As a company that offers managed IT services, we understand how confusing IT planning can be. Especially when it is not your specialty. With this year’s challenges to business continuity, it is more important than ever for your organization to have smart, strategic guidance.
I wanted to take some time to share advice on ways that business decision-makers can adjust their mindset when it comes to technology. By thinking about IT differently, you can free up more time to focus on aspects of the business that really need your expertise. For most businesses, this switch represents an increase in day-to-day productivity, as well as enhanced security, which together helps ensure the longevity of your company.
Q: What does today’s tech look like from a business perspective?
In 2020, the only word that can describe tech from a business perspective is. Especially with the remote work environment brought on by COVID-19, technology has become completely inseparable from the way we do business. If you aren’t able to handle the tech needs of your changing business model, you’ll quickly be left in the dust. Organizations that want to take their goals to the next level need to understand that tech is the only way this can happen.
This is why many companies are partnering with managed service providers who can help transform their relationship with tech from a simple line-item expense to an integral part of their business strategy.
Q: Where do we see communication/strategy/budgeting disconnects surface most often?
The biggest miscalculation I see business owners and managers making is when they view IT as transactional. They focus on one-time expenses without considering their future impact and don’t focus on potential changes in technology when looking 5, 10, 20 years down the line. And that’s understandable. It’s a challenging concept even in the short term, many managers and owners just don’t have time to weigh the incredible long-term possibilities that tech can offer.
Q: What advice do you have for business decision-makers in this current tech environment?
When business decision-makers don’t fully realize how tech can impact and improve their day-to-day business, it can lead to a cycle of making big IT purchases and upgrading equipment only when the current system fails. This can potentially derail your . Ideally, you don’t want to take a reactive approach when dealing with a critical system your business relies on.
As much as possible under the current circumstances, I suggest you slow down and make sure your IT strategy is aligned with your business goals. Upgrade to new servers or a better email system before your project requires it. This allows you to think through these major purchases and make them on a more strategic timeline.
Q: What aspects of day-to-day business operations could benefit from new tech, cloud migration or a stronger security posture?
There are so many aspects of your business’ day-to-day operations that will improve when you get good IT advice from a managed service provider. Unseen elements of your business, like your network security and disaster recovery plan, will become more robust. Often, there are even ways they can help improve your day-to-day productivity.
Did you know that many businesses are using PCs that are 2+ years past their ideal end-of-use date? These outdated devices can put your business at risk of a cyber-attack, or you could lose valuable business data if they fail. When you upgrade, these computers generally pay for themselves through increased productivity within 6 months.
Q: How do you know when it’s time to outsource IT services?
Any company that employs more than 15 staff members needs an IT expert. Many hire a single jack-of-all-trades and hope that their expertise is enough to deal with any problem they may face in the future.
Instead of hiring an on-site IT support person, keep your business competitive by partnering with a managed service provider. You’ll get access to an entire team, made up of a variety of experts in their fields, who are on call to give you advice and work with you strategically for swift IT solutions whenever you need.
Q: What separates an adequate MSP from a great one?
A lot has changed in the world of MSPs in the last 10 years (and even over the past few months). In the past, many functioned as a help desk — there when you need them, but not involved until called upon. Now, the best MSPs are proactive and have individual relationships with each client to ensure they’re always involved in key technology budgeting and decision-making conversations. Your MSP should be transparent and open to feedback at all times.