Andrew Bakhsh, Chief Technology Officer, Australian Hearing
As the business landscape continues to evolve, there is increasing demand of the IT function within an organization. Terms like ‘business agility’ and ‘adaptable/flexible IT technology frameworks are becoming commonplace within our industryand Australian Hearingis no different in this regard.
The shift of IT from a cost centre to a business enabler that deals with this demand has been a dramatic one. While technological improvements have allowed IT to do more with less….., there is a risk, especially in smaller IT teams, of team members being stretched too thin, as they are required to work across multiple functional areas.
While this may work in the short term, it is not sustainable, as the more strategic and business-enabling aspects of IT do not get the required attention and focus. If this is not addressed, it can become a challenge for internal IT teams, who focus on maintaining, monitoring, and modernizing rather than on business-critical strategies and goals.
Where can an IT team turn, to satisfy demand and ensure seamless and scalable service delivery?
The answer lies within Managed Services,where outsourced solutions enable corporate capability, security, and growth. Executed correctly, Managed Services allow organizations to leverage platforms and technologies for competitive advantage, enabling them to get the most out of the current IT landscape.
Although Australian Hearing’s foray into Managed Services is still in its early stages, it has been a successful one. A clear example of this has been the Disaster Recovery (DR) Managed Service that we commissioned in 2018.Prior to its implementation, our organization had a DR platform that was costly, complex and utilised multiple technologies.
This resulted in a capability that worked but was not optimized and took considerable IT effort to keep operations stable.
As with many organisations, Disaster Recovery is not core to our business; however, we have compliance, risk and IT governance frameworks we must adhere to and demonstrate competence in.
Fast forward to the present, our new Disaster Recovery Managed Service has been implemented and the results speak for themselves:
• 50% yearly cost reduction
• Scalable, secure and 24/7 availability of DR infrastructure
• Consistent technology (data replication and recovery) solution
• One-time setup with minimal ongoing effort required from our IT team
• 50% improvement in Recovery Point/Recovery Time objectives
Utilising this new service has provided our IT team the time and ability to concentrate on more critical business tasks, innovation and reduce costs, whilst ensuring Australian Hearing’s Disaster Recovery compliance, risk and IT governance needs are met. Additionally,this venture into Managed Services has increased the teams’ confidence in identifying and implementing similar solutions.
As my exposure with Managed Services continues, one thing which has become clearis that theyare an effective tool for dealing with necessary business functions that do not deliver value to your business. Used correctly in the role of a trusted partner, they act as an extension of internal IT teams, thus allowing an organisation to truly focus on their intellectual property/core assets to attain competitive advantage.
How do you find an effective Managed Service provider?
Finding an effective Managed Service provider is easier said than done, as there are a plethora of players in this space. This checklist, while mostly common sense, has worked well for us:
• Clear requirements of the solution you are seeking
• Experience of the Managed Services provider;in particular, ask for case studies or references from other clients
• Clear articulation of what success looks like and how this will be measured
• Calibre of their staff and their availability
• Scalability of their solution
• Value for money
In summary, the right Managed Service Provider can provide significant value by augmenting your existing IT capability and providing solutionsthat could otherwise have beendifficult to achieve in-house. Often, this is achieved by a combination of cost, time and efficiency savings, allowing IT efforts to be better utilized for higher value and strategic objectives.
Check this out: Top Managed Security Service Companies in APAC