Superhuman scale: What's possible with the next generation of digital managed services?

Markus Erb, VP for Services, Logicalis

Business conditions have never been more volatile, due to the cost-of-living crisis and subsequent economic shocks. How do businesses stay healthy amid inflationary worries, supply chain constraints, increasing security threats and skills shortages? The Logicalis 2021 CIO Survey found businesses are thinking outside the box. Technology decision makers are planning to innovate their way through changing times over the next 12 months.

Effective innovation in 2022 relies on a robust and secure technology infrastructure – but constant disruptions, skills shortages, and new technologies make this a complex challenge. Digital managed service providers (MSPs) help by finding the right tools to solve their customers’ most pressing business problems. They offer sophisticated technologies including AI and automation to clients for minimal up-front investment, enabling them to scale and innovate at a superhuman rate.

Accessing new technologies through partnerships

In the early days of computing, IT wasn't especially accountable to the business. It lived in an ivory tower and provided technology on its own terms. That has all changed in the era of digital transformation. IT is now a strategic business asset that drives new revenue opportunities. CIOs are adapting to become more consultative, listening to business executives' needs and innovating to help meet them.

This alignment of business and technology pressures CIOs to develop digital-first strategies that reflect business goals. Unfortunately, 79% feel they are failing behind competitors as the fast pace of change leaves them trailing their competitors.

Part of the problem is an inability to access the data that they need to power these digital-first strategies. Digital business processes are data-driven, but 75% of organisations are unable to unlock data from its silos in legacy internal systems. MSPs are adept at building open, agile technology solutions that make data accessible, providing real-time insights at scale. They offer these systems as subscription services, offering fast results for a relatively small capital investment.

Navigating the skills shortage

One of the largest challenges organisations are currently facing are widespread skills shortages. CIOs in particular are having to deal with a shortage in cyber security skills. For example, 2022 UK Government report on cyber security skills in the UK labour market found 37% of UK businesses reported a lack of incident management skills, up from 27% in 2020. In response, CIOs are scrambling to hire and restructure teams.

But organisations’ internals teams currently do not have the manpower or hours to filter through mountains of data to ensure smooth operations. By partnering with a digital MSP, companies have extra strength behind them to help them achieve their goals and continue to meet customer expectations.

MSPs’ powerful platforms allow organisations to tap into critical leadership insights and ensure they are successful in the digital first world. Partnering with a digital MSP is more than just having extra manpower – it’s about being able to optimise business operations.

Identifying blind spots

While business data can be hard to come by, organisations have more data from their IT systems than they can handle. To achieve truly robust, scaled-up operations they need to be able to effectively use this data, especially in spotting emerging cybersecurity threats. But there's a problem: with the ongoing skills shortage, there are not enough people to distil it into actionable cybersecurity intelligence.

The cost of a cyber-attack can be severe, both in terms of immediate operational disruption and ongoing legal/regulatory costs. As targeted attacks designed to extort companies grow more sophisticated, these costs are increasing. In fact Cybersecurity Ventures predicts cybercrime to cost the world $10.5 trillion each year by 2025.

Cyber-attacks are becoming more difficult to stop due to the expanding attack surface. As companies extend their IT operations beyond the traditional closed network perimeter to employees' homes and to the cloud, there is more infrastructure for attackers to target, and protecting it becomes more difficult.

The proliferation of telemetry from IT infrastructure and security products makes it harder to identify attack signals. The deluge of network data is swamping companies. It becomes a hinderance rather than a help to security teams as they struggle to identify potential attack signals.

Building robust tool sets that analyse network data and comb through it for potential signs of attack is an MSP's core skill. These organisations are experts at building detailed threat intelligence data feeds to help highlight indicators of compromise and spot suspicious activity early.

Ray Thorpe, global CISO at eShopWorld summed up the problem at our CIO Summit: “We generate about 170,000,000 events a month. There is no way our internal security team would be able to review that amount of data without using partners and their threat intelligence to help identify potential threats."

Conclusion

MSPs offer powerful platforms that allow organisations to make data-driven decisions and build automated workflows for enhanced efficiencies. Sourcing technology as a service is like having a superpower for business IT. Digital MSPs revolutionises business operations in ways that simply wouldn't be possible when relying on in-house resources.

To learn more about the power of digital MSPs and how they can help your organisation achieve success, watch our CIO Summit OnDemand: https://resources.logicalis.com/cio-summit