Managed IT services: Trends to look out for in 2024 - Hindustan Times
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Managed IT services: Trends to look out for in 2024

ByHindustan Times
Feb 15, 2024 07:36 PM IST

This article is authored by Praveen Grover, vice president and managing director, AHEAD, India.

Managed information technology (IT) services have witnessed accelerated growth in the last few years. With numerous advantages on offer such as reducing downtime redundancy, providing customised value-added services such as application testing, customised cloud-based services, and IT consulting etc, it is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6% currently. Enterprises all over the world are now leveraging cloud platforms and that’s where the managed service providers have an even greater role to play. They help enterprises as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) achieve greater cost efficiencies, and simplify their digital transformation. As we begin a new year, it is important to look at the key trends that will be prevalent in the managed IT services sector in 2024.

IT (representational image)
IT (representational image)

Cloud has been around for many years now, but the demand for flexibility, scalability and remote access has zoomed in recent years, and cloud has now become integral to any organisation’s digital transformation. That’s why managed cloud solutions are going to be one of the top trends in 2024. However, while choosing your managed cloud services providers, you must pay attention to the importance that they offer to data security, integrations, and hybrid workflows as well as the promptness of their customer service.

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With cyberthreats becoming more pronounced and sophisticated than ever, the conventional security products are going to be of little use for enterprises. Thus, going forward, enterprises all over the world are going to focus on advanced cybersecurity services managed by expert providers who can offer holistic solutions that not only integrate strong response mechanisms, but focus on continuous threat monitoring and predictive threat intelligence for modern business enterprises.

In 2024, we will see unprecedented integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in the managed IT services sector. These will not only improve the speed of service delivery, but also the efficiency and impact. There is a rapid surge in data generation, and AI/ML tools will be the key enables when it comes to data-driven decision-making.

Not only will these technologies automate routine tasks and make processes more accurate, but they will also boost cybersecurity and customisation of workflows. AI and ML can proactively monitor all digital assets of an enterprise and identify vulnerabilities before the hackers exploit them. This kind of predictive monitoring and risk mitigation will give AI/ML-centric managed service providers an edge in 2024.

The internet of things (IoT) has already become a key part of business IT infrastructure across industries, and as the number of devices increases, there will be a greater need for managed IT services for the IoT systems. Estimated to be around 13.2 billion devices currently, it is expected that the IoT ecosystem will go past 34.7 connected devices by 2028. The service providers will be expected to streamline these networks, and ensure that they operate without any downtime or security vulnerabilities.

Most enterprises now use multiple cloud service providers to build their infrastructure. The role of managed service providers is going to be more visible in optimising the hybrid or multi-cloud environments that a company might deploy. They would be expected to make data flows safer, and simpler, and optimise costs for the users alongside offering desired customisations.

In today’s digital landscape, each enterprise and device is vulnerable, and cyber attacks are not an exception, but the norm. In such a scenario, there is going to be a greater demand for zero-trust security solutions.

Going beyond the passwords, and multi-factor authentication, zero-trust mechanisms that emphasise on continuous verification and need-based access control for all users, are going to become the standard for managed IT services in the year ahead.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, businesses will need to adapt to the dynamic regulatory environment, ensuring their data management practices align with the latest standards. Proactive measures, such as regular audits and risk assessments, will be integral to maintaining compliance in this ever-changing landscape. Managed services providers will play a crucial role in assisting organisations to navigate complex data protection laws, offering tailored solutions to meet specific industry requirements. The increasing emphasis on transparency will drive the demand for technologies that provide visibility into data handling processes, fostering a culture of accountability within organisations. In the face of emerging cyber threats, managed IT solutions will also prioritise robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard sensitive information and uphold the trust of clients and customers.

As we all navigate 2024, there is no doubt that the managed IT services sector is set to become more exciting, qualitative, and competitive. With AI/ML integrations, the efficiency and customisation of solutions will increase tremendously, and more companies will shift to cloud platforms that offer advanced, holistic zero-trust security coverage. Overall, 2024 is set to be a year of growth and innovation for global managed IT services companies.

This article is authored by Praveen Grover, vice president and managing director, AHEAD, India.

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