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Making Business Impact Via Managed Services
Aparna Challu
Friday, April 8, 2011
Superstition, despite our age of science and technology, plays a prevalent role in our day to day life, and it can be seen everywhere from the big time to the backyard. It is a belief founded by someone, no matter how evident, it is irrational, and always relies on chance. No matter what meaning superstition may bring to people in general, to the players in the cricket field as in the world-cup this time, it is a sense of duty, a feeling of comfort they receive from a certain superstition. The propitiation of the right gods, ritual dances before the hunt, can all be viewed as efforts, no matter how faint or unavailing, to control destiny.

Likewise Business Plan/Risks plays an important role on how you would like to control the destiny of your business or organization by not sitting on the lap of superstitious, but a firm Business plan. Be it from initiation of a new Line of Business (LOB) or expanding business in new regions or bringing innovations to existing customer and so on. Almost a decade ago, questions were, “What business do I take to my customer”, “How do I do it” and “Who does what?”

Since the economic down-fall in mid 2007, the IT world today is calling this the year of operational excellence. How do we harness the creativity and brainpower of our entire unit to fine tune all facets of the sales machine? Are we focused in the right places? Are we putting our wood behind the right arrows? The goal in all of this, by the way, is to work smarter and not harder.

In the managed services world it is about everything, “We will do all for a price! While we do it all, we will also work towards enabling growth to our customers, helping our customers to improve efficiency and margins and helping them to reduce costs”. Now what drives the managed services to end customers? Why would any customer adopt Managed Services? Is it cost, efficiency or is it business impact! If I had to pick, I would say business impact. In the recent survey, most IT units spend as much as 80 percent of their budgets on routine maintenance and day-to-day operations, while only 20 percent is spending on new technology or business-process enhancements. Now the conventional wisdom is, with the total IT budget being constant, it is better to spend more on new initiatives and minimize spending on legacy systems. Most of you would probably argue that the distinction between maintenance costs and new initiatives should be guided by the business needs, within an IT services lifecycle framework through reversal of the standard 80/20 rule and to a considerable improvement over the way IT functions. I wont deny that either!

Now how do we make a business impact by providing managed services to any customer? As per Forrester research group “half of the IT operating and capital budget is being set aside for new IT initiatives and increasing capacity to support business expansion, which means that more dollars are going to be allocated to services-based transactions”. Budgeting, planning, execution, lead flow and more, these are some of the important aspects that can set an example for the roadmap from a basic environment to service based which is a more holistically managed services. If I have to quote an example, there are customers who have highly centralized operations vis-a-vis customers that have a server in every office, under every desk in a cubicle. According to Gartner, information and communication technology (ICT) spend is expected to reach $71.9 billion in 2011, a 10.3 percent increase from 2010 spending of $65.23 billion. We could possibly use the important aspects to make a business impact and thus making it a business enabler that is more matured with flexibility to adopt new change, with standardized SLA and matured problem management and consolidated environment.

Today various customers of Infinite across the globe use our model where measurement can be done with huge reduction in operations and maintenance cost with ability to integrate and maintain inter-operability, providing maximum business realization and show IT return on investment. We at Infinite offer Infrastructure Managed Services Maturity model through people, Process and Technology which form the core structure in any business initiatives.

The author is the Global Head-IMS, Infinite Computer Solutions (India)
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