by Paul Smitherman
Getting the best of both worlds
Business size, culture and the critical technology needs of midmarket financial firms means that end user support and infrastructure outsourcing has always been commonplace. However with the accelerated pace of technology change, security risks and the regulatory burden means that mid-market firms are looking to external providers more than ever to solve their technology challenges.
Finding the right IT provider who has the capabilities to address the challenges is becoming even harder and financial industry experience is now seen as a critical successful factor for a long-term partnership.
Independent Financial firms expect quality, much higher service levels than IT industry averages. Typically finding an IT partner that can provide this personal service often comes with the risk of using a smaller provider that doesn’t have the scale and is risky. With the arrival of Cloud services has changed everything.
Recent global events have highlighted the need to radically change the way we work. Now more than ever we need to be able to stay productive, work in virtual teams and access information anywhere, anytime on a range of devices and in real time. In times like these, cloud technology comes into its own.
Historically limited options
In the past, mid-market financial firms looking to outsource to a single provider had limited options. They would choose to partner with a Managed Service Provider with their own private cloud offering the size and scale required to mitigate any risk. This meant sacrificing the smaller provider who might be a specialist in financial services and who had the capability of providing a personalised, in-depth “white glove” service.
The growth of the public cloud
The massive growth in public cloud has changed this. An increasing number of applications now come with software as a service (Saas) or are hosted within the public cloud. From a cost perspective it makes sense to shift the investment away from infrastructure. Firms no longer have to compromise. They can select a managed service provider on the quality of their service rather than on the size of their cloud.
This means that firms can now get the best of both worlds. They can benefit from the scale, capacity and continuity of the public cloud and they can choose to partner with a local firm with specialist knowledge and experience in the financial service sector who will provide them with a white glove approach and adapt to their specific needs.
So, with more options and choice on the table with the public cloud, what are the key questions you should ask when selecting a new managed service provider?
7 key questions to ask when selecting a new managed service provider
- A Packaged Solution – Have they “productised” their service? i.e. bundled together all the latest end user technology through to cloud infrastructure in an all-encompassing managed solution?
- Flexibility – Do they offer a true operating expenditure model, which can flex up and down and covers all the technology not just the cloud?
- Cost Reduction – Will you effectively reduce your technology costs and transition to consumption-based IT costs?
- Hybrid Model Option – Are you being forced into a fully public cloud model, or do you have the option to run applications on premises or in the private cloud if you wish to?
- White Glove Service – How does the provider define its “white glove service” and what do they offer which delivers the highest possible levels of personal service?
- Industry Expertise – Does the provider have an intimate understanding of financial services and industry challenges so that they can add real business value to the firm?
- Keeping Secure – Does the provider meet a global standard in Information Security e.g. ISO 27001 and has a dedicated Cyber team which is constantly monitoring the threat landscape around the clock?
The public cloud and hybrid IT environments have made it possible for Managed Service providers to enable financial service firms to achieve the ultimate combination of scale, agility and continuity, all in a deeply engaged personalised ‘white glove’ service tailored to the specific business and industry needs of the financial sector. Is it time you ensured you get the best of both worlds and that your firm’s technology needs are met by one provider so that you can focus on your business?