When I speak with other business owners, I field many variations of the question,"Would managed services benefit my company?"
As with most things, the answer is: It depends. Although we have an inherent desire for simple black-and-white answers, the reality is that some companies benefit from managed IT services and some do not. Let's take a closer look.
Topics: Small Business IT Resources, small business it support, Managed IT Services, small business solutions, IT Managed Services, Utilizing Technology in Business, small business IT infrastructure, IT best practices, IT Strategy
I meet with presidents, CEOs and owners of small businesses every week to discuss what computer services they are using (whether internal or external), what it costs them and the results they are seeing.
Topics: IT Managed Services
Over the last two years, we have conducted a study of small business computer services pain points. We interviewed 110 companies ranging from 20 to 100 employees. Representative interviewees included owners, CEOs, presidents, partners, general managers, CFOs, controllers and similar leadership positions. The pain points represent those most affecting business outcomes as reported by the interviewee. Verticals were wide ranging with everything from biotechnology to services organizations to manufacturing and technology.
Leading IT managed service providers are proactive solutions providers who partner with your business to implement IT best practices as a function of meeting your business goals. What sets leading IT managed service providers apart is their ability to be more than ingredient providers. Ingredient providers offer a specific component to meet a particular need often in a reactive manner. They may focus on fixing problems as they arise, akin to functioning as a fire fighter armed with nothing more than a fire extinguisher. Leading IT managed service providers operate under the assumption that IT is a tool leveraged by the business to meet its goals. Rather than waiting for a fire, they install a sprinkler system overhead to minimize any potential issues in the form of IT best practices.
How many business owners are familiar with the intricacies of small business IT infrastructure? Many business owners understand the results they want, but they don't have the time to properly analyze their IT infrastructure. They set their focus on business growth and relationship development, often ignoring the risks associated with having poor IT services.
Poor IT management can cost a company far more than the physical cost of maintaining IT services. It can impact and affect several areas of the company from payroll to human resources. I have been working in IT for many years and have seen the IT business structure become reliant on reactive, instead of proactive, solutions. These are certainly not my ideas alone, but I have seen enough to believe that the problem is wide spread throughout many businesses.
What makes one IT managed services company stand out from the other 186,000 IT managed services companies?
I was talking to a business owner the other day who asked me “If I’m in the cloud, what do I need IT services for?” Inwardly, I groaned, because this is a question I’m hearing more often these days – and it represents a misunderstanding about the ‘magic’ of cloud services. The cloud is powerful, and has the ability to save companies thousands of dollars on things like the upkeep of a data center, but ultimately it’s just another deployment model. A deployment model with its own set of challenges, risks and questions that need answering.