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Driving innovation while keeping the lights on

Tech Trends · Aug 1, 2017

Your company has to be innovative to remain competitive, but unless you are a startup or an early adopter, a good portion of your resources and budget are likely focused on “keeping the lights on.” Truth be told, IT departments would much rather spend more on innovation, but continue to allocate the bulk of their financial resources on maintenance, because “turning the lights off” is not an option.

According to IDC, 75% of the average company budget is spent on providing essential IT services, maintenance, and support. Not only is maintaining core IT functions expensive, it is also time-consuming and resource-intensive. Compounding the issue is the fact that Canadian companies have a hard time filling IT positions with highly-skilled workers, as the IT skills gap continues to be a concern. In 2016, the IT skills gap in Canada was 54,000, encompassing key areas of IT operations, security, and programming.

Hybrid IT is becoming a reality

Accelerated growth of applications in the digital economy is making it very challenging for IT departments to keep pace. Traditional data centres are not always capable of adapting to the rapidly changing digital landscape. Inflexible IT infrastructure, minimal scalability, security and other challenges add up, which impede, rather than enable, meaningful innovation and growth. In order to be truly innovative, organizations are looking beyond the traditional IT infrastructure and are deploying a combination of private, public and hybrid cloud along with their on-premise systems.

This dual “hybrid” mode of operations has given rise to the concept of hybrid IT -  a combination of internal IT and off-premise hosting and cloud services (public or private or hybrid).  By embracing a hybrid IT structure, internal resources are optimized – paving the way for innovation with a flexible environment that ensures performance, security, scalability, and compliance requirements are met in the most optimal way.

You don’t need to be stuck in maintenance mode

While adopting a hybrid IT model can provide many benefits, it can also add complexity around managing multiple infrastructure solutions. To reduce IT complexity, while minimizing costs and risk, many companies are turning to experienced services providers to offload their hybrid IT maintenance.

A recent report from 451 Research cited that “more than ever before, customers are looking to a single trusted advisor to provide transformation-oriented managed services and hybrid implementation. Customers are looking to service providers to not only transform IT but also transform their entire business – to rewire the building and support new requirements, all while keeping the lights on.”

To achieve cost savings, faster time-to-market and reduce risks, organizations can also look at outsourcing their IT function partially or fully, with the right mix of IT elements including legacy mainframe systems, servers in their data centre, cloud infrastructure, desktop systems, network elements and others. The objective: to minimize the non-core activities that drain resources so their budget can be put towards driving innovation and business growth.

Partner with a managed service provider to optimize your IT and accelerate innovation

An experienced managed service provider (MSP), using a well-honed set of processes and tools to effectively manage your environment, can take away the pain of IT maintenance and free up IT resources and budget so IT leaders can more easily balance their priorities.

In addition to being a cost-effective and predictable approach that can be scaled based on business needs, a managed service provider can provide accelerated technology adoption which is more advantageous than do-it-yourself strategies. And by adapting a hybrid IT structure, it is an easy way to leverage both traditional and cloud-based technologies.

The balancing act of trying to stay innovative while maintaining existing IT doesn’t need to be stressful. In working with an MSP, you can outsource your non-core IT functions, improve your IT service levels and balance your budget with a predictable OPEX model. What would you do if you were able to shift your focus away from maintenance?

Watch our Hybrid IT - The Best of Both Worlds in The Era of Digital Transformation webinar on demand.

Read the latest thought leadership on Hybrid IT:

Authored by:
Alim Khan Shafeeulla
Alim Khan Shafeeulla