Managed services - the use of specialist third parties to deliver IT services, generally on a one-to-many basis - are set to increase significantly over the next five years according to a new report by Butler Group, a European IT research and advisory organization. However, the report entitled " Managed Services" confirms that although many organizations have developed sourcing strategies, they have lacked the discipline of managing third-party relationships as closely as they should be. According to Butler Group, commitment is required from all levels to make the managed services model work, and if there is no in-house management team, customers are putting their organizations at risk.

Organizations of all sizes are today making more intelligent sourcing decisions, enabling the procurement of discrete services to be a part of an overall organizational sourcing strategy. The benefit of increased business and financial flexibility, through the reduced need to commit to a long period of involvement with a single supplier, can make the proposition attractive to SMEs and larger organizations alike, although the importance of commitment from all levels within the customer organization should not be forgotten.

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