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Managed services: How the right platforms, people, and processes can make a difference

We are undergoing a digital transition in Uganda, and a managed service provider (MSP) can facilitate and accelerate this transformation. A common misconception is that MSPs are a vendor to whom businesses can outsource their IT requirements. But the truth is that a company’s relationship with an MSP is more collaborative in spirit. To stay ahead of the competition and optimise digital operations, businesses must remain proactive about their digital infrastructure and assets. For markets like Uganda, that face connectivity and infrastructural challenges, relying on a specialised MSP to consolidate IT infrastructure might be the answer.

Between 2023 and 2028, the managed services market in Africa is expected to expand at a compound yearly growth rate of 8.2%. Understanding what MSPs can provide organisations in terms of their platforms (cloud services and server hosting), people (digital skills professionals), and processes (security and compliance) must go hand in hand with this expansion.

Maximising IT infrastructure with MSPs

MSPs offer a variety of digital and network platforms to help organisations manage and optimise their IT infrastructure. One popular platform is cloud computing, which allows businesses to store, access and collect data and applications on remote servers instead of on-premises hardware. Cloud computing services include public, private and hybrid cloud environments. These platforms allow organisations to scale their IT infrastructure up or down as needed, pay only for the resources they use, and improve collaboration and productivity.

Another key platform offered by IT-managed service providers is network infrastructure management. This includes services such as network monitoring, security, and optimisation. By monitoring and managing network performance, MSPs can help prevent downtime, identify and resolve issues quickly, and improve the overall performance and reliability of the network. Additionally, managed network security services can help protect against cyberthreats and ensure compliance with industry regulations. By partnering with an MSP, organisations can leverage the latest technology and expertise to optimise their IT infrastructure, improve productivity, and reduce costs.

In addition to cloud computing and network infrastructure management, MSPs can offer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platforms. SaaS platforms provide businesses with access to a range of software applications through a subscription-based model, allowing organisations to access the latest technology without the need for expensive hardware or software investments. Here, MSPs can help organisations select, implement, and manage SaaS applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and productivity suites.

IaaS platforms, instead, provide businesses with access to virtualised computing resources, such as servers, storage, and networking, over the Internet. In this sense, MSPs can help organisations set up and manage their IaaS infrastructure, including configuring virtual machines, managing data storage and backups, and ensuring network security. By leveraging IaaS, organisations can reduce the cost and complexity of managing their own IT infrastructure, while maintaining the ability to scale up or down as needed.

A people-centric solution

MSPs in the IT industry offer reliability through their expertise in managing IT systems and infrastructure. They provide proactive monitoring, maintenance, and support for their clients’ IT systems, ensuring maximum uptime and minimum downtime. MSPs also have a team of IT experts with the knowledge and experience to quickly identify and resolve any issues that may arise. This level of support ensures high levels of reliability. It allows businesses to focus on their core competencies instead of worrying about IT issues.

And, in addition to providing reliable IT support, MSPs also address digital recruitment and retention challenges. The rapid pace of technological change means businesses must update their IT systems and infrastructure to remain competitive. However, finding and retaining skilled IT professionals can be challenging and costly. MSPs provide companies with access to a team of highly qualified IT professionals who have the expertise and experience to manage the latest technologies. This allows businesses to stay up to date with the latest technological developments without hiring and training additional staff. Additionally, MSPs offer scalability, allowing companies to quickly scale their IT support to match their changing needs without requiring further recruitment or training.

Leveraging the role of MSPs in the local digital landscape

In today’s digital age, having a reliable and secure IT infrastructure is essential for businesses to get ahead. By partnering with an MSP, businesses can benefit from the latest technology and expertise, while freeing up resources to focus on their core competencies. As the African market for managed services continues to expand, businesses should consider MSPs and IT vendors that could help build and maintain their digital infrastructure.

Patrick Ndegwa, SEACOM Business Sales Lead for SEACOM East Africa

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