Tech is The Future—But Is Your Business Future-Ready?
Table of Contents
Tech is The Future—But Is Your Business Future-Ready?
Here’s why managed IT services matter today than ever
The surge in the number of businesses moving to the cloud has led to the growing demand for managed IT services in Singapore.
Having access to IT services—big data analytics, cloud backup storage, IT disaster recovery, etc.—businesses can boost their efficiency, improve overall competitiveness and increase their revenues all while lowering overhead costs. However, establishing and managing an in-house IT team is difficult. For instance, several organisations—particularly the startups and SMEs—lack the knowledge and resources to put together an IT department, not to mention the global shortage of tech talent which makes the labour market increasingly tight.
These challenges have led to the rise in the adoption and outsourcing of managed IT services as businesses seek a more strategic response to better organise, operate, and protect their business.
In the article that follows, we are zeroing in on one key aspect of managed IT services: data analytics. Therefore, it’s best to settle what it means here, once and for all.
What is Data Analytics?
Data is being generated at a break-neck pace. As the number of Internet users grows to billions, so does the world’s web traffic flooding out of all the connected devices we use every day: computers, mobile phones, tablets, smart devices, etc.
In its seventh edition of Data Never Sleeps, Domo has given an insight into exactly how much data is generated in every minute in 2019.
With these numbers, it will not be surprising that by the end of 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new data will be created every second by every user. All these factors make the most sense out of big data analytics—the various tools and techniques that can be used to collect, transform, and convert these large amounts of data into actionable data reports.
For businesses, data can help them better understand their customers and target their advertising campaign towards them to improve their bottom lines. However, without data analytics, these figures will be just that: raw figures.
We need data analytics to gather and examine these data sets to uncover patterns, answer questions, draw conclusions, and extract valuable insights from them. Data scientists and analysts use specialised systems and software that integrate machine learning algorithms and other capabilities to interpret data which may include anything from historical data, transaction records, and engagement to name a few.
Ultimately, data analytics can be used to improve end-user experience, optimise spend, streamline operations, and boost business performance, overall.
Part I: Global IT Industry At A Glance
A study by the Market Research Report Search Engine predicts the market for outsourcing data analytics will be valued at $20.68 billion by 2026—a CAGR of 29.4%. North America accounts for the largest share in the business analytics market—a growth driven by the well-established infrastructure and seamless internet connectivity as well as the presence of major vendors in the region.
Meanwhile, the cloud backup and managed services in the Asia Pacific region are emerging as the fastest-growing market as more and more businesses across industries are integrating online managed services into their daily operations.
APAC countries such as Japan, China, and India are currently leading in the cloud managed services market and will likely continue to do so in the years to come. The latter is particularly attractive because of their large English-speaking population, not to mention cheaper labour—and the same is true for the Philippines. Global companies have shifted call centres to these locations beginning in the late 1990s and today, they’re looking for more outsourcing opportunities for activities such as IT services, computer programming, accounting, and data analytics to name a few.
Tech Industry in Singapore
As the tech capital of Asia, Singapore is a prime destination for tech giants. It ranks as the world’s second most digitally connected country, offering world-class IT infrastructure, talent, and technology.
A broad range of business organisations are investing in and taking advantage of the IT infrastructure in Singapore, its connectivity as well as industry-ready talent to better serve their customers and deliver quality digital services worldwide. These include IBM, Visa, Google, Facebook and more, all of which are thriving in the vibrant and thriving ICT ecosystem in Singapore.
Today, Singapore is already home to more than 80 of the world’s top 100 tech firms, top-billed by heavyweights such as Microsoft, LinkedIn, Huawei, and Google to name a few. If these aren’t any indication, what started as a humble fishing village is fast becoming the leading tech hub in Asia and it is despite a global shortage of tech talent.
Part II: Why Businesses Are Outsourcing Their Data Analytics
Outsourcing data analytics in Singapore can offer a wealth of benefits—but requires a well-constructed relationship with your managed IT service provider.
Here’s What You Could Be Missing Out If You Don’t Outsource Your IT
When you outsource your IT, you gain access to a pool of IT talent that will be responsible for managing and maintaining all your IT aspects. You will no longer have to worry about this area of your business because the partnership means contracting a team of professionals who are paid to do their best in looking after your IT and data analytics wherever they can.
Access to Latest Tech Knowledge, Tools & Equipment
Given the global shortage of tech talent, this benefit cannot be overstated. As you gain access to a pool of IT talent, you will also have access to the latest tech knowledge, tools, and equipment but without the overhead costs associated with recruiting and investing in new technology.
Strategic Planning & Proactive Support
Another advantage of outsourcing big data analytics is that your service provider is already experienced in their field of work and have successfully done similar projects for others as well. Therefore, along with the tools and experience they have, they come equipped to strategically interpret your data.
Security & Data Protection
In a study, it is said that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are being created every day and with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), that pace will only continue to grow. It goes to show that the need for cloud backup storage for a systematic way of storing and accessing big data will be more critical than ever. The same can be said for IT disaster recovery services in Singapore too.
The above benefits culminate in cost-saving potentials for you. For instance, it transfers the risk to your managed IT service provider and at the same time, put an end to the costly recruitment and training of in-house data scientists in Singapore. What’s more, with outsourcing your data analytics, you can easily scale your resources according to the present demand.
Data Analytics for SMEs
Resources are always a major factor, particularly for SMEs. While a company can afford it, hiring a full-time data scientist or investing in employee development—having them enrolled in business analytics courses in Singapore, for instance—don’t come cheap. Add that to the salary, not to mention the taxes and benefits you will have to pay if you manage an in-house IT department.
All these factors make the most sense out of outsourcing your data analytics management. You have to remember that the costs not only include physical resources but the time and effort involved as well, plus the related costs, of course. Understanding all these, you’ll realise that the benefits of outsourcing your data analytics will far outstrip the value of your expenses.
When Should You Outsource Your IT?
Now that the benefits of outsourcing your IT are established, we proceed with the question of when should you outsource your IT?
If you’re like most companies, you have probably started out by overseeing your own data analytics. With a startup business, it’s likely that a free Google Drive account is enough to store and access all your data in one place.
As your business grows, however, so does your storage requirements. More client accounts mean more data to process, keep safe, and secure. Below are some key indications that it’s time to outsource your data storage and analytics in Singapore.
when your business is growing. Growth is a positive thing but alongside it is the need for hardware, network, and servers that can handle the demands of your growing business. If you’re starting to outgrow your present technological solutions, an IT service provider can help you streamline your operations with enterprise software as well as 24/7 monitoring and support. In short, more business means more data and cloud computing solutions could just give you exactly what you need: instant, scalable access to everything in one platform.
when you need a better network. Network outages are a fact of life. They cost time and money, regardless of the industry you’re in. The good news, however, is that you can always opt for cloud-based network monitoring services that come equipped with cloud backup storage. Here, your managed IT provider will handle your network and provide 24/7 support services thus, freeing up your in-house staff to focus on day-to-day operations. All these come with the flexibility and customizability of their service.
when you need a disaster recovery plan. Without a disaster recovery plan, you put your business at risk of losing valuable data in times of power outage or other unfortunate events. A managed IT provider can provide you with a strategic IT disaster recovery plan which may include a set of policies, tools, and procedures designed to aid in the restoration of your operations should your IT infrastructure become damaged. A more comprehensive IT disaster recovery service may also include remote storage and automatic data backup.
when you have to focus on your core business. As your business grows, it can be so easy to be sidetracked from your core competencies every time you are faced with IT disaster issues. While it may seem harmless, you will eventually find yourself caught in a pattern of breakdown, repair, and repeat; slipping away from from the key aspects of your business: marketing, customer service, product development, etc. Don’t push yourself far from your limit—get the help you need to get back on track and do what you do best.
when you need to cut down costs. Studies show that reducing cost is one of the reasons why businesses are making the switch to managed IT services. Working with a managed IT service provider in Singapore gets you all the benefits of a highly qualified IT staff without the costs associated with hiring new employees: training, salary, health insurance, benefits, etc. Outsourcing your IT also frees up funds that you can put to use expanding your core competencies.
Part III: Managed IT Services Can Offer Benefits—But Requires a Well-Constructed Relationship
As we move towards a data-driven business industry, any organisation without data analytics cannot survive long and this is something successful businesses today have realised a long time ago. A case in point, Amazon.
The online retail giant has access to vast amounts of data on its customers—names, addresses, purchases, search history etc.—filed away in its data bank. This collective data helps them target their audiences with relevant products, increasing their chances of making a purchase. They also use it to improve their customer service, an area that many businesses overlook.
Many have already begun expanding their investments in data analytics. But, for those who cannot afford to have a dedicated team of in-house data analysts in Singapore, outsourcing this function is likely a better option.
Who can do the job better—a third-party or you?
If data analytics is an outlying function, it’s probably not worth your resources to hire someone particularly for it. Better to outsource in such cases; not only is it a cost-saving approach but the quality of service you get is nearly similar, if not better than what you can do in-house. As big data analytics become more accepted globally, it allows you to stay competitive in your industry.
As earlier said, an IT company has access to the latest technology and the knowledge to use them, and unless you work with them, you might not have the capabilities to maximise its full potential.
Azure Stack HCI with Teleace
A case in point are the HCI solutions such as the Azure Stack HCI. Today, this hybrid cloud solution is being used to run cloud applications using IaaS and PaaS services across different environments such as public cloud and on-premises. It provides a new and more efficient option to run their organisation on a single virtualized application at a lower cost and improved performance.
TeleAce provides support for Azure Stack HCI, which feature the same software-defined compute, networking, and storage software as Azure Stack and is capable of cloud-based backup, site recovery, monitoring, among other functionalities.
Potential Concerns with Outsourcing Your IT
Of course, outsourcing one function of your IT doesn’t come without risk. There are also major challenges to think about when looking into outsourcing services
Risk of Exposing Sensitive Data
When discussing outsourcing, the concerns about exposing sensitive data and losing confidentiality is almost always immediately brought up. Therefore, measures to guarantee data security and non-disclosure should be outlined in any contract and agreement.
Quality of Work
As mentioned above, businesses mostly turn to outsourcing to reduce costs. But, isn’t there a saying that you “get what you pay for”? Fortunately, that just isn’t the case with outsourcing your data analytics, given that you collaborate with a reliable service provider.
Again, the success of outsourcing your data analytics relies on the commitment on your part and that of your managed service provider (MSP). The communication tools available today are also a boon to both parties as they can stay updated with each other in real-time.
What Happens to Your In-House IT Team When You Outsource?
Another factor to consider is how an outsourced function can affect your internal IT team.
Many businesses resist outsourcing their data analytics in Singapore because it could mean laying off their existing in-house IT staff. Although an effective cost-saving measure, outsourcing doesn’t mean you can’t retain other tasks for your team to work on.
It’s up to you to explain why other projects are being outsourced and why such decisions had to be made.
Your due diligence when looking for an outsourcing provider should include these potential concerns. In doing so, you not only ensure a successful transition, but you also reduce the risks of actually encountering these issues.
When the Benefits Outwin the Potential Downsides
If this is any consolation, you can rest assured that the advantages of outsourcing big data analytics far outweigh its potential drawbacks, particularly for SMEs. You don’t have to be a data scientist or a master in data analytics to understand that the use of data for decision-making just makes sense today if you want to remain competitive.
It falls on you to do your research that your outsourcing partner has a proven track record, solid reputation, and has been in data analytics for quite some time. Any reputable firm should have enough references and it’s for you to take the following steps:
— ensure that a potential partner has experience in your niche
— build a strong relationship with your MSP.
— get everything in writing
In line with the third point, see to it that the data gathered by your consulting firm is presented in clear understandable terms that will aid in your decision-making.
No business model is perfect and outsourcing your data analytics or your overall IT functions is certainly not without a challenge. More than finding the right big data analytics service provider for you, successful outsourcing also means collaborating with your partner to determine the right strategy for you.
How Future-Ready is Your Business?
The future is here. Technology is driving the growth engine and adapting to it is the only way to remain relevant. It’s not just what you know about the future but also preparing for what’s ahead.
Having said that, you should be constantly looking to see how and where you can improve—jump into the latest tech trends before your competitors do. Whether it’s the lack of infrastructure or huge capital investment that’s keeping you from growth, know that outsourcing your IT can outmanoeuvre these potential barriers at little cost. It just goes to show that investing in technology is no longer a costly expense, with the proliferation of tech solutions a managed IT provider like Teleace can provide.
Be future-ready today. Get in touch with one of our expert data analysts at Teleace to get started.