By Brian Robins, director of business development for managed services, Bentley Systems
During the last 18 months we have seen a steady increase in the number of requests that we have received from architecture, engineering, and constructions companies to manage their software applications. The scope includes project design collaboration and work-sharing applications through to construction work packaging and asset management. The inquiries have come from brand name “starchitects,” global engineering companies, and local design/build firms, as well as state and local government agencies. What is motivating them is the increasing complexity of the information technology environment and the realization that while IT is an essential driver of efficiency and productivity, at the end of the day, it is in fact not their core competence.
At the same time, the megatrends of consumer technology, such as social, mobile, cloud, and Big Data, are being felt in the business-to-business world and especially enterprise IT. The consequences of this “consumerization of IT” are that expectations of usability and accessibility have been raised to levels that are beyond the reach of many, if not most, firms and that IT organizations are stretched so thin that they really need to refocus their scarce resources on the strategic issues that are truly mission-critical to the business.
Hence, CIOs and IT managers are increasingly looking to their software providers to not only sell and install software but also to manage it. More than that, CIOs and IT managers are asking how to get the most value out of the software, what are the best practices, and what are the benchmarks for their peer group? They want to pay for results not time and materials. In certain situations, architecture, engineering, and construction companies are going a step further and asking for help with document control, data quality management, and project information management and reporting. It all adds up to a strong trend towards managed services, namely the outsourcing of IT services management and project administration workflows and business processes.
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