It is a digital age and for businesses to remain current, they need to get on board with the burgeoning trend towards customer experience improvement and tailor their infrastructure accordingly, writes Ranjoy Nag, sales: global infrastructure services for South Africa and Africa at Wipro.
According to a Walker study, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020 – something that businesses are increasingly aware of. Simultaneously, predictions for greater IT spends focusing on digital disruption over the next two years are leading to a desired shift from capital expenditure to operation expenditures – and outsourced IT infrastructure has never looked so good.
Beyond offering great cost savings, outsourced IT infrastructure services can provide both the backbone for business engagement systems, and the platform from which to launch new digital solutions for enterprises – key requirements to deliver superior customer experience in a digital world.
Along with networks, storage and applications, Infrastructure Management service providers offer unique products and services such as autonomic computing, cloud based self-service functionality, predictive analytics and automation.
With increased IT Infrastructure Management adoption, enterprises can focus on core competencies and realise improvements in their operational effectiveness, to remain competitive. IT Infrastructure Management effectively provides the platform to enable businesses to meet market demands in a fluctuating IT landscape, and gives them the flexibility and agility they need to optimise existing customer relationships and acquire new business, while continuing to innovate and develop.
Looking into IT Infrastructure Management’s future, he following trends are expected to shape Infrastructure Outsourcing (IO) markets globally and in South Africa:
IO on a Global scale
Security is viewed as one of the main elements that will likely influence IO strategy, globally. IoT continues to proliferate at a rapid rate, highlighting the demand to close security gaps and bolster security measures. IT Infrastructure Management service providers will need to focus strongly on prioritising security across all offerings.
In 2018, IT Infrastructure Management vendors are expected to focus on centralizing IT service delivery to improve service quality and productivity while reducing costs. IO provisioned centralization allows for services to be provided to all internal departments, and eliminates dependency on multiple IT outsourcing vendors. This technological development is likely to spur on increased IO adoption across the globe.
According to new Forrester research, hybrid cloud services is another area likely to have a positive effect on infrastructure outsourcing; saying that that more than 50% of global enterprises will rely on at least one public cloud platform to drive digital transformation and delight customers.
Infrastructure outsourcing clients will recognise the need for outsourcing and subcontracting in order to overcome any innovation and technical expertise shortages internally.
IO in South Africa
The South African outsourcing industry is making significant inroads in the global IT outsourcing arena. This is mainly due to incorporating new service delivery and transformative capabilities such as business analytics, social media and mobility support. These areas have enhanced local capabilities and resources for South Africa.
This trend is influenced by the strong growth of local expertise, and South Africa is increasingly viewed as an important outsourcing destination. This potential can be capitalized on by enterprising IT infrastructure management providers
There’s a growing focus on big data activities and mobility, and software defined networking is expected to show high adoption by various enterprises, further driving infrastructure management trends.
These predicted trends point towards South Africa playing a large role in IT Infrastructure Management on a global scale in 2018 and beyond, with data centre modernisation, disaster recovery, business continuity, automation and software defined networking all being a priority for infrastructure management providers.