and adjust plans as needed.
- Risk management: Identifying potential risks and developing mitigation strategies is crucial to ensure the successful implementation of the IT strategy.
- Ongoing review and adjustment: Regular reviews of the roadmap and IT strategy enable the customer and the MSP to identify any necessary adjustments and make data-driven decisions to optimize results.
By creating a mutually agreed-upon roadmap and IT strategy, both the customer and the MSP can work together effectively, leveraging their unique strengths and expertise to achieve improved customer engagement and drive business growth.
The Need for a Cloud-first Service Provider
Working with a cloud-focused IT services provider helps accelerate your business cloud services. Migrating to the cloud is no longer a threat to business security but an opportunity to expand and increase productivity and business capabilities.
When evaluating cloud options, businesses must consider factors such as data storage, security, scalability, integration with existing systems, end-user impact, and change management. Working with a cloud-first Managed IT provider helps streamline your business cloud migration and identify the most suitable cloud platform.
As a services provider, performing a cloud-readiness assessment helps identify services and processes that can be migrated to the cloud. Assessing customers' needs, challenges, and business processes is vital to create an engagement roadmap and evaluating cloud readiness.
The Shift in Managed Security
Over the past decade, security measures have evolved from primarily focused on perimeter security to a more data and identity-driven approach. This shift in focus is necessary as businesses become more reliant on cloud technologies and the threat landscape changes.
- Changing threat landscape: As cyber threats grow in number and sophistication, more than traditional perimeter-based security measures are needed. Cybercriminals now target sensitive data and user identities to gain unauthorized access to systems and information. This new landscape necessitates a more comprehensive approach to security that goes beyond protecting the network perimeter.
- Security solutions must be cloud-ready. Data and applications are no longer limited to on-premises infrastructure. MSPs must provide security measures that protect customer data, no matter where it is stored or accessed. Cloud-ready solutions built on Azure Sentinel and Microsoft 365 Defender help MSPs centralize security management. This includes monitoring across their clients' clouds.
- Remote work and BYOD policies: The increase in remote work and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies has expanded the number of devices and networks that businesses must secure. This further emphasizes the need for a data and identity-driven approach to security, as organizations must protect sensitive information across various devices, networks, and locations.
- Regulatory compliance: As businesses face more stringent regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, they must implement robust security measures to protect personal information and avoid costly fines. Data and identity-driven security measures can help businesses meet these compliance requirements by protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access and misuse.
The Changing Role of IT Consultants
Traditionally, IT consultants have been responsible for providing guidance on implementing, managing, and securing various technology systems within organizations. They have been instrumental in helping businesses identify opportunities for growth and innovation, while also ensuring the security of critical systems and data. However, as technology has evolved and cloud computing has become increasingly popular, the role of IT consultants has expanded to include cloud-specific expertise such as:
- Assess current IT infrastructure and determine the most suitable cloud environment (public, private, or hybrid)
- Select the right cloud services providers and platforms, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
- Develop and execute a comprehensive cloud migration strategy, including application modernization and data migration.
- Optimize cloud architecture and configurations to ensure scalability, performance, and cost efficiency.
- Implement robust security measures to safeguard sensitive data and maintain regulatory compliance.
- Develop effective cloud governance and management policies.
Working with a managed IT provider that successfully incorporate cloud consulting into their services will be better equipped to meet the needs of your business.
Historically, the pricing model for managed services revolved around the number of devices or users. However, with today's hybrid workplace requirements and the ability of cloud technologies to centralize the management of devices and users, this model has shifted. Businesses can now benefit from cost savings as the focus has moved towards a more efficient and scalable approach.