Enforced lockdowns imposed by many governments around the world over the last year, have had a significant impact on businesses.

For some, the switch to virtual working has been easy and seamless, yet for others it has been an uphill struggle. Many middle market businesses have struggled to balance the need to invest in technology to streamline operations, with the significant increase in market volatility – not easy at a time when ensuring cash flow is critical for survival. Managed services offer a solution to this dilemma.

The adoption of a managed services strategy enables businesses to benefit from the flexibility of its ‘pay-as-you-go’ business model, with the flexibility to scale up and scale down while providing reliable, measured performance – all, most importantly, at an affordable price.

Managed services have matured in recent years to now include data analytics in addition to the core offering. Managed data analytics is a clever option that solves many of the challenges middle market organisations face today. By outsourcing the analytics technology and simultaneously driving a data driven, analytics mindset, businesses can quickly gain the abilities and insights comparable to leading in-house solutions faster and more efficiently.

Managed services and data analytics – a match made in lockdown heaven

As the demand for deriving more insight and value from data accelerates, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a natural synergy between managed services and data analytics.

During a year of enforced lockdowns, an increasing number of businesses have been forced to prioritise and accelerate their shift towards more digitally focused solutions. The results speak for themselves with many middle market organisations using the availability of increasing data to their advantage by embarking on a journey to harness the power of data analytics. For example through the identification underlying trends and pinpointing process and operational roadblocks to unravel business inefficiencies.

“COVID-19 has forced businesses to prioritise and accelerate their shift towards sourcing more digitally focused solutions.”

Exploring the use of data warehouses

The first step in the journey is exploring the use of data warehouses. The benefits of data warehouses include greatly enhanced data analytics, revenue increases and a competitive advantage within the marketplace. 

Data warehouses allow large volumes of historical data to be amalgamated, analysed and benchmarked – all critical in producing increasingly detailed and accurate information on “what” the data has been doing. Ultimately this allows business owners to make more informed decisions.

Applying prescriptive analytics

The second, and most critical step, is applying prescriptive analytics. This step should be taken one you have the knowledge and understanding of what you think is likely to happen in the future. Prescriptive analytics provides you with the answer to the – so, what is next? In other words, they can be utilised to find the best solution, using various simulation and optimisation techniques to indicate the most suitable option that delivers on strategic objectives. Through prescriptive analytics, middle market organisations can gain access to smart recommendations that will optimise the next steps in their business plan.

In turn, this helps with scenario planning and ultimately aids key, strategic decision making – something that growth focused, entrepreneurial businesses have had to become agile in dealing with, particularly when confronted with constant change during these times of much economic uncertainty.

Such analysis also has value in governance and control. Now, businesses can analyse data and offer real time reporting to help identify roadblocks, identify unusual or potentially fraudulent activity and even to assist with the creation of compliance reporting.

To provide just one example, managing regulatory obligations is now more complex and expensive than ever with demands changing rapidly, across different jurisdictions, as regulators call for greater transparency. As a result, businesses require the capabilities to extract data quickly, through sophisticated management and analytic processes and capabilities, whilst also meeting the often rapidly changing demands of these authorities.

How managed services can reimagine the future of your business

The pandemic has transformed everything we knew when it comes to business. Despite the many challenges, organisations that exploit the opportunities at hand will recover more quickly, reimagine themselves for the better and be able to focus on building a prosperous future. 

Adopting the use of managed services can offer a valuable route to faster, purposeful transformation through access to data, tools and insights that will provide the right support for taking courageous actions that will ultimately define success in a much-altered commercial landscape.

“Organisations that exploit the opportunities at hand will recover more quickly, reimagine themselves for the better and be able to focus on building a prosperous future.”

What is important to consider when selecting a managed services provider?

Before selecting a managed services provider, it is important to ensure that the one you select has the right experience and fit for you. Ask yourself if they can provide continuity, offering constant communication and timely updates to ensure you are moving forward instead of stalling. Can they work seamlessly alongside you and your teams? Do they truly understand your business, its values, and the direction you want to go in?

RSM offers an array of proven managed services designed specifically for the middle market to ultimately make your life easier – ranging from accounting, tax compliance, management reporting, to IT solutions. Our dedicated team can provide insight and foresight that is critical for any business to navigate the road ahead in a flexible, cost-effective way.