Choosing the right vendors, technology

In certain segments of corporate IT, companies will tend to be more likely to use managed services for their implementation, support, optimization and maintenance needs. These include automation, business process management software, document management system overhauls and workflow tools, as well as virtually any new solution that will have a broad impact on operations and employees on a daily basis. 

Citing a report from MarketsandMarkets, MSP Alliance reported last January that the managed services market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 12.5 percent between 2014 and 2019. This would represent a major increase in spending from $107 billion in 2014 to $193 billion in 2019. With so much money pouring into managed services, leaders need to know which providers to choose and how to evaluate the parties being considered. 

Guidance is key
There are plenty of managed services firms offering out-of-the-box software solutions and potentially some implementation support, but not ongoing guidance to users. Gartner recently argued that the top service vendors tend to be those that have bimodal road maps to offer, and that those that do not have this type of arrangement in place might become antiquated before long. Bimodal strategies tend to create more agility and flexibility, which is why they are so crucial in today's quickly transforming landscape. 

Businesses need to select trustworthy, modernized managed services. Businesses need to select trustworthy, modernized managed services.

"Confronted by digital transformation IT leaders recognize the need to innovate more, manage uncertainty better and establish more agility," Gartner Vice President and Distinguished Analyst Claudio Da Rold explained. "We anticipate that three out of four organizations will be at some level of bimodal maturity by 2017. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for providers' ability to aggressively transform into organizations that are able to respond to the needs of agile, bimodal enterprises."

The analysts then went on to explain that balancing between reliability and agility, which represent modes one and two, respectively, will be critical from here on in both for managed services firms and their clientele. When companies are contending with either consistent disruptions or an inability to flexibly adjust to new market conditions, they will not be likely to reach the upper echelons of their industries. With bimodal strategies, though, competing in today's market landscapes will be far more straightforward.

Mission-critical systems first
When choosing a managed services or outsourced technology vendor for mission-critical systems like document management, workflow and BPM, decision makers must be sure in their final selections to avoid major issues down the road. BPM, workflow and document management are increasingly intertwined today, and weak parts of the chain in these areas can thwart even the best laid plans for other ventures, including mobility and the Internet of Things. 

By choosing the right solutions and the most reliable vendors, firms will position themselves for greater agility and consistency regardless of what market fluctuations might come to pass in the coming years.