Call it “The Way We Work Now.” Never before have enterprises faced more challenges with respect to the management of their IT investments. At the same time, IT leaders find themselves under pressure from multiple constituencies – including line-of-business executives, suppliers, customers, shareholders, and the board – to deliver at service levels never previously sustained or even attempted.
Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that researcher IDC recently found more and more companies from all types of industries looking into residency services. After all, by turning to experts in areas that have become a management challenge for them, enterprises are able to free up resources for other, more pressing projects; gain knowledge of best practices regarding IT processes; and be assured that key operations will be carried out reliably on a daily basis.
This article shows how Symantec Residency Services provides onsite expertise to overcome common IT challenges.
Many businesses find themselves faced with tough challenges when it comes to IT management and IT staffing.
- Skill Gaps Businesses are finding it harder and harder to find, train, and retain skilled experts in a variety of areas, including security management, data protection, storage, archiving, and compliance. After short periods on the job, many individuals in these areas leave for higher pay or seek a career path that takes them into other areas of IT. Managers contribute to the problem by bowing to pressures to focus a greater portion of their resources on strategic programs rather than ongoing maintenance.
- Complexity The high proliferation of platforms and environments, together with multiple touch points, is breeding massive complexity. Maintaining today’s IT environments takes greater expertise than ever before. The advent of better management tools continues to increase operational efficiency, but these tools require significant expertise as well.
- IT Risk Many areas of IT operations seeing the greatest staffing challenges are areas of high risk but low strategic value. Few customers will choose one bank over another on the basis of better backup and recovery times. However, the consequences of poor data protection can be disastrous if outages should occur.
- Cost Real costs as well as opportunity costs of hiring, training, and retaining skilled IT workers can be quite high. Significant effort is required to train employees on technology and unique operational processes.
- Performance The demand for guaranteed service-level agreements is rising. Recovery expectations of 100% are not unheard of. Increasingly, there is little tolerance for application inaccessibility.
Together, these factors are driving enterprises to look at alternative approaches to IT staffing. For organizations that aren’t ready to consider outsourcing an area completely, Symantec Residency Services provides an alternative.
Symantec Residency Services provide onsite experts to augment an organization’s IT staff for routine, critical, and executive-level activities. These services address enterprises’ need to realize the full value of their technology investments, and to optimize their resources in support of core business strategies.
Symantec offers Residency Services focused on several areas: security management (including endpoint security and antivirus), storage management, data protection, high availability, business continuity, email archiving, IT compliance, and application performance management.
Customers can select from three levels of coverage:
- Executive Residency: Principal consultants provide seasoned IT leadership to manage major initiatives, guide operations and corporate strategy, or fill critical gaps at the level of a CTO, CIO, CISO, or Head of Operations to minimize operational disruption.
- Expert Residency: Experienced consultants and project managers provide strategic guidance and support for application and other implementations, bridging technical and business functions.
- Technical Residency: Technical consultants provide specialized skills to support day-to-day administration, maintenance, monitoring and troubleshooting of technology environments.
Customers can enjoy a variety of benefits from Symantec Residency Services, depending on their requirements and the nature of their IT environment. They can leverage best practices based on thousands of previous Symantec consulting engagements as well as industry frameworks like ITIL and CobiT. The residents can also free up customer resources that can then be re-focused on strategic initiatives that drive competitive advantage. In addition, Symantec Residency Services provide:
- Support for heterogeneous environments One key advantage enjoyed by customers is Symantec’s ability to support heterogeneous environments where multiple hardware and software platforms are installed. Over time, many organizations develop skill sets around one or two key IT platforms, but have problems when newer technologies are introduced into the mix. Symantec can provide residents who are trained in a particular technology and are able to support it across various operating systems, storage devices, databases and, applications, saving the customer from making additional investments to train employees.
- Support for non-Symantec environments Symantec resident consultants are not compensated on software sales and will support existing non-Symantec environments, thereby enabling clients to avoid expensive and disruptive “rip-and-replace” projects.
Some enterprises have turned to Symantec for solutions to outsource key IT operations entirely. In these cases, Symantec can provide residents who handle onsite operations under strict SLAs. These individuals work in combination with Symantec Managed Services experts, who perform 24x7 remote monitoring, remote management, and log analysis of Symantec and third-party technologies.
According to the IDC Worldwide Services 2006-1010 Forecast, many organizations that use IT outsourcers are trying to hedge risk by multi-sourcing and by focusing on smaller, discrete engagements. As a leading supplier of Managed Security Services (six consecutive years as a Gartner MSSP Magic Quadrant leader), Symantec is well suited to serve as a provider of outsourcing solutions for security management.
As the risk, cost, and complexity associated with managing IT infrastructures continue to grow, today’s enterprises often find themselves struggling to realize the full value of their IT investments. As a result, more and more organizations are looking for outside assistance in managing their IT operations. For these organizations, the inclusion of one or more resident consultants as part of their larger IT staff for a specified period of time may well meet their requirements for additional headcount or specific expertise.
Symantec Residency Services provide knowledgeable experts to augment an organization’s IT staff, contributing industry-leading expertise and best practices related to Symantec and third-party technologies. These services expand upon Symantec’s long-standing expertise as a provider of remote Managed Security Services and offer flexible alternatives to help meet customers’ needs.