Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 16 - Page 26

FUTURE TECHNOLOGY Achieving compliance certifications is a long-drawn process but nevertheless a necessity. Mudar Al-Ani, COO BT Al Saudia. day-to-day navigation processes. With IT skills becoming more crucial and quite often in limited numbers as well as quality, managed service providers must be able to automate efficiently. Managed security service providers offer real-time threat intelligence technology to identify advanced malware attacks, persistent threats, and malicious attacks. “Research driven managed security service providers, will use a threat laboratory in multiple countries to perform deep and continuous research on advanced threats. The benefit is having a managed security service provider that invests in people and technology each year into detecting and analysing global threats using threat intelligence inside a real intelligence laboratory,” says Dave from ProVise Secure Lab. NXN provides qualified technology experts and consultants to help manage challenging security risks. “Our managed security services operational model helps entities protect and prevents against threat through effective response via collaboration between agencies with shared geographic-based information system, reduction of dispatch time and filtration of false alarms. Such a model helps customers with savings on capex and reduces opex by avoiding investment in complex technology platforms, training and management of the service, and reduces operational costs through smart management” says Charif from NXN. While some companies may opt to be niche players in managed security services, 26 others choose to add the practice to an already existing managed services business model. “eHosting DataFort has been in the cloud hosting and managed infrastructure market for a long time and we have seen the huge demand for managed security services over the last few years. In our case it was a natural progression towards building a managed security services practice, to offer our customers, and to tap into the growing potential customer base,” explains eHosting DataFort’s Zeineldin. “Given that security is a highly sensitive area of business, to build a good managed security services practice, organisations primarily must strengthen trust within existing and potential customers. This is Once you have crossed breakeven, further increase in customers revenue, does not have proportionate increase in internal cost. especially important, as the customer is placing critical data with the provider,” continues Zeineldin. For BT Al Saudia, a differentiator comes with the support that is offered, since its service level agreements are aggressive. “Additionally, we are facilitating the payments on monthly and quarterly basis, assisting our customers to change over to an opex model, with the benefits of long term customer commitment and support coming from our contracts and service level agreements. This will make our managed security services model more appealing and thus increase our customer base and return from the service,” says Mudar Al-Ani at BT Al Saudia. Help AG’s Khan points out that the first requirement for success is to be able to deliver the services locally. “This is one of the biggest factors in addressing a customer’s security concerns, but also requires a tremendous amount of investment both in developing the infrastructure and manpower. Even with this in place, as managed services are only now starting to gain traction, it would take at least a couple years before managed service providers see a full return on investment. Furthermore, many of the existing managed service providers have a lot of trouble delivering the correct service level to their customers. While the managed service providers may have a portfolio ready today, the issue is quite often inflexibility in the portfolio and services.” Khan continues, that it is important to understand, “Managed security services requires significant initial investment in setting up the required infrastructure and getting the right people on-board to be able to run 24x7 operations, even before signing on a single customer. As this cycle is long, managed service providers should be prepared to not expect any ROI in the initial two to three years.” Once you have crossed breakeven, further increase in customers revenue, does not have proportionate increase in internal cost, thereby making this business model more interesting and profitable, Khan summarises on a positive note. Issue 16 INTELLIGENT TECH CHANNELS