First, a definition, since I know that those of us in the high-tech industry tend to throw around phrases and acronyms with little regard for what they actually mean. I suppose that works to marketers' messaging because where there is mystery, there is more opportunity for a conversation. But that doesn't really help you or your company.
In any event, I've heard the term "managed services" tossed around willy-nilly for longer than I care to admit. Many people tend to equate this phrase with remote network management, but in truth it carries much broader meanings in today's IT economy. In my mind, the term managed services as they pertain to IT infrastructure describes relationships that are ongoing and predictable in the sense that you know exactly what to expect as far as support, updates and technology management goes.
With that as a backdrop, I just got through considering some new research about managed services conducted by industry association CompTIA. The data, which reflects interviews with 400 IT and business professionals conducted in June 2011, suggests that 46 percent of companies have cut their technology expenses by 25 percent or more by moving to managed services for some or all of their IT infrastructure needs. Approximately 13 percent of those companies reported that they have cut at least 50 percent out of their IT expenses.
That doesn't mean that money is just being cut forever, mind you. It seems that it is being diverted elsewhere.
More than half of the survey respondents indicated that one of the big reasons that they are turning to managed service providers for things such as security (antivirus or firewalls), web hosting, network management or help-desk support is that it will free up their internal IT staff for more strategic projects.
If you would like your team to spend more time focused on technology projects that could help generate revenue, it might be time to consider a managed service relationship to help automate some of the tasks that are bogging it down.