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How infrastructure managed services fast-track cloud value

Infrastructure managed services can be a strategic capability to help you modernize faster, access hard-to-hire talent and achieve your organization’s cloud outcomes at speed.

3-minute read

June 20, 2023

Accenture’s latest cloud outcomes research contains a lot of positive insights for business leaders and technologists alike. Not least, the fact that 86% of companies around the world are reporting an increase in cloud initiatives. That’s great news.

But it’s two other infrastructure findings that really stand out for me. The first is that many companies still see their legacy infrastructure and applications as a barrier to achieving the outcomes they want from cloud. And the second is how many companies who do achieve those outcomes are using managed services to solve their legacy challenges.

The impact of legacy technology and talent debt

Let’s dive into this in a little more detail. First, the legacy. The research shows that, for a third of all companies, legacy infrastructure is one of the top three barriers preventing them from getting the expected value from cloud.

The need to modernize legacy applications is also a top-three barrier and showed a high correlation with the legacy infrastructure barrier. That makes sense. You can’t set out to modernize your applications on top of old infrastructure and expect success. For example, moving your applications and data to cloud in an effort to create new customer experiences may fall flat if your network isn’t up to the increased bandwidth requirements.

So, a lot of companies are still held back by their legacy technology debt. Legacy technology is not the only kind of debt these companies are building up. Many are also hindered by legacy talent. They simply lack the up-to-date cloud infrastructure skills required to modernize and transform their IT landscape at the pace needed.

Squaring this circle is all the more difficult because IT organizations are stretched for resources right now. Maintaining all that legacy technology is eating up their budgets. It takes most of their effort and resources merely to keep the lights on. And they feel they don’t have the capacity to address the growing debt incurred by their legacy technology and/or talent.

Infrastructure managed services as a strategic solution

This is where managed services come in. The research finds that 82% of all companies that are fully achieving their cloud outcomes are using managed services to a moderate (38%) or great (44%) degree. Infrastructure managed services can be a strategic capability to help you modernize faster, access hard-to-hire talent and achieve your organization’s cloud outcomes at the speed required by today’s business. I think there are several key reasons for this.

First, the basics. A managed services partner can handle day-to-day infrastructure operations and take care of keeping the lights on. That alone lifts a significant burden off the IT organization. As a result, it’s much better able to refocus its priorities, energy and talent on driving the modernization and transformation that are crucial to getting full value from cloud.

Second, if you find the right kind of partner, it can also support, accelerate and compress that modernization and transformation process. Because you not only get an influx of capacity, but expertise and experience as well. And, with the right structures in place, you can engineer a process of osmosis to help transform and upskill your own organization.

A third thing to consider is the differentiating capabilities that a partner can bring to the table. With the breakneck evolution of generative AI technologies like ChatGPT, for example, we’re seeing real impact for infrastructure. AI can automate and enhance areas like predictive and preventative maintenance, FinOps for cloud infrastructure management, talent transformation and more. A partner with expertise in AI implementation can fast-track adoption and value delivered.

The importance of partnership

Modern approaches to infrastructure managed services are not simply about giving someone the keys to the truck and letting them drive. It’s much more about continuous evolution, continuous modernization and continuous partnership.

Take FinOps for example. To deliver value, this needs to be an ongoing effort and not something that you can simply optimize once and then move on. You have to continuously monitor and improve. And the right kind of managed services partner can provide critical insights to feed into that process.

Then there’s the pace of change in the cloud. An organization’s needs are continuously changing and evolving. And so is the mix of available cloud services to meet those needs. Consequently, it’s essential to have a dynamic co-sourcing approach. Both the company and its partner should be intimately involved in identifying future needs, mapping the direction and evolving the services.

Three steps to consider

I leave you with three final thoughts about using infrastructure managed services to accelerate cloud value.

  1. It’s vital to see managed services as a platform for transformation. Choose a partner that has transformation in its DNA. One that can bring the right cloud infrastructure knowledge, experience and capability to really drive modernization forward while managing your infrastructure.
  2. Set aside outdated views about one-size-fits-all outsourcing. Instead, see managed services as a truly collaborative partnership. Insist on flexibility from your partner, ensuring they can not only meet your priorities today, but also dynamically adapt their offerings to meet the ongoing evolution of those needs.
  3. Think about your own talent needs. Work with a partner that has the capabilities, experience and commitment to help your people evolve their skills and abilities. Remembering that legacy skills can be as much of a drag on your organization as legacy technology and processes.

Time to take the brakes off cloud infrastructure management

For companies today, a strong digital core is the number one source of competitive advantage. It’s the foundation on which exceptional experiences are built and where innovations happen. Cloud is a critical component of the enterprise digital core and an essential part of the overall reinvention strategy. But this reinvention can’t succeed without new ways of working and operating your cloud infrastructure.

When it comes to cloud, the low hanging fruit has been picked. Companies must remove the infrastructure bottleneck and reach higher. The right infrastructure managed services partner will accelerate the journey to new ways of working and operating in the cloud that can unlock higher-level value for the business.


Philippe Chauffard

Senior Managing Director – Infrastructure Engineering, Cloud First, Global Lead