Princess Leia was quite surprised, and a little skeptical, when Luke appeared dressed as a storm trooper and announced: “I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m here to rescue you.” (Star Wars, 1977) But you may know that Luke does rescue Leia and they join forces and battle the Imperial Fleet.

Rewind a little bit to see Princess Leia’s history and you see that she fought a good battle, but she became outnumbered. The competition was too much for her. She did not have access to resources. To survive, she needed help from the Rebel Alliance.

In business, the rapid pace of change is the battle. The pressure is real. Organizations must adapt quickly to market needs, maintain competitiveness, and achieve higher customer satisfaction. More than ever before, organizations are forced to evaluate the adoption of new technologies and capabilities (mobile, cloud, social) as a means of surviving. This rapid pace of change is leading organizations down a path of IT transformation. And managing that transformation is critical.

Utilizing Managed Services to Transform Your Environment

So how are the successful organizations transforming? How do you balance the business needs while optimizing your IT staff? Many are using managed services, both traditional IT (labor-based) and cloud-based managed services. A 2014 IDC study identified three areas where businesses were utilizing managed services as a means to transform.

Business agility and adaptation. (We’re talking cloud here.) A cloud service provider can ensure agility to adapt to market dynamics. Analytics are key here. If data shows underutilization of a server or application, adjustments can be made quickly. The ability to scale up or down is beneficial for flexible workloads. In addition, a managed service provider enables quick access to new or updated technology. Options include Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). If you are utilizing cloud services for hosting hardware or software, the provider will handle system maintenance, backup and updates.

Optimizing productivity and performance. Whether you need man power for a spike in processing, or to off load your data center to a cloud environment, managed services allows your internal team to focus on strategic initiatives. Instead of being bogged down with the day-to-day maintenance, backups and patches, IT resources can be utilized to explore process improvements or other strategic projects. A cloud service provider can install patches and updates in a matter of minutes versus the time it may take your internal staff to push out the updates across a diverse workforce, eliminating any significant downtime.

Access to “hybrid” IT service delivery and management. This hybrid IT environment utilizes traditional labor-based services as well as cloud services. The IDC study indicated that organizations found value in a managed service provider who could offer labor-based services as well as cloud-based services. This hybrid set up ensures end-to-end management of all services. Again, a reputable managed service provider can provide analytics through an easy-to-read dashboard.

In sum, creating a strategy to achieve your business objectives is an ever-evolving process. What worked two years ago may not be the direction you need this year. Your objective is to figure out how to transform to be successful.

Flagship is equipped to assist you in managing your infrastructure by supplementing your staff, supporting your environment, hosting a primary or alternate DR site or completely managing your environment for you. Whether your company is implementing new applications, upgrading existing applications, or migrating/outsourcing to other applications, Flagship will be there to help you.

Schedule a consultation today to learn how Flagship can help you transform your business.

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