A number of studies suggest the number of enterprises switching to Managed Services to focus extensively on their core business processes and operations. The enterprises even have the option to outsource specific aspects of their day-to-day IT operations by choosing from a variety of managed services. For instance, a business can avail specific managed services to run its software applications, manage database operations, monitor system security, manage cloud infrastructure, or protect corporate and user data.

The managed service providers (MSPs) even make it easier for businesses to outsource varying IT operations by providing an array of specialized and customized managed IT services based on pay-as-you-go pricing models. However, the managed services market, just like IT landscape, keeps changing frequently and consistently. The MSPs cannot provide relevant managed IT services to enterprises without responding to the current and latest trends proactively. Also, they must monitor the emerging trends to assess and predict the future of managed IT services accurately.

7 Major Trends that will Shape the Future of Managed Services

    1) Cloud Computing

The cloud service models enable enterprises to run their business operations smoothly without setting up on-premise IT infrastructure. Both large and small enterprises nowadays opt for cloud computing to enhance the accessibility, availability, and security of their applications and data without increasing IT footprint. But the enterprises have to address a number of challenges and issues to leverage the benefits of cloud technologies fully. Likewise, the large enterprises will need specialized managed services to migrate their existing applications and data to the cloud without any hassle or delay. The MSPs must keep in place a robust cloud strategy to facilitate cloud migration and simplify cloud infrastructure management.

    2) Internet of Things

The smooth and consistent machine-to-machine (M2M) facilitated by the Internet of Things (IoT) will enable enterprises to gather real-time data from varied sources through the sensors embedded in connected devices. The vast and diverse network of connected devices even has the potential to change the way businesses collect and share data. But no enterprise can leverage the real-time data fully without storing, integrating, synchronizing, and managing the growing volume of real-time data. Most enterprises lack the skills and resources required to operate efficiently in the age of IoT. The MSPs must provide specialized services to make it easier for businesses to adopt and leverage IoT.

    3) Big Data

At present, Big Data is one of the hottest trends in software development. Each enterprise explores ways to improve business processes, drive sales, and boost customer experience by leveraging the structured and unstructured data collected from various sources. But no enterprise can take advantage of the massive and diverse datasets without switching to new data processing and management techniques. For instance, the enterprises have to switch from relational database management systems to non-relational or NoSQL databases to store and process big data efficiently. Likewise, they will need custom bog data tools and solutions to synchronize, manage, and analyze diverse datasets. The MSPs must provide the infrastructure and services required to handle big data to meet the hottest trend in the software application.

    4) New and Diverse SaaS Choices

Many enterprises currently leverage Software as a Service (SaaS) to access a variety of cloud-based applications – Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 – over the internet. But the cloud-based apps required by individual enterprises still differ. The enterprises have to explore ways to avail customized cloud-based apps to meet their business requirements without requiring additional computing resources. A number of studies suggest that enterprises will soon opt for customized SaaS instead of one-size-fits-all solutions. The MSPs will be required to provide specialized managed services to facilitate the migration of existing corporate data to the SaaS applications and allowing enterprises to choose from varying SaaS choices.

    5) Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

The leading tech companies already leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to make software applications perform like humans flawlessly by learning from experience. Many enterprises nowadays experiment with AI to make their business processes more efficient and applications deliver the optimal user experience. The MSPs must adopt AI early to remain relevant in the long run. Also, they must explore ways to make the AI-based applications perform efficiently by providing fresh and updated data. They also need to implement a strategy that makes humans and machines to deliver next-generation managed services by working together as a team.

    6) Dedicated Customer Success Executives

The leading managed service providers have already increased both revenue retention rate and contract renewal rate by deploying dedicated customer success executives. The customer success executives make managed services customized and relevant for enterprises by understanding their day-to-day operational issues, constraints related to skill and resources, and long-term strategic objectives. They interact with the managers directly and provide the required managed services proactively. The MSPs can even use customer success executives to boost revenue by promoting cross-selling and up-selling activities. More and more MSPs will deploy dedicated customer success executives in future to impress and retain clients.

    7) Application and Data Security

The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal made many users uninstall mobile apps and abandon web applications. Hence, enterprises will focus extensively on security and privacy issues while outsourcing their IT operations. The businesses will still avail managed services to meet their IT requirements in a scalable and cost-efficient way. But they will use the security of their software applications and data as the key criterions while assessing and comparing the MSPs. The MSPs have to invest in robust security tools and the latest encryption technology to provide customized managed services by eliminating all issues related to security and privacy. They also need to keep their security strategy up-to-date to retain existing clients and impress new clients.

On the whole, enterprises have been switching to managed services to carry out their business processes smoothly by simplifying and outsourcing various IT operations. But the trends in managed services keep changing at frequent intervals. The MSPs must identify and adopt the trends proactively to provide keep their managed IT services relevant and up-to-date. Also, they must assess the future of managed services by monitoring the latest and emerging trends.

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