The Enterprise Information Management (EIM) market is growing rapidly. This is not surprising given the amount of data and content that every enterprise has to deal with today. Optimal management of EIM systems can be challenging for even the largest organization. Managed Services for EIM offers an effective and attractive alternative – but how can you find the provider that’s right for you? In this blog we’ll share our 8 top tips.
Research and Markets, the company behind the ‘Global Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Market (2017-2021)’ report, states that key drivers for EIM growth are ‘growth in unstructured data, new regulations, rise in cloud computing, upsurge in big data analytics in the software & services market and organizational drivers such as customer services, marketing opportunities, process improvement and fraud detection’.
Responding to all these business imperatives requires more than a single solution. It needs an ecosystem of complementary EIM solutions.
To get the most from your EIM investments in these business conditions poses, as Research and Markets states, a range of ‘organizational challenges, data challenges and information challenges’. Expert implementation and ongoing Managed Services for EIM can help you overcome the challenges. So, what makes the ideal EIM Managed Services partner?
Tip 1: Select an EIM specialist
There are many great generalist Managed Services providers. They know how to deliver Managed Services and quite a bit about underlying IT infrastructure, but they lack the in-depth understanding of EIM solutions. If they offer Managed Services, it is always worth speaking with the EIM application vendor. No other provider will have the knowledge and experience of the solutions you’re using. As the EIM company enhances and extends its portfolio, you’ll be one of the first companies that can benefit from the opportunities this brings.
Tip 2: Make sure you’re not the only industry expert
The EIM Managed Services provider you choose should know about more than just the technology. Can they demonstrate a proven track record of success within your industry sector? Are they working with similar companies to yours? Of course they won’t know everything about your company from day one but listen to see if they are asking the right questions. Do they understand what is required to successfully deliver your business objectives from Managed Services?
Tip 3: The skills you need, when you need them
There are specialized skills involved within managing EIM solutions and your Managed Services provider should have plenty of all of them. They should have a team with skills and experience in your EIM applications to enable them to pool their resources and flexibly provide you with the skills you need – maintenance and support, system optimization, enterprise integration, etc – in the exact combination you need. Whether on-premises or cloud-based, many organizations find the expertise and knowledge transfer from their provider is one of the biggest benefits of Managed Services.
Tip 4: On-premises, in the cloud or hybrid
The Managed Services provider you choose should have a flexible delivery model. Look for a provider that can help either to support your own on-premises operations or enable you to fully outsource to a cloud-based service. It’s becoming increasingly popular to implement a hybrid option where you retain some infrastructure internally and outsource the rest to the cloud. A Managed Services provider should be able to allow you to begin on-premises and transition to hybrid or fully cloud-based services when the time is right for your business.
Tip 5: Think performance and availability
The core of any EIM Managed Services is to help you get the most from your systems while reducing risk and boost business operations. Your provider must be able to demonstrate that they can run your systems at optimum performance, deliver proactive maintenance and support to identify and resolve issues before they become a problem, and enable the highest levels of business continuity. Can the provider meet the SLA’s required by your business? Can they implement effective back-up and disaster recovery strategies? Do they have a global infrastructure – with dispersed data centers – and enable automatic fail-over to ensure your service is unaffected if your server is down?
Tip 6: ‘Best of breed’ in everything they do
You’ve invested in powerful EIM technology, are the other elements of your providers operations of a similar standard? There are three elements to Managed Services – people, process and technology – so what about their people and processes? Leading Managed Services providers have implemented their processes using the ITIL standard and have used them successfully with many customers.
Tip 7: A platform for today – and tomorrow
One of the issues within early IT outsourcing assignments was that the contract could be inflexible. Your Managed Services provider should be able to customize their service offering to your requirements today while being flexible enough to change over time. The contract should set out how you will benefit as the provider introduces software upgrades and enhancements. Be sure that the service you sign up to deliver the degree of future-proofing you require.
Tip 8: A partner – not a provider
Our final tip is perhaps the most important. There is very little point in entering into a Managed Services contract unless you see it as a long-term relationship. You’ll find that value accrues over time. So, you can’t work with your provider in the traditional client and supplier model. This has to be a partnership. It has to be based on openness and trust. Time take to ensure that the provider you select is a good cultural fit. Will they provide guidance on best practices and help your teams to work together with theirs?
There are many components to establishing the right EIM Managed Services relationship. Ideally begin the investigation during the sales cycle for your EIM application or at the start of an implementation. Take time. Invest the right time and effort into really understanding your provider, how they work and what they are really offering you. Follow our tips and you’ll find a trusted partner that will allow you to derive full benefit from your EIM investment.
For more information, please download our EIM Managed Services white paper: ‘Unlocking value with EIM Managed Services’.