The IT Support revolution Chapter 1 – needs, quality, market dynamics

More and more companies are looking at the newest technologies available. By bringing such “bleeding edge” innovations into some of their business processes, enterprises tend to see and promote themselves as IT visionaries and being the “latest and greatest” on the technological market. If only that was the end of the story… A day or even a project-worth of success is in most cases only just “the tip of the iceberg”. In order to be able to sustain the market progress and the entire business operations, enterprises often underestimate the effort, required to change an entire IT division.

What can provide a proper solution to this never-ending rivalry between the business demand for latest tech services, on the one hand, and IT support, on the other hand? There are many roads ahead, when it comes to solving the disparity, but they often become costly to operate, and it takes a long way to transform enterprises and mindsets.

Why is IT support different in recent years, than it was in the past? The first change are the customer needs.

When embedding new technologies such as Internet of Things, general cloud services or even Blockchain, unforeseen gaps can arise between the business and the IT operation teams. Often, project teams are working and developing the skills required for integrating a new technology into the business at a different pace than the IT delivery team. When talking about a new technological implementation it is not just about the financial investment, but also about building experience and last but not least, the investment in time that it takes to transition between development and operations, knowledge gathering, and staffing.

Why is IT support different in recent years, than it was in the past? The first change are the customer needs.
How does a company manage the digital transformation?

How does a company manage the digital transformation?

Like any other technological and business process, one should view the market trends in detail, in order to be prepared for the forthcoming changes. According to an article from Gartner, the new technologies that have emerged as leading in recent years have already begun to influence the way IT departments should work and think. Following this article, there are several aspects IT support divisions should possess in 2019 and onwards:

  • Ability to learn new technologies fast
  • Ability to grow the team fast
  • Ability to make big infrastructural changes fast
  • Ability to operate environments at a global scale

Based on these patterns, it is clear which abilities an IT support team should have, in order to push the enterprise forward. Almost all of them require rapid actions and in the same time none of them are by nature fast to achieve. This is the place, where companies that provide Expert IT support services can step in. Rather than building knowledge from scratch or taking more time in bringing in additional specialists and integrating them into the teams, corporations now have the option to get everything needed for a professional IT support service without any delay.

Expert IT support is becoming a major factor, because the accountability for the new system integration falls into the hands of real specialists. Companies that provide such operational services, are focused on and invest in the above mentioned abilities even before companies require such capabilities from their own staff. How is that even possible? Wouldn’t this approach have a negative impact on the company that invests before the expertise is needed? The reality is convincing – although the new technologies and enterprises tend to have more distributed services, it always helps to have centralized knowledge with centralized toolset and teams with a broad scope of supported projects behind them.

Fast? How about already done? “Fast” is not needed anymore, as the knowhow is already there and the staffing strategy is already being put to work. One of the biggest benefits of Expert IT support services, provided by outside companies is reusability. By utilizing experience, such divisions can quickly change the approach to a problem or the technologies, which are being operated.

Sounds familiar? In the past few years, the public cloud has grown from an idea to a full-blown service portfolio that is the preferred method to outsource services and infrastructure. There are different cloud types covering different customer needs and requirements, they are put together in this article. Why not do the same with IT operations? According to the following article from Grand View Research, the IT support market size pattern isn’t declining thanks to the public cloud and Everything-as-a-Service. On the contrary, it is expanding at a similar pace, compared to the cloud charts.

professional services market 2014-2015

New business directions in new technological era require not only quantity, but also the best quality from the IT divisions. The next of the new trends is top quality.

Historically, the IT support can be divided into two separate technological eras. To be more precise, these two eras can be logically defined as pre-cloud (mainframe support, private server infrastructure, client workstations) and post-cloud (hosted services, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and more). An old saying is still lurking across enterprises, describing the following picture – “When we introduce automation and new optimizations into our IT divisions, we can successfully give up supporting them and cut the majority of support staff.” This statement is as far away from reality as it can be and here are the reasons why.

New business directions in new technological era require not only quantity, but also the best quality from the IT divisions. The next of the new trends is top quality.

When talking about cloud, technical people tend to see the benefits such as high availability or Platform/Software as a Service solutions that are easy to use and manage. Applications, including Facebook, LinkedIn or services, provided by Google and Microsoft are developed in such a manner that they are extremely easy to integrate and to be “consumed” by customers and corporations alike. They offer redundancy, and even in some cases, fault tolerance for most of the features on their platforms. This is great, up to the point, when the masses are working on top of them and the services fail for some reason, like the Facebook outage or the Office 365 authentication issue . Enterprise nowadays are not required to be up and running most of the time – their customers require from them to be available all the time.

Service levels today are hitting up to 99.99% availability. To better illustrate this, in the past IT support divisions had to maintain systems, spread across several datacenters at the most. Today, businesses are growing worldwide, thanks to technologies such as Content caching, Content Delivery Networks, office locations in more and more countries, Edge computing, etc. requiring continuous monitoring and support.

How do corporations manage this demand for multi-region support?

How do corporations manage this demand for multi-region support?

IT consulting companies are bringing new expertise to the market, specifically aimed at delivering expert IT support services to customers with top quality and high availability requirements. With already established centers and support teams, available around the clock, consulting companies can provide multilingual operational service on a global scale.

And how are the client distributed services managed?

Being specialized in IT support services, IT consulting companies have experience with broad toolset for IT operations support. Although enterprises, which outsource IT support divisions to consulting companies, are actually making an effort to distribute IT, the centralized nature of IT operation services remains at the core of the Expert IT support. The centralization of the infrastructure support systems and the knowledge that is being gathered during problem, incident and service requests resolution can be reused from the entire division. This is one of the greatest advantages of the managed Expert IT support service.

Stay tuned for the next blog post about the IT support revolution, where we will put spotlight on the market dynamics, security and automation.

The IT Support revolution – needs, quality, market dynamics

More and more companies are looking at the newest technologies available. By bringing such “bleeding edge” innovations into some of their business processes, enterprises tend to see and promote themselves as IT visionaries and being the “latest and greatest” on the technological market. If only that was the end of the story… A day or even a project-worth of success is in most cases only just “the tip of the iceberg”. In order to be able to sustain the market progress and the entire business operations, enterprises often underestimate the effort, required to change an entire IT division.

What can provide a proper solution to this never-ending rivalry between the business demand for latest tech services, on the one hand, and IT support, on the other hand? There are many roads ahead, when it comes to solving the disparity, but they often become costly to operate, and it takes a long way to transform enterprises and mindsets.

When embedding new technologies such as Internet of Things, general cloud services or even Blockchain, unforeseen gaps can arise between the business and the IT operation teams. Often, project teams are working and developing the skills required for integrating a new technology into the business at a different pace than the IT delivery team. When talking about a new technological implementation it is not just about the financial investment, but also about building experience and last but not least, the investment in time that it takes to transition between development and operations, knowledge gathering, and staffing.

Like any other technological and business process, one should view the market trends in detail, in order to be prepared for the forthcoming changes. According to an article from Gartner, the new technologies that have emerged as leading in recent years have already begun to influence the way IT departments should work and think. Following this article, there are several aspects IT support divisions should possess in 2019 and onwards:

  • Ability to learn new technologies fast
  • Ability to grow the team fast
  • Ability to make big infrastructural changes fast
  • Ability to operate environments at a global scale

Based on these patterns, it is clear which abilities an IT support team should have, in order to push the enterprise forward. Almost all of them require rapid actions and in the same time none of them are by nature fast to achieve. This is the place, where companies that provide Expert IT support services can step in. Rather than building knowledge from scratch or taking more time in bringing in additional specialists and integrating them into the teams, corporations now have the option to get everything needed for a professional IT support service without any delay.

Expert IT support is becoming a major factor, because the accountability for the new system integration falls into the hands of real specialists. Companies that provide such operational services, are focused on and invest in the above mentioned abilities even before companies require such capabilities from their own staff. How is that even possible? Wouldn’t this approach have a negative impact on the company that invests before the expertise is needed? The reality is convincing – although the new technologies and enterprises tend to have more distributed services, it always helps to have centralized knowledge with centralized toolset and teams with a broad scope of supported projects behind them.

Fast? How about already done? “Fast” is not needed anymore, as the knowhow is already there and the staffing strategy is already being put to work. One of the biggest benefits of Expert IT support services, provided by outside companies is reusability. By utilizing experience, such divisions can quickly change the approach to a problem or the technologies, which are being operated.

Sounds familiar? In the past few years, the public cloud has grown from an idea to a full-blown service portfolio that is the preferred method to outsource services and infrastructure. There are different cloud types covering different customer needs and requirements, they are put together in this article. Why not do the same with IT operations? According to the following article from Grand View Research, the IT support market size pattern isn’t declining thanks to the public cloud and Everything-as-a-Service. On the contrary, it is expanding at a similar pace, compared to the cloud charts.

professional services market 2014-2015

Historically, the IT support can be divided into two separate technological eras. To be more precise, these two eras can be logically defined as pre-cloud (mainframe support, private server infrastructure, client workstations) and post-cloud (hosted services, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and more). An old saying is still lurking across enterprises, describing the following picture – “When we introduce automation and new optimizations into our IT divisions, we can successfully give up supporting them and cut the majority of support staff.” This statement is as far away from reality as it can be and here are the reasons why.

When talking about cloud, technical people tend to see the benefits such as high availability or Platform/Software as a Service solutions that are easy to use and manage. Applications, including Facebook, LinkedIn or services, provided by Google and Microsoft are developed in such a manner that they are extremely easy to integrate and to be “consumed” by customers and corporations alike. They offer redundancy, and even in some cases, fault tolerance for most of the features on their platforms. This is great, up to the point, when the masses are working on top of them and the services fail for some reason, like the Facebook outage or the Office 365 authentication issue . Enterprise nowadays are not required to be up and running most of the time – their customers require from them to be available all the time.

Service levels today are hitting up to 99.99% availability. To better illustrate this, in the past IT support divisions had to maintain systems, spread across several datacenters at the most. Today, businesses are growing worldwide, thanks to technologies such as Content caching, Content Delivery Networks, office locations in more and more countries, Edge computing, etc. requiring continuous monitoring and support.

IT consulting companies are bringing new expertise to the market, specifically aimed at delivering expert IT support services to customers with top quality and high availability requirements. With already established centers and support teams, available around the clock, consulting companies can provide multilingual operational service on a global scale.

And how are the client distributed services managed?

Being specialized in IT support services, IT consulting companies have experience with broad toolset for IT operations support. Although enterprises, which outsource IT support divisions to consulting companies, are actually making an effort to distribute IT, the centralized nature of IT operation services remains at the core of the Expert IT support. The centralization of the infrastructure support systems and the knowledge that is being gathered during problem, incident and service requests resolution can be reused from the entire division. This is one of the greatest advantages of the managed Expert IT support service.

Stay tuned for the next blog post about the IT support revolution, where we will put spotlight on the market dynamics, security and automation.

About the author

Ivaylo Barakov

Solution Architect at BULPROS

Ivaylo is an IT professional with 8 years of experience in support services, cloud infrastructure and DevOps background. He is part of the Cloud and Infrastructure services team at BULPROS and in his role as Solution Architect, he has focus on cloud technologies, designing IT projects, automation and ITSM processes implementation.