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In our daily lives, we rely on an array of managed services, often without even realizing it. Childminders, domestic staff, taxi drivers, chefs … whoever can do the job better and save us time could be considered a managed service provider. Essential utilities like electricity, water and waste disposal are other examples of managed services in action.

Managed services are a concept that businesses and public sector institutions are increasingly embracing as day-to-day operations become more complex and, therefore, more difficult to control without expert, external assistance.

In Kenya, the growth of complementary services or products is delivering significant benefits to customers. Examples include the KCB M-PESA savings and loan service (KCB Bank Kenya and Safaricom) and the M-Shwari suite of mobile-accessible banking products (NCBA Bank and Safaricom).

However, this phenomenon is also adding complexity to these businesses. In addition to “business as usual”, they have to coordinate and integrate services while protecting their intellectual property – and customer data. The result is a more complicated environment that can be difficult to manage.

Challenges for today’s executives

Top executives across industries now face significant operational challenges. Issues with global supply chains, cybersecurity concerns, the demands of a hybrid workforce, global semiconductor challenges, geopolitical issues and the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic have raised the pressure on CIOs, particularly in the banking and other technology-dependent sectors.

While organizations focus on expanding, building world-class teams, attracting and retaining talent, adhering to regulations and delivering value to their shareholders, they also face operational, decision-making and technology support challenges. It has also become increasingly complex to ensure data protection and transactional security.

To address these multifaceted problems, many executives seek wisdom from local and international institutions. Audit firms’ technology divisions and other consultants are trying to address the issues that affect many organizations in their pursuit of blue-chip status. However, the solutions remain elusive.

Unlocking the solution: delegating IT management

To remain competitive, organizations need to reimagine their delivery models to meet the demands of the digital age.

One solution is to delegate the development and management of their information and communication technology (ICT) systems to specialized professionals. This approach enables non-IT companies to focus instead on delivering excellent, customer-focused services – and allows both CIOs and CEOs to shift their attention from firefighting to enhancing their user experience.

Organizations that embrace managed service delivery models, incorporating multiple vendors, AI and automation, therefore stand to benefit from greater agility and resilience.

The modern managed services landscape

While the concept of managed services is now associated with the digital age, it has deep historical roots. These services have evolved over time, progressing from managed hardware services to fully managed platform services. Notably, NTT DATA has provided managed services in various forms for many years, including in the Middle East and Africa region.

The managed services landscape now includes, for example:

These services can be deployed in private, public or hybrid cloud environments, offering flexibility and ease of use, while monthly operational expenditure has replaced significant capital expenditure.

We also understand that traditional IT service levels are no longer sufficient: today’s organizations demand experience-level agreements, which are based on what’s important to their users.

The benefits of managed services

The adoption of managed services brings several benefits to organizations and their employees, including:

  • Comprehensive visibility: Managed services provide a single-pane view of organizations’ assets, allowing IT teams to proactively manage resources.
  • Cost-efficiency: By leveraging cloud-managed networking, organizations can avoid unexpected emergency expenses.
  • Uptime control: Organizations can maintain high network availability, differentiating themselves by providing outstanding customer service.
  • Enhanced security: Managed cloud platforms offer built-in security with safeguards against ransomware and distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Cost-efficient access to leading-edge technology: Managed services offer access to the latest technologies without hefty capital investments.
  • Labor cost reduction: Managed services can reduce labor costs, which may translate into lower prices for customers.
  • Faster deployment times: Service providers can offer solutions more quickly, depending on the complexity of the task.

A leader in managed services

In the realm of managed services, NTT DATA takes center stage as a leader in East Africa. With over 150 years’ experience in technology and innovation, we operate across more than 190 countries and regions, serving 75% of Fortune Global 100 companies and countless other clients.

NTT DATA has also been named a Leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Network Services, Global* for the tenth consecutive year.

Leveraging these strengths, we have solidified our position as a highly trusted partner in East and West Africa. Our team of more than 400 skilled professionals includes experts in product development, CISA-certified security auditors and many Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert and cloud professionals.

The managed path to success

The decision to progress to a managed services model is a strategic one. By entrusting some responsibilities to specialized ICT professionals, organizations can focus on their core business operations and ultimately become more competitive.

In this complicated business landscape, your success hinges on seeking the support of experienced professionals.

Will you be among those who dare to take the leap?

*Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Network Services, Global, Danellie Young, Karen Brown, Gaspar Valdivia, 22 February 2023

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. 

Gartner is a registered trademark and service mark and Magic Quadrant is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved.


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