By Adrian Vogt

Managed Services 2021: strategy, quick wins and minimising risk

a group of C-level executives of managed service companies holding hands

A year ago, businesses struggled to understand how to work with remote teams, especially those in other countries or timezones. 

Then COVID-19 hit. 

As businesses moved online and the work-from-home model became the norm, the stigma associated with working with remote teams lifted. COVID-19 removed the need for Managed Service Providers to use the terms “on-shore and off-shore” and pushed global teams into the limelight

But something else also changed: the psychology of how business leaders view “support”. As business priorities reset in 2021, this is the first time organisations are not seeing Managed Services as just IT support but as a strategic ally. 

Quick wins will continue to stay

Being a strategic ally means supporting businesses through disruption. When we launched Micro-Projects in 2020, we offered businesses an opportunity to innovate quickly and deliver small “quick win” technology enhancements at a time when budgets were tight and risk was high. 

This need to innovate quickly isn’t going to change in 2021, and either is the acceleration of digital transformation. In fact, 88% of customers expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives due to COVID-19. We predict the trend towards delivering Micro-Projects will continue to increase as companies opt for “quick-wins” over long term, high investment projects. 

Supporting IT teams to add strategic value 

Following the financial impacts of 2020, CFOs and CIOs are looking closely at the ROI of their technology investments. A lot of our customers are asking “Why is our Salesforce Administrator working so hard but we’re not delivering any value to our customer?” Our answer is simple: they’re too much in the weeds of the system and unable to focus on initiatives supporting business growth.  

To help add strategic value to technology platforms like Salesforce, Managed Services Providers need to expand into both an advisory and support role. For example, that means being there to advise on Seasonal Updates and prepare the platform for those updates, ultimately making the IT team’s life easier so they can create more strategic value to a company’s technology.

Taking an intelligent approach to digital transformation 

If the previous year was an indication of anything, it was that technology was our lifeline. We saw perception towards digital transformation shift and that Managed Services was a vital part of keeping that transformation and innovation alive. 

This year, we will see Simplus Managed Services become part of the whole implementation package. A large part of our business last year was stabilising Salesforce orgs after they had been implemented. We want to remove that risk from the start by taking on a Salesforce implementation straight from delivery and ensuring that knowledge transfer is rock solid. 

With Managed Services you have a team dedicated to understanding your business and making recommendations on best practice. We see this as more of an intelligent approach to digital transformation for 2021. 

What to watch out for in 2021

To no surprise, there will be a lot of attention on Salesforce Health Cloud and vaccine management solutions this year. As the primary Salesforce technology support for SA Health’s COVID contact tracing, we will be taking learnings from our work with the team.

One other thing to keep an eye out for: person accounts. We’re currently working with Salesforce to ensure the best in-breed response to person accounts and develop clear Salesforce best practice for all our customers. 

Stay tuned. 

Interested to learn more about the current trends in Managed Services?

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