The need for agile, accurate demand planning has never been greater. When considering migrating your demand management application to a cloud-native solution, you might experience platform management challenges ranging from lacking the resources needed to oversee application operations, to manipulating maintenance tasks that may distract from growing the business.

Why managed applications services?

One solution to address those challenges is working with a company, like SAS, that has partnered with a cloud provider, like Microsoft Azure, and offers managed application services (MAS) designed to reduce the stress of application management and provide companies with the right demand management tools and guidance needed for simplifying their technology infrastructure.

When a company decides to adopt a cloud solution, they need to consider how they’re going to manage it. In many cases, IT teams will take on the management responsibilities themselves. This is a viable option, but is not always the best approach. Organizations may want to consider a managed application service to help manage their cloud applications. A cloud MAS lifts some, if not all, cloud management obligations from a company’s IT team.

What is a managed application service?

Managed application services are the partial or complete management and control of a client’s cloud platform, including migration, maintenance and optimization. By using a managed cloud service provider, a company can ensure its cloud resources run efficiently. Outsourcing cloud management application services allows organizations to avoid hiring new IT staff and to choose which IT functions it wishes to manage in-house, while leaving all the rest to its service provider, which can include infrastructure and application-level support.

What are the benefits?

The biggest benefit of the cloud is scalability. That means that the resources a company uses in the cloud can grow or shrink seamlessly depending on the company’s needs. However, there are many additional benefits when considering a MAS, including:

Alleviating risk

  • Outsourcing application management shifts the burden of operational risk off the company and on to the provider, who has more industry knowledge and is more accustomed to addressing challenges related to application downtime and malicious attacks.

Reducing IT burden 

  • Dedicating large amounts of internal IT resources to application surveillance can hinder overall business growth. A cloud services provider takes ownership of application management and helps mitigate the burden of shifting in-house resources, which allows staff to focus on reaching strategic objectives.
  • Working with a MAS partner can increase productivity by allowing the demand planning team to concentrate on creating more accurate demand plans versus managing and monitoring data and process infrastructure issues. By offering round-the-clock technical support, a MAS provider can free up staff members so they can focus on their core responsibilities.

 Ensuring industry compliance

  • As security standards continue to evolve, a third-party MAS partner will work to ensure their customers remain up-to-date on regulations and gain government approval to maintain strict security protocols. MAS partners are well-versed in recognizing and addressing incorrect setups, as well as recommending policies to tighten overall security.

Gaining domain expertise 

  • When selecting SAS as an MAS partner, a company is gaining years of demand management expertise that can help you quickly gain competitive advantage and success by overcoming application roadblocks. SAS provides companies with powerful insights by analyzing their application infrastructure and determining how to improve their overall demand planning process.
  • SAS will keep you updated on the latest applications, emerging technologies and tools needed to help the organization reach its strategic objectives. SAS can also provide the assistance required to align a company’s resources towards key business initiatives, as well as improve productivity

Next steps

Cloud-native applications are becoming the preferred environment for companies to store data. Given the past 18 months of disruptions due to the new digital economy and the pandemic, companies are now focusing on new cloud-native demand management solutions with an emphasis on short-term demand sensing.

SAS hosted Managed Services on Microsoft Azure is an excellent option for companies in need of a comprehensive demand planning solution. The solution is based on SAS’ industry-leading demand forecasting and planning capabilities, all delivered by domain experts with years of practical experience.

For more information, go to Predict and Plan Consumer Demand | SAS.  

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About Author

Charlie Chase

Executive Industry Consultant/Trusted Advisor, SAS Retail/CPG Global Practice

Charles Chase is the author of Next Generation Demand Management: People, Process, Analytics and Technology, author of Demand-Driven Forecasting: A Structured Approach to Forecasting, and co-author of Bricks Matter: The Role of Supply Chains in Building Market-Driven Differentiation, as well as over 50 articles in several business journals on demand forecasting and planning, supply chain management, and market response modeling. He is the executive industry consultant and trusted advisor for the SAS Retail/CPG global practice, and writes a quarterly column entitled, “Innovations in Business Forecasting” in the Journal of Business Forecasting. His latest book is Consumption-Based Forecasting and Planning: Predicting Changing Demand Patterns in the New Digital Economy. To learn more, please see his Author page.

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