Characteristics that make a function a strong candidate for managed services.

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Whether a startup or a mature organization, life sciences firms can mitigate resource and cost constraints by turning to managed services providers for the right operational functions.

Acquiring managed services is not an aggregate buy of resources from one company, but rather the acquisition of an operational model from a highly qualified and focused supplier.

The life sciences industry has been taking advantage of this model for many years by outsourcing key business functions from clinical trial management to manufacturing. Traditionally, these outsourcing relationships have been large scale and require complex relationships and integrations; however, with the right partner, many areas can be successfully delivered in the alternative model, managed services.

Key attributes that can help identify which functions can be successfully delivered via a managed services model are detailed below.

Repeatability

Operational processes that are performed over and over again during the course of time. One-off activities are not good candidates.

Trainability

The function has elements of execution that can be taught to less experienced personnel at some level, even if some of the activities take many years of experience to perform adequately.

Remote Workforce

The function can be performed by a team that is operating in a non-specific geographic location. While this is not always the case, it is optimal when scale and cost management are key to success.

Flexible Staffing

If the particular activity, for security or other reasons, must be limited to a very small population of staff members, it is difficult to create the flexibility needed for true managed service success.

Technology Enabled

With the advent of artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, many “routine” activities can be automated or semi-automated. Managed service providers understand this opportunity to use technology instead of people-power to create efficiencies.

CONSISTENCY

Performance of a function does not yield any unique value to the organization but rather is a function that is performed in the same manner. This makes the activity non-differentiating while its repeatability allows a managed service to be structured similarly across clients.

PREDICTABILITY

If an occurrence is random and brief, it is difficult to engage and disengage a service provider with a high degree of frequency. This is not to say there can’t be ebbs and flows, but random stopping and starting becomes difficult for an MSP to support effectively.

COMPLEXITY

Outsourcing complex functions take a lot of time to establish and hire for. The burden of creating the capability is shifted to the provider, rather than becoming a distraction for the life sciences company.

If an operational function being considered has these characteristics, it is a strong candidate for a managed service.