Yasser Zeineldin, eHosting DataFort
by Stuart Wilson, Monday 21 November 2016
Why are businesses shifting to managed services for their IT needs? Yasser Zeineldin, CEO at eHosting DataFort, explains:
"Look around any industry today and we see a huge change in the way they run their business. From large enterprises, to governments, to small and medium businesses, organisations are moving deeper into the digital era where technology is making an impact on the way they are changing their processes and systems for growth and expansion.
While a number of companies are making large investments in IT infrastructure and upgrades, most of them are faced with the challenges of evolving technology, the need for highly skilled professionals, etc. Simultaneously, they are also aware that managing and maintaining their IT infrastructure needs to be given priority, and, with the lack of know-how and skilled personnel, the trend is now moving towards outsourcing these IT requirements to managed service providers (MSPs).
Key drivers for increased adoption of managed services
1) Increasing use of cloud based solutions
According to the Cisco Global Cloud Index, from 2014 to 2019, the Middle East and Africa is expected to have the highest cloud traffic growth rate (41% CAGR). Cloud based solutions help business support their growth, and they are moving their business applications to the cloud to ensure greater agility and flexibility. MSPs help organisations scale down the burden of employing specialised teams for IT management, provide the complex compliance requirements and support the organisation with the most suitable technologies that can either be taken as a whole or avail of smaller components.
2) Skills gap
Regardless of the size of an organisation, it is a huge challenge to hire and maintain skilled employees across various domains. On the other hand, most MSPs are equipped with well trained staff and their expertise provides strong capabilities to understand the customer’s business needs. Moreover, a much larger pool of professionals is available to provide strategic guidance for maintaining the IT systems and propose timely upgrades for better performance.
3) Growing security threats
While emerging technology uptake provides a competitive edge to businesses and organisations, they are faced with a growing number of cyber threats. In-house IT teams are focused on the daily needs of the enterprise and more often lack the time to look into complex security needs. Specialised managed security services providers or MSPs can provide the critical 24/7 service and deploy latest security needs in a highly proactive manner. Simultaneously, the global partnerships that MSPs have helps them leverage the latest technologies and global experience in a cost effective manner.
4) Data storage and Backup
Data is one of the most critical aspects of any organisation and it is important that it is protected, stored and backed up against any unforeseen failures or natural calamities. The risk of losing data can be fatal to businesses. MSPs are equipped to deliver these services as well as capable of recovering lost data with services such as data duplication across different mediums and locations. They can ensure continuous availability of data which is vital for the day to day business operations.
5) Cost reduction
There are multiple areas where cost reduction is very apparent in using MSPs. One of the biggest advantages is the OPEX model which does not call for high capital investments. Many MSPs also offer a Pay-as-you-go option which makes a significant impact by paying only for the services used. The choice to scale the services depending on the business needs also plays a huge role in ongoing IT cost reduction. Budgets for employee recruitment for IT management are lowered with technical support staff now coming in as a part of the MSP’s deliverables. MSPs are aligned with global technology partners who are able to provide advanced technology to ensure business growth and provide greater customer experiences.
According to a Frost & Sullivan report, the GCC is expected to see a strong growth for MSPs with spend rising from US$1.07 billion in 2012 to US$11 billion by 2018. While the initial uptake was mainly by the large enterprise sector, it is expected that the small and medium businesses are showing strong interest in cloud-based infrastructure services and will contribute to the growth of regional MSPs.
New SMB Channels event
SMB Channels Middle East, organised by DISTREE Events, will launch in Dubai in May 2017. The new two-day event will bring together 300 executives from the region’s leading resellers of IT solutions focused on serving small and medium businesses (SMBs). More than 60 vendors and value-added distributors (VADs) are set to showcase their solutions and services in the main exhibition area at SMB Channels Middle East.