Fintech Insights

Managed services: Beyond cost control

Tara Winters | Global Head of Capital Markets Managed Services, FIS

December 07, 2020

When I talk to prospective clients about managed services, the conversation typically revolves around using managed services to reduce costs by leveraging the capabilities of providers like FIS that have scale in terms of automation, infrastructure and global teams.

However, our latest Readiness research reveals that the pandemic is not just accelerating the adoption of managed services; it’s creating new reasons to leverage cloud or outsourcing as well as extending their value beyond purely cost reduction.

Beyond traditional risks

One driver for moving to managed services is to mitigate risk. Risk takes many forms, including risk of non-compliance with regulations and risk of business interruption due to infrastructure failure or cyber-attack.

The pandemic has also increased key person risk as lockdowns are either extended or come back into force and employees feel less connected to their teams. With our research finding that only 21 percent of respondents planning to bring employees back to the office as soon as possible, working from home is becoming a long-term shift. That makes key person risk a significant concern. What if someone is ill or unable to access the network? Companies’ operations can come to a halt, or they may have to quickly bring someone up to speed on a critical platform.

Additionally, many companies didn’t build their remote working and cybersecurity plans with the expectation that the majority of the workforce would be working remotely, especially not for the long term, which further increases operational risk.

But there’s also the issue of the well-being of critical teams, both mentally and emotionally, now that they’re separated from the normal work environment. How do employers ensure their teams remain both challenged and connected to the company’s community?

Managed services providers, due to the nature of the work, have a lot of experience managing a remote global work force that regularly works from home. For example, FIS already has mechanisms in place, from connectivity to training programs. Our teams are spread throughout the globe, so we are adept at keeping remote employees engaged, challenged and connected. And if your managed services provider is your technology provider as well, they’ll also know your software inside out – eliminating key person risk.

I wasn’t surprised to read that 38 percent of capital markets executives are increasing their reliance on managed services and cloud in response to communities going in and out of lockdown.

Staying secure

Firms are also concerned about cyber security – 59 percent of executives will invest in cyber security tools in the next 12 months, by far the highest priority for investment. Working from home is about more than just making sure your employees can connect. It’s about security – if their environments are even capable of being secured.

Managed services providers know how to support production environments day-to-day but also how to take responsibility for cyber security, disaster recovery and a broad range of other risk management procedures that are tested on a regular basis. So, while it may be difficult for some institutions to sustain lockdowns and remote working, that’s business as usual for most managed services providers. Providers like FIS offer 24/7 support; always on, cyber security capabilities; and fail-over and disaster recovery plans that are continually tested and enhanced.