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Written by Hemant Harie, MD at Gabsten Technologies
When it comes to ensuring business success, data management is a key component in a digital world where data has become an extremely important and valuable asset. However, managing data is not a core competency for most companies. It’s a specialized skill, which often requires a lot of management, and trying to keep this job internal means resources can’t focus on adding value through strategic areas like innovation, customer experience, and business growth. Data management is one area where a managed service is often a more cost-effective and overall effective solution when compared to trying to maintain this functionality in-house.
It’s not just about backup
Most companies, by now, have realized that having a data backup is essential. However, given the complexity of the digital world, the evolution of IT operations over the past decade, an increasingly burdensome compliance landscape, and more, managing data is not as simple as ensuring there is a backup. For these reasons, outsourcing data management as a service makes good business and financial sense.
On the contrary, these are often the reasons why companies feel the need to stick to data management as an internal function. For compliance, risk, and security purposes, organizations may feel they need to retain control over the data they generate. However, this does not mean that managed services are out of the question, as the service provider can easily provide administrative and professional services even when the data is stored on the company’s own hardware or private cloud.
Pros and Cons
One reason to keep data management internal is for compliance reasons. For some highly regulated industries, it may be necessary to maintain complete control over this function. For other companies, particularly those with highly agile operations where the IT department requires a complex understanding of the business, an in-house approach can be beneficial, because there is always a culture adoption curve when outsourcing any services. In addition, large companies, for example those in the financial services sector, may have huge internal IT departments and it may be more cost effective for them to maintain data management within this.
On the other hand, any in-house service requires skills, resources, and management, and for the majority of companies, a service provider approach that removes this requirement will provide advantages over those of a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. There is an advantage to a DIY approach for very specific use cases, but these are quickly becoming cutting edge cases, and for a general purpose managed services approach is more cost effective and efficient. However, it is important to consider if your business falls within this evolving case scenario, so balancing cost against benefits and keeping in mind compliance requirements is crucial.
The truth is that no matter the size of your business, the data management requirements are the same, and managed services can easily scale to fit them. Some companies may consider managed services not an ideal solution depending on the business, its size and operations. However, given the benefits to the budget from operational expenses and protection from cybercrime activities, managed services will add tremendous value, regardless of business size, scale or sector. The biggest advantage is that since data management is not a typical core competency and is a specialized (and therefore often rare) skill, a managed service is the easiest way to ensure that job is properly taken care of.
As with most things involving IT, it ultimately comes down to cost, and getting the right mix of skills, experience, and service levels within a company can be challenging. If organizations find the right provider, who is certified in the technologies required by the business and has a proven track record of delivery as well as a focus on continuous upskilling and continuous development, Data Management as a Managed Service is the best and most cost-effective option.
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