Is true alignment just a myth?
Traditionally, outsourcing parts of your IT or Cybersecurity function to an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP), Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP), or Outsourcer can be, for some, an uncomfortable subject. And in an already convoluted and complex market, many businesses are searching for more cost-effective and innovative ways of working. A key question remains…Is your Managed IT and Cybersecurity Partner truly aligned to your business now and for the future?
The 2023 Managed IT and Cybersecurity scene
Managing IT and Cybersecurity operations in any business is a time-consuming and increasingly complex job. This year, Gartner has forecasted that worldwide IT spending is set to increase by 4.3%, as well as an expected growth of $300 billion by 2024 in the cybersecurity market alone. With an annual growth rate of 11% until 2028, there is extra pressure on IT and Cybersecurity leaders to make the right call – invest in the right technologies and choose a long-term partner that can not only support growth plans but accelerate them. And with this in mind, it is easy to see why there is an increasing need for leaders to stop putting up with poor service and siloed thinking and instead choose the right type of Outsourcing IT and Cybersecurity partner.
So why do many organisations look to change provider or reconsider their model for delivering technology services to the business? Let’s assess. Often, the key driver for outsourcing services is cost. But there are other factors at play that are also encouraging many businesses to find a new provider; improving partner and customer experience, help with updating the approach to IT and cybersecurity operations, assessing the maturity and delivery of the applications, data and AI strategy, and rapid fulfilment of compliance requirements are just some examples coming to the fore.
First things first, where do I begin?
No matter how traditional your business model is, it is now common to look to outsourcing providers to support more layers of your function. This includes robust and secure cybersecurity operations, the ability to transform large data volumes and application estates, ensure overall operational compliance and more.
So, to wade through the vast number of MSPs and MSSPs available in the UK market today, how do you begin your journey in finding the right partner to manage all these key functions? Do you look for an MSP and a separate MSSP? Or is there a better way?
We recommend focusing on these 4 critical areas when starting your IT and Cybersecurity partner outsourcing journey:
Cultural fit and focus on user experience
Put simply, how does the partner show they truly care about your service experience and the experience of your internal and external customers? How do your values align? Do you share the same focus on quality and the experience of your users? You shouldn’t have to put up with a partner who shows you repeatedly that they don’t take your business and your priorities as seriously as you do.
Secure by design approach
By default, security measures should be baked into everything that the partner is doing, thinking holistically and not in siloes. Don’t put yourself in the situation where security and IT are disconnected, working to competing objectives.
Future-looking leadership and innovation
Your base level expectation should be that the partner knows what is coming down the road and is working alongside the large global vendors to translate the latest technology and ways of working into a service experience that works for you. This is further strengthened by working with a partner that has a culture of innovation, demonstrating proven success in their ability to co-create new services with their customers.
Right-sized scale and flexibility
The outsourcing partner needs to be the right size and shape that is appropriate for your organisation, often of a similar size and shape as your own business. That partner is able to be flexible in how it deals with contractual arrangements, and the ability to work closely with you without being bound by constraining bureaucracy.
Managed partner benefits that hit the hardest
Of course, with any new supplier or partner consideration, there are always going to be critical areas of focus that an organisation will feel are most important to their business. Based on the 30+ years we’ve been working with our customers, either starting out their outsourcing journey or transitioning to us from an incumbent, there are a few standout benefits that we feel have the biggest impact on an organisation.
Operational efficiency and service quality
It is not an easy task to absorb, assess and act on all the technological advances available in the market, alongside making sure that it is tailored to your business and desired outcomes. By opening the shutters and exploring the idea of a dedicated IT and Cybersecurity partner, organisations can enhance their operational efficiency and optimise fundamental business processes with immediate effect.
Leave your team to focus on what they do best. Identify the niggling challenges right at the beginning of any conversation with a potential outsourcing partner, and prominent issues can then be resolved quickly, ensuring they are preventable from occurring in the future.
This is also dramatically improved further by investment in the right tooling and management of vendors by the chosen partner, included within the agreement and further improving the end-to-end journey of critical operations within an organisation.
Access to IT and Cybersecurity talent, and resources on demand
Building a larger and more experienced team is a great benefit that comes from outsourcing your IT and Cybersecurity operations to a partner. A report from Cybersecurity Ventures, the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide grew 350% between 2013 and 2021, from 1 million to 3.5 million. The same report predicts that in five years, the same number of jobs will still be open.
With talent shortages comes a larger risk, leaving organisations incredibly vulnerable to any breaches or cyber-attacks. Working alongside a partner that has secure funding and direct access to IT and Cybersecurity talent tailored to your business will remove the extra pressure of continuously maintaining that in-house.
Opportunity cost, time back and financials reduced.
The amount of time and money organisations spend on the overheads that come with the management and maintenance of IT and Cybersecurity operations is continuing to increase. The core costs surrounding in-house development will include cost per hire, salary, expenses, licenses, technology training and more. Compare this to the cost of outsourcing, where you will only need to consider the cost of the agreed contract and then any additional fees based on any new project work or tooling needed along the way.
You also have to consider the distraction that in-house management can cause, often disrupting focus on core competencies, overloading internal teams, and not making the best utilisation of your available internal resources to the best of their abilities. Allowing less of this disruption internally enables accelerated movement of other priority projects that have been put on the back burner for a long time. And by ensuring you are picking the right partner that is truly aligned; the pace should only further improve.
All the gear, but still no idea?
Cutting through the noisiness of the Managed IT and Cybersecurity market is a tough one. MSPs? MSSPs? Outsourcers? Despite arming yourself with the priority partner considerations and understanding the most impactful benefits, it can still feel like an overwhelming and tiresome process.
With the average number of suppliers per company sitting at between 200 and 300, the reliance on having a partner that can stick around for the long haul is critical and hugely impacts the overall view of success within a business.
With this in mind, the balancing act of finding an IT and Cybersecurity partner who can successfully manage the rudimentary deliverables against your checklist of considerations, all whilst maintaining a healthy and communicative relationship, feels almost impossible. This has left a large gap in the current market that many organisations are falling victim to as they search for the right partner that can do it all.
Mic drop moment. We may know someone closing that IT and Cybersecurity gap.
We know that choosing the right partner can be a make-or-break decision and having complete confidence in that partner is everything. At Acora, we believe it is crucial to refocus and ask yourself these three key questions when assessing your next move.
- What level of engagement do you expect from your IT and Cybersecurity Outsourcing Partner?
- Does your partner understand how IT and cybersecurity should coexist, for the benefit of your organisation and your users experience?
- Will your future business needs be achievable without the right partner by your side?
By eliminating any nervousness or apprehension around achieving your desired business outcomes and putting them into the hands of an experienced, trusted and best-in-class service partner, you can ‘have it all’.
BROWSE SIMILAR TOPICSCloud & Infrastructure • Cyber Security • End-user Support & Experience • Managed Service • User Experience
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