STME, the Middle East’s leading IT solutions provider and systems integrator (SI), sates that one of the top challenges in the managed security services (MSS) market is redesigning a client’s budget from a capex (capital expenditure) to opex (operational expenditure) and setting expectations correctly within those budgets. But, in the current cybersecurity landscape according to a Norton Cyber Security Insight Report, the opex model is fast becoming a necessary tool against cybercrime.
However, building a managed service opex model is no easy task, especially for vendors and suppliers as they need to include a pricing model that would allow for scaling without the need for renovation or changes in the client’s basic infrastructure. The opex model generally promotes the use of virtual solutions that are the best for scaling up over hard ware investments, and licensing models, which can be customised according to customer requirements and the vendors class.
“Promoting an opex model is challenging for the partners as they bear the costs of the managed service infrastructure, which can be recovered in payment instalments. But the opex model ensures that clients have flexible resources to respond to the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape,” said Ayman Al Bayaa, CEO, STME.
Allocating resources for cybersecurity is essential for the smooth functioning of business organisations, but requirements vary across businesses and industries. Therefore, implementing a one-size-fits-all cybersecurity solution will most likely not be successful or useful. As such the first step is to assess the client’s requirements and assist with understanding these so that the appropriate solutions are found. To do this, STME has developed services and consultancies which monitor the industry trends and landscape including government policy and regulation so that clients can be advised on the best solution from the numerous products available in the market.
“Because of the numerous products available in the market, the business opportunities in conjunction with growing cybersecurity threats and an evolving security landscape are immense. However, with all these opportunities there is much confusion on which could be the best solution or way forward,” added Al Bayaa.
STME also differentiates their managed service solutions by providing expert pre-sales, and after-sales services. “Offering clients the services of an expert during the installation and transitional phases of a product would help in its smooth functioning, thereby providing good change management,” he said.
Another challenge that professionals at STME face is in discussing solutions with clients, some of whom have a set idea of which product they want even though it may not be appropriate for their needs, or are not ready to relinquish their grip over resources and allow outsiders to manage critical core tasks like security.
“After all, the role of system integrators like STME is to enlighten the customer about all available options and technologies.”
At STME the different types of threats and other security challenges are analysed for insights on what kind of skills and products are mostly needed. As in most other branches of technology, almost always there is more than one way to achieve the same objective, but having these insights on hand ensures the best route to success is paved.
The services and consultancy adds to the technical expertise of the professionals at STME, so that clients can realise their ROI when using managed services versus hiring large in-house teams and going through the hoops of specialised training on wide spectrum of products. It is through developing strong and capable staff and partnerships with vendors and suppliers that STME recorded phenomenal growth in the managed security services sector of their business offerings. Having developed a successful formula, the company plans to enlarge its portfolio of products, and services, to reach more clients in the Middle East.