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Digital transformation: why your choice of Managed Service Provider can make or break innovation

Monday 4 November 2019 Application Managed Services

James Maw's picture
By James Maw

If you’re on a transformation journey, your choice of Managed Service Provider (MSP) will make all the difference. Look for clues in the details.

If you’ve read our previous blogs on choosing an MSP, you’ll already know that a challenge-based approach – that goes beyond technology – is crucial to finding a good fit.

That’s especially true if you’re on a journey of digital transformation.

And often, it’s the small details that end up making a real difference to your ability to innovate and evolve. Here are four good questions to ask:

Do they have a broad palette of digital and project skills?

High support and maintenance workload, lack of resource for reskilling, lost business knowledge, or difficulties attracting and retaining the right talent can all hamper your ability to focus on innovation and new technology.

And when you look for an MSP that can help you tackle and overcome your support and maintenance issues, you may not have a clear idea what form that innovation will take, or what challenges you’ll face.

Even if you’re outsourcing BAU work so your own team can innovate, it makes sense to ensure your MSP is bringing DevOps, digital, agile, programme management, and business transformation capabilities. Because the more flexible the MSP, the less likely you are to get stuck along the way.

How good are they with non-technical people?

In their mission to build something truly outstanding, it’s sometimes easy for technical people to innovate without sufficiently considering non-technical users. But the fact is, it’s non-technical people who have to use and live with these systems day-to-day.

To achieve seamlessly connected systems with a front end that anyone can use, it’s vital that systems aren’t just built to look good, but are also integrated well with existing systems.

A good MSP that is also truly focused on driving innovation will be able to focus on how less tech-savvy people will use your systems.

Look for one that will not only consider how these systems will likely fare in real-world situations “on the shop floor”, but also how employees will use them to gain the best advantage.

Take our work with Argos for example. It wasn’t just necessary to blend new digital retail channels with the retailer’s heritage systems. To maintain customer experience, we needed to do it in a way that shop-floor colleagues could easily access.

Look for third-party multi-vendor management capabilities

Acting as a referee between third party vendors can significantly restrict your abilities and tie-up valuable resources – which could otherwise be spent on more important tasks.

But the truth is, many third-party organisations may not share the same objective. This isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault, but it does need to be managed effectively.

So when you’re choosing an MSP for innovation, it’s a good idea to take a one-stop shop approach. Find one that has experience managing multiple third-party organisations and aligning them to the same goals.

Ensure you’re covered for ongoing support

It sounds obvious, but a lot of organisations forget to think about what happens when the project is over, and the innovation enters everyday use.

Will you need your MSP to provide ongoing support for the new system or app? Or will you want them to hand over the reins – complete with documentation and IP rights?

Having the long-term view in mind from the outset will help you to ask the right questions when you’re choosing your partner.

Small details, with a big impact

Like everything else in business, it’s the seemingly small details that can make a big difference to which MSP can best support your innovation journey as well as your existing systems. It’s why you need to be armed with the right facts and questions to get the MSP that’s a good fit for you in particular.

Luckily, we’ve got just the thing.

Download our eBook – NOT just another guide to choosing the best managed service provider – where you’ll find how the reason why you’re approaching an MSP in the first place affects questions you need to ask.

Remember: the one size fits all MSP is not necessarily the best for you choose one that most closely aligns to your challenges and goals.

If you’d like to learn more about choosing a MSP and to discuss your own requirements in detail, get in touch with one of our experts.



Digital transformation: why your choice of Managed Service Provider can make or break innovation