As Enterprise Information Management (EIM) becomes increasingly central to business strategies, it is vital companies have the skills needed to maximize the impact on their organizations. With IT departments under increasing pressure to deliver, it makes sense to enlist the help of a service provider with the skills required to help achieve your business objectives for EIM.
Before you can pick the model that works for you, you need to consider a few business requirements.
Things to consider when selecting your model
There are a number of factors to consider when selecting the managed services model that’s right for you. These include:
- Business need – what are the requirements of your EIM solutions for your business?
- Business profile – what are the culture, risk profile, and growth strategies of your organization?
- Business process – what are the key business processes that EIM and managed services will support and how can they be improved?
- Regulations and compliance – what regulations and standards apply to your business? How often do they change? How difficult is it to remain up-to-date?
- Technical expertise – how much help do you need to manage the EIM system to meet business expectations? Does your IT team have skills and bandwidth to manage the system efficiently?
Now that you’ve considered your business requirements. it’s time to select your managed services model and provider. Here’s my simple two-step process to maximizing your investment in EIM managed services.
Step 1: Select the best model
This may sound obvious but there are many different managed services models and the first step has to be deciding which one is right for you. In most cases, this breaks into three packages you can select from:
- Expert Assistance: EIM experts work directly with your IT team to ensure critical systems have maximum availability with minimum risk to the organization.
- Fully managed: The provider delivers a complete Managed Services package to ensure your EIM solution is optimally maintained and delivering maximum availability. The proactive and preventative services enable faster incident resolution, reliable system performance, and reduced operational costs–all backed by a set of Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
- Cloud enhancement: As companies move towards cloud managed services the provider can assist in a seamless transition, providing consistent operation during and after EIM solutions are moved to the cloud. In addition, this service ensures that cloud integrations and customizations with existing on-premise applications operate efficiently.
Step 2: Select the correct provider
The next step is to choose your managed services provider. At a very basic level, the provider you select must be able to offer all the models and combinations of those models tailored to your specific needs. Here are some other aspects you should consider:
- Can they meet your business objectives? Managed services providers often position themselves as taking care of running the day-to-day system activities so you can focus on your core business. The managed services provider will optimize all elements of your EIM applications. In addition to system performance, the provider can help achieve your business strategy whether that’s improving overall performance efficiency, enhancing innovation or increasing business agility to quickly seize new market opportunities.
- Do they have the skills you need? You need peace of mind that the service provider has skills in all the areas you require. The people who actually develop the software are joined by the engineering, customer support and services teams to deliver a depth of service around the EIM solutions in a way that no other service provider can. This is why many organizations select a managed service from the original software vendor as they know that they are accessing a significant depth of expertise.
- Are your EIM systems up-to-date? Selecting full EIM managed services ensures that your organization always has the most recent upgrades and patches delivered automatically as part of the service. Even where it’s important for you to retain ownership of your EIM solutions, the provider will be able to help ease the implementation of new releases and upgrades. The provider should be able to plan and execute updates to match your business schedule so that, even in complex and highly customized environments, the process is fast and efficient.
- Is your service scalable? You need to know that the provider can quickly and efficiently scale your service up and down as your business dictates. Can they deliver the agility you need to enter new markets and territories? This requires a provider with a presence globally that can deliver multi-language, 24-hour support.
- Will you receive the system reliability you require? Your provider must be able to fully optimize your EIM solutions to deliver excellent reliability and performance. It’s important that your business imperatives are covered by guaranteed SLAs.
Following these steps and carefully considering your current and future operating and business requirements will help establish a long-lasting and beneficial relationship with your service provider.