[India MSME Summit 2021] How SMBs can leverage managed services for accelerating growth profitably

At YourStory’s third annual India MSME Summit 2021, experts from the BFSI and managed services industries described how SMBs in India's banking and financial services sector can tap into managed services to keep their businesses competitive.
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Managed services — which entail outsourcing execution and maintenance of a range of processes and functions — have been gaining popularity among SMBs and larger businesses working in India’s BFSI space.

The primary reason for their increased relevance is managed services help SMBs address IT and security issues while being cost-effective, which is especially important as businesses battle to stay afloat amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Against this backdrop, Rohit Midha, Director - Services, Lenovo India; Deepak Aggarwal, CEO, Moneybox; Sundeep Mohindru, CEO, M1xchange; and Satyajeet Limaye, Chief Strategy Officer, BANKIT, joined Priya Sheth, Senior Anchor, YourStory, on a panel discussion at India MSME Summit 2021.

The panel titled ‘Managed Services for accelerating growth profitably and efficiently’ churned out key insights into managed services’ rising popularity and how businesses can choose the right partner for the same.

Focus on core business strategies

Employing managed services allows businesses to no longer choose between managing IT on their own by hiring a large internal team and outsourcing the entire IT infrastructure to a third party company. 

Rohit said, “As India’s BFSI sector navigates the pandemic, the adoption of managed services is rising because firms need to be better organised and safeguard their businesses."

He added, "Managed services involve the transfer of a high degree of control to a dependable partner who can deliver outcomes across aspects, including risk, regulation, cybersecurity, legal, and compliance. This way, SMBs can focus on their core business and drive growth with a competitive advantage.”

Deepak — whose firm works to provide easy access to financing to micro-enterprises in Tier II and III cities — deals with large amounts of customers’ personal and financial data.

He said, “There is a lot of customer data involved, and for this, it is necessary to employ managed services so we can only focus on our core business. Running a BFSI firm nowadays is almost unthinkable without managed services.”

Choosing the right managed services provider

Besides network management and security, managed IT services bring value to BFSI businesses in terms of advisory and support services to propel their digital journeys in areas such as systems and IT consulting, hosting application management and infrastructure services, and more.

Working with a singular partner brings in the advantage of streamlining the business' IT vendors, management, and billing.

During the discussion, the speakers spoke about how businesses should go about choosing the right partner.

Sundeep, who runs one of India’s leading trade receivables discounting platforms and deals with copious amounts of data himself, said:

“The managed services partner should be experienced across locations, be flexible to scale up or down the services based on the need, and bring significant expertise in the area of business of the customer. This helps BFSI businesses adopt best practices from the partner’s learnings.”

Bankit — involved in money transfer services — requires robust security measures to safeguard sensitive customer data. 

Satyajeet said, “The managed services partner should be able to innovate and adapt based on customer needs because the pandemic has shown the need for evolution. The partner needs to keep pace with business’ changing needs for security measures to preserve the sovereignty and privacy of user data.”

The road ahead for managed services

The global IT managed services market is expected to grow over 8.1 percent CAGR during 2020-25, according to a 2021 market research by Lenovo and Benori Knowledge Solutions. 

The market is expected to touch $329.1 billion in 2025, up from $186 billion in 2019, with the BFSI sector expected to contribute the largest revenue share. India’s IT managed services market is expected to touch $12.9 billion in 2025, up from $5.9 billion in 2019.

Going forward, the segment will grow in importance for businesses that often don’t have big budgets dedicated to building a specialised IT team to cater to their own complex technology needs.

Edited by Suman Singh

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