While companies are trying to share and respond to an environment that continues to evolve in the wake of the COVID-19, service providers are required to increase their value in smart sourcing.

The Global Managed Services Report 2020 of NTT Ltd. highlights how security credentials, deep technical expertise and the ability to deliver results in line with business goals form the basis for smart sourcing.

In the next 18 months, organizations are expected to rely more and more on the experience of service providers, establishing even more solid relationships with them; therefore, the ability to provide fast platform-enabled solutions for the entire technological sector becomes more and more

Cloud and networking, as well as data center and security, but not only, are themes around which it will be essential to demonstrate that we have a variety and solidity of skills to recover and restore the operation and position organizations decisively in the years to come.

Specifically, the report identified that reducing security risks is not only the biggest challenge that IT teams face today, but is also the main reason why support from a service provider is being considered.

48% of business managers are also aware of the need to optimise the working environment.

The degree of technical competence is the main criterion guiding the choice of a service provider, with cloud infrastructure and security at the top of the requests.

To allow organizations around the world to share and adapt to the new macroeconomic environment in which they operate, smart sourcing plays a vital role. In its simplest form, smart sourcing deviates from the traditional. It is an approach to the selection and priority-setting of those service providers that go beyond the mere offering of strategic IT solutions. They are, in fact, suppliers able to offer business results aligned to the objectives of the entire organization.

Identifying and protecting corporate assets

57% of respondents mentioned security risks among the main challenges in the internal management of IT, considering this risk as the most relevant among all the elements considered.

In the face of the current emergency, the number of respondents is expected to increase more and more in their agreement to consider security risks as one of the most critical challenges. Organizations are trying to defend themselves against an increasingly complex and worsening threat scenario.

This is why it is not surprising that most organisations (55%) are addressing service providers to benefit from their ability to help reduce security risks, which remains the most popular service of all.

The widespread presence of the safety theme in the list of priorities of companies is further accentuated by the exponential growth of end-points in remote environments, alongside the increase of BYOD.

Cyber criminals exploit new remote work modes by attacking devices and networks that are not adequately protected. The Monthly Threat Report of April 2020 of NTT Ltd. also showed an increase in spam, phishing and malware campaigns that are taking advantage of the crisis generated by the Covid-19.

Security is no longer relegated to second-order investment but has a crucial role among business priorities and, consequently, falls within smart sourcing.

Security has also been classified as the most important factor in supporting business case in the recruitment of a service provider from 32% of respondents while 30% think that the most indicative factor is the improvement of operational efficiency and 29% evaluates better performance and greater availability as the element

In addition, the report highlights that 84% of organisations recognise the value of establishing a partnership for Managed Services over the next 3-5 years, which will be evident in terms of security capacity. 44% of these organisations even consider that these partnerships are of extremely important value to their organisation.

Focus again on transforming the end-user

During the long, unprecedented, unparalleled periods of time such as the global pandemic underway, it is possible that organisations may decide to suspend investment in innovation projects in taking stock of the situation. However, the transformation process does not stop, but shifts its focus to the end user. The report highlights that 48% of organizations recognise the need to optimise the working environment to meet the needs of constantly evolving staff and teams.

Ensuring that employees can remain connected safely, productively and efficiently is at the top of leadership priorities.

This could support the figures reported by 43% participants, who cited the WAN SD as the main technological project currently under evaluation. L WAN SD helps improve performance and user experience by getting full visibility of assets and business data across the network.

Moreover, this drive to consider new services is probably reflected in the increase in the number of organizations are said to be ready to externalize more IT components than those currently managed internally • a percentage almost doubled • from

Competence and provision of services

The degree of technical competence has long been one of the most important criteria in the choice of a service provider. The possibility of drawing on resources, as needed, is considered a great advantage. Organisations are mainly looking for technical and sector skills (44%) at the selection stage of a service provider.

Specifically, the skills in cloud infrastructure (73%) and security (53%) are the factors that currently guide the choice of outsourcing technologies to service providers. These numbers are expected to grow in the next 18 months, up to 77% and 64% respectively.

The level of competence that service providers can offer is a further step towards creating a partnership for smart sourcing and, if IT teams are required to demonstrate how they can help achieve better business results, service

To help the IOCs and their teams, the report highlights how business changes affect IT decision-making. The development of new products is expected to be the most commonly impacted decision-making factor over the next 12 months. Regulatory changes (51%), expansion of activity in new territories (48%) and lack of skills (47%) occupy the second, third and fourth places respectively among the factors that will most influence the decision-making process.

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