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Gabsten Technologies is an established data management consulting company, based in Johannesburg, South Africa


Why DIY your data management when a managed service is better and more cost effective?

Why DIY your data management when a managed service is better and more cost effective?
07 Nov 2022

When it comes to assuring business success, data management is a key component in a digital world where data has become a critical and immensely valuable asset. However, data management is typically not a core competency for most businesses. It is a specialised skill, often heavily admin-intensive, and trying to retain this function in-house means resources cannot focus on adding value through strategic areas like innovation, customer experience and business growth. Data management is one area where a managed service is often a more cost effective and generally effective solution when compared to trying to maintain this function in-house.

It’s not just about backup

Most businesses have, by now, realised that having a backup of data is essential. However, given the complexity of the digital world, the evolution of IT operations over the past decade, the increasingly onerous compliance landscape, and more, data management is not as simple as ensuring a backup is in place. For these reasons, outsourcing data management as a service makes sound business and financial sense.

Conversely, however, these very reasons are often why businesses feel they need to hold on to data management as an in-house function. For compliance, risk and security purposes, organisations may feel that they need to retain control of the data they generate. However, this does not mean managed services are out of the question, as a service provider can easily offer administration and professional services even when data is stored on a company’s own hardware or private cloud.

The pros and cons

One reason for keeping data management in-house is compliance reasons. For certain highly regulated industries, it may be necessary to maintain full control of this function. For other businesses, particularly those with a very agile operations where the IT department requires an intricate understanding of the business, an in-house approach may be beneficial, because there is always a culture adoption curve when outsourcing any services. In addition, large enterprises, for example those in the financial services sector, may have huge in-house IT departments and it might be more cost effective for them to maintain data management within this.

On the other hand, any in-house service requires skills and resources and administration, and for the majority of businesses a service provider approach that removes this requirement will offer benefits that outweigh the pros of a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach. There is an advantage to a DIY approach for very specific use cases, but these are rapidly becoming edge cases, and for general purposes a managed services approach is more cost effective and efficient. However, it is important to consider whether your business falls under this edge case scenario, so weighing up the cost versus benefits and factoring in compliance requirements is critical.

A tailored approach

The reality is that regardless of the size of your business, data management requirements are the same, and managed services can easily scale to suit. Some businesses may deem managed services to not be an ideal solution based on the business, its size and operations. However considering the budgetary benefits of OPEX and protection against cybercrime activities, managed services will add immense value, no matter the size, scope or sector of a business . The biggest advantage is that since data management is not a typical core competency and is a specialised (and therefore frequently scarce) skill, a managed service is the easiest way to ensure this function is properly taken care of.

As with most things involving IT, it ultimately comes down to cost, and getting the right mix of skill, experience and service levels in-house can be difficult. If organisations find the right provider, who is certified in the technologies the business requires and has a proven track record of delivery as well as a focus on ongoing upskilling and continuous development, then data management as a managed service, is the best and most cost-effective option.

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