Some managers and business owners refer to a managed program approach to information technology needs as outsourcing, a term that encapsulates the way a managed program model allows businesses to ‘hand over’ the day-to-day responsibilities involved in data management and other advanced IT functions. Many businesses first adopt this model mainly because of cost considerations. Due to economies of scale and efficiencies inherent in experience, a managed program firm can frequently handle IT needs for less cost than it would require taking care of all these needs with in-house personnel.
Increasingly, however, businesses that have migrated partially or wholly onto a managed program model are finding that there are significant non-monetary benefits to this approach as well. One of these is the speed at which businesses can bring new products or concepts to market once IT solutions are outsourced. With software and sometimes even infrastructure needs fully taken care of by outside personnel, in-house staff members are freed from the stress of wondering if their systems will be reliable; neither do they have to devote any significant amount of time to IT micromanaging. Instead, all of their productive energies can be directed toward the core competencies of a business.
To make a contracting arrangement work to its full potential, businesses should be aware of the need to keep in close contact with their managed program provider. Some industry experts recommend that managers touch base with their provider at least twice a week and have in-person meetings two to three times each year. Keeping a good flow of communications about ongoing needs is an essential part of making sure that managed services continue to meet those needs.