New Trends to Follow in Managed IT Services

July 11, 2023

Calling all business leaders! Whether you are a large corporation or a mom-and-pop shop, we know you’ve got one common goal in mind: growth. According to the latest Deloitte’s CFO Signals Q1 2023 Survey, 40% of CFOs are reporting that they are actively investing in growth, sales, customers and new markets as their top priority, closely followed by controlling costs and increasing operational efficiency.

Compared to the last quarter, these optimistic CFOs have set higher expectations for year-over-year growth in earnings, revenue, capital investment and domestic hiring. So we’re sorry to break the news, but if you haven’t already thought about your 2024 and beyond growth by now, you’re late!

How to be Strategic in Your Spending

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone, especially when it comes to managed IT services. By outsourcing these functions to a managed service provider (MSP), you have time to focus on strategic growth and be confident that your IT needs are being met. However, before you start splashing that cash, let me remind you that you do still need to be selective when it comes to IT spending, and take the time to evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of each expenditure.

With technology evolving at a rapid pace, as we all know, it’s tempting to invest in the latest and greatest solutions without considering strategic growth. But to make the right choice, it’s becoming less about the solution itself, and more about the long-term value of a trusted partner. Not every IT investment will yield a positive ROI, and corporations of all sizes need to be mindful of how they allocate their resources.

This means evaluating each expenditure based on its potential benefits, costs and risks, as well as its impact on overall strategy and goals. By taking a strategic and data-driven approach to IT spending, you can optimize your investments, and achieve better outcomes.

Follow the Leader – The Latest Trends You Need to Know

Ok, so now you know it’s time to focus on getting your business future-ready, but where to start? Well, it’s human nature to mirror those around you, and the same goes for business. What are other organizations focusing on to secure their future? We’re all in it for the long run, so keeping up with the latest trends and market updates can be helpful in your own strategic planning. Here’s what we’re seeing:

  • Improve your existing technologies to strengthen data-driven decision making

Reporting revenue growth and gaining new customers is as exciting as it gets! However, without the right investments in the backbone of your operations, you’ll quickly see all of that positive growth dwindle away! In this day and age, businesses need to be data-driven in their decision-making in order to survive.

More than half of CFOs surveyed have identified inadequate technologies/systems, immature capabilities and lack of experienced talent as their greatest roadblocks in driving data to insights. (Deloitte’s CFO Signals Q1 2023 Survey) Sound familiar? Well, take action now! Incorporate plans to address these specific challenges and you’ll get ahead of the issues:

  • Investing in new automated systems and/or upgrading existing systems
  • Implementing talent/organizational changes
  • Streamlining data structures and evaluating processes/controls

Moving full steam ahead in these three key areas as top priority will ensure that you’re making the right moves for the future of your business. The shopping spree awaits – you just need to be smart about where to invest for long-term growth.

  • Implement streamlined solutions to help scale your business

Now that you know where to spend, let’s look at how to spend. A newly released report from Trellix and Vanson Bourne surveyed over 500 CISOs, to see where their focus is heading:

  • Reducing the amount of ineffective solutions: Organizations reported using an estimated average of 25 individual security solutions, with 30% of CISOs indicating that the sheer plethora of technology (without a single source of truth) is a major obstacle.
  • Overall, the need for the right solutions: 94% of CISOs agreed that having the appropriate tools would save them significant time, and 44% expressed a desire for a single integrated enterprise tool to optimize security investments.

At the same time, TechNavio is doubling down on its prediction that Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) is where organizations will be switching their attention to. They estimate the market is set to grow by $20 billion from 2022 to 2027 – from about $13.5 to $33.5 billion – at a CAGR of 19.9%. The growth the NaaS market is experiencing can be largely attributed to several factors, including the increasing use of cloud services, high reliability and security for mission-critical business applications, the rising demand for widespread and high-speed network coverage, and the lack of enough IT expertise at many companies.

This shift toward a usage-based model allows for greater flexibility, scalability and cost savings, making it an attractive proposition for businesses of all sizes.

  • Continue to invest in IT security to fight off cyber attacks

According to Nuspire’s Q1 2023 Cyber Threat Report, the need for cybersecurity investment is here to stay and hackers are getting smarter with new phishing tactics to infiltrate systems. Specifically, there were elevated activity levels across all three types of threats the MSSP monitors:

  • Exploits: skyrocketed by over 150%, primarily driven by brute forcing and the exploitation of Apache Log4j vulnerabilities
  • Malware: surged by nearly 40%, with JavaScript and Microsoft variants being the most prevalent
  • Botnets: witnessed a significant 60% increase, with NetSupport RAT and FatalRAT emerging as prominent threats

However, Trend Micro’s Cyber Risk Index has moved into positive territory for the first time (at +0.01). That means organizations may be taking legitimate steps to improve their cyber preparedness – which is great! But, despite scaling improvements, most organizations still harbor pessimism about their cybersecurity prospects over the coming year. The majority of respondents said it was “somewhat to very likely” they would suffer security breaches of customer data and intellectual property.

As technology continues to evolve, investing in cybersecurity may not guarantee your organization a completely risk-free environment. But, you can get close to it! Implementing effective solutions that provide maximum protection will help your organization stay alert and ready to counter any security threats it might face.

  • Prioritize innovative solutions to boost employee productivity

As remote/hybrid employees become more prevalent and companies face greater pressure to retain top talent, it’s increasingly common to adopt employee-centric work models as part of a broader business growth strategy. Today’s successful businesses recognize the importance of an employee-centric approach, which prioritizes the happiness and motivation of employees to improve productivity and achieve long-term success.

How does technology play a role in this? Implementing innovative strategies and access to the latest technology solutions boosts your employee productivity and creativity while enhancing their work-life balance. Ultimately, placing your employees at the center of business strategy fosters loyal, engaged, high-performing teams that drive better customer satisfaction, increased profitability, and sustainable growth. Partnering with a managed services provider (MSP) can not only help assess your existing workflows and inefficiencies, but also collaborate with you to implement the right technologies.

Trends come and go; there’s always something new to focus on.

There is no doubt that business leaders are constantly thinking about strategic growth far beyond the next 12 months, especially in this current economic landscape. It’s most likely kept you up some nights! But no matter the trends of this year and beyond, there is essentially one constant survival skill that every business needs: adaptability driven by technology. Technology is constantly evolving and companies need to keep up to remain competitive. By adapting to emerging technologies, businesses can streamline their operations, improve efficiency, and enhance the customer – and employee! – experience.

Just remember this – MPS have the expertise and resources to help businesses stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, ensuring that they make the most of their IT investments. You have access to a range of services, including network management, security, data backup, cloud computing, and help desk support, among others, at your fingertips. Ultimately, using an MSP can help businesses adapt to new technologies more quickly, reduce downtime and improve overall performance, allowing them to stay ahead of the curve in today’s rapidly changing business landscape.

Learn more about Konica Minolta’s Managed IT Services here.

Marco Maggio
Vice President, IT Services Sales & Strategic Practices

Marco Maggio leads the commercial sales force for the United States as well as the Legal, Education and Healthcare Practices within Konica Minolta’s IT Services organization. Prior to joining Konica Minolta, he held executive leadership positions at technology organizations such as Lanier, Mosaic, Ricoh and Hewlett Packard. Marco is a frequent speaker for legal industry associations and a regularly published author for technology relevant to key vertical industries.