Managing complexity, keeping control: how MSI can help MEA organizations

In the fast-changing world of IT and networks, it’s more important than ever to keep control and visibility of the performance of your providers. The MEA region is a hotbed of smart city projects requiring hundreds of different IT, infrastructure and service suppliers. How do you manage them all efficiently while leaving yourself time and space to innovate and drive your business forward? Multisourcing Service Integration (MSI) can be the answer.

In recent years, IT and networks have continued to evolve rapidly. The pace of change means that organizations are constantly needing their IT and networks to do more than they did 12 months ago. The growth of cloud services and need to manage rapidly-growing data traffic volumes has seen a rise in hybrid networks, like software-defined networks (SDN) and SD-WAN. The increase in use of these infrastructures has been driven even more by the massive expansion in working from home (WFH).

The rapid growth of connected devices, multiple suppliers, varying geographic locations and user mobility has all dramatically increased the amount of data being transported and processed in the network. Digital solutions like IoT, AI, automation and machine learning are all driving the need for optimized and flexible IT governance.

According to IDC, AI will continue to grow in MEA at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% to the end of 2023, while PwC estimates that MEA will accrue $320 billion worth of AI benefits by 2030. The value of the IoT market in MEA is forecast to more than double between 2020 and 2023, reaching over $20 billion. This proliferation will require careful management.

The smart cities situation

One reason these technologies are growing so fast in MEA is our number of exciting smart city initiatives, each of which comprises numerous IT and infrastructure providers. Projects, like the $500 billion Neom smart city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait’s $4 billion to ecofriendly Saad Al-Abdullah city, are hugely complex undertakings. They involve suppliers covering hardware, software and cybersecurity, all delivering solutions specific to various applications in the smart city. From parking management to waste management, energy supply and demand to public transport efficiency, all kinds of fundamental services in a smart city rely on specialist third-party providers.

And this is the crux: the city’s municipality and various departments can’t be expected to have the necessary resources, expertise and time available in-house to manage it all.

MSI can provide the answers

An MSI approach can help large organizations achieve seamless, end-to-end management of multiple IT service suppliers, making it ideally suited to smart city projects. According to Gartner, “MSI enables a sound basis to seamlessly integrate the end-to-end management of multiple service providers. Without an MSI role, CIOs often experience many boundary issues among service providers, with the usual ‘finger pointing’ and silo behavioral problems in sorting out major or recurrent service issues involving multiple providers.”

All of this is true, and it makes more sense than ever at a time when enterprises and large organizations have far more suppliers to manage in their IT real estate. It could be LAN, or voice, or SD-WAN or mobile networks, or cybersecurity, or a mix of all of them, but it presents enterprises with a massive operational overhead.

MSI helps you manage this complexity and gives you power over governance. It gives you a single point of control allied to defined end-to-end accountability for service delivery in complicated multi-supplier environments. MSI helps you transform service delivery and achieve lower costs, reduced risk and improved performance.

With Orange MSI, we ensure that we bring the necessary governance of suppliers at operational and contract levels, married to security processes and policies that identify and mitigate risk to your business. It gives organizations the agility they need to onboard and offboard service providers for new innovations and new technologies and the freedom to focus on their core business.

How MSI helps

To go back to the smart cities example, MSI can give smart cities a competitive advantage. By working with an MSI partner to take on the burden of managing and ensuring the performance of service providers, smart cities can concentrate on developing innovative new services for residents. They also get to be more agile and more cost efficient without relinquishing any of the control they want. Of course, smart cities, like all large organizations, want to keep control of choosing their various service providers, but they don’t want the responsibility of managing them all. An MSI partner takes that burden from them and ensures that the enterprise gets the accountability, trust and transparency they need.

MSI can free up management time by as much as 50% in an enterprise and can generate cost savings of 13%. Gartner has predicted that 50% of large organizations will need an MSI partner to manage their IT and service providers by 2022. I expect to see smart cities and other large organizations throughout MEA follow this trend and work with an MSI partner to make their lives easier.

If you would like to talk about MSI and outsourcing or anything else around digital transformation in MEA, please contact me at:

Sahem Azzam
Sahem Azzam

Sahem Azzam is VP Middle East & Africa at Orange Business. He is an experienced senior business leader with extensive experience in the Middle East region and emerging markets and a strong track record of achievement in the information technology and services industry. Sahem has developed special interest and expertise in business and sales management leadership, partner management, go-to-market strategy development, infrastructure services, IoT, Big Data, Smart Cities, Blockchain and IT service management.