Businesses competing in today’s digitally-driven and hyperconnected world need their technology to function effectively and efficiently. Not only does technology increase the ability of every business to function efficiently (with regards to both time and money), but organizations also rely on technology to communicate, access information, and engage with their customers. As a result, when your I.T. systems do not deliver the performance and solutions your business needs, it is not only an inconvenience but an impediment to success.
Is Your Internal I.T. Overextended?
Modern businesses that rely on their technology to help in all functions, from sales and marketing to finance and support operations, concentrate their technology efforts in three primary areas. First: implementing and maintaining business applications; second: managing the I.T. infrastructure which supports business operations; and third: running projects and integrating systems to form business solutions. These three areas take up an inordinate amount of effort, leaving very little time for I.T. to innovate, experiment, and introduce new technologies which the business needs to stay competitive.
Another element which can result in your systems not performing as they should is if your leadership team or I.T. department has a narrow view of technology. As organizations go about their daily operations, I.T. departments form routines to manage technologies day in and day out efficiently. This focused attention, in addition to over utilization and familiarity, often leads to a myopic view of what is possible with technology. As internal I.T. resources do not work for a technology company (and thus may be more focused on your vertical than the I.T. industry), they often miss opportunities and have little exposure to learning the benefits a new solution could bring to an organization. Such circumstances can lead to a scenario where the performance of I.T. systems gradually deteriorate as organizations continue maintaining older technologies instead of investing in new, innovative solutions.
Keeping up with the Rapid Pace of Change Is a Challenge
Technology is transforming at a rapid pace, with vendors introducing new products and services on a regular basis. Blockchain solutions, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are just a few technology waves which have emerged in the past few years. With internal I.T. departments fully focused on simply managing and maintaining existing systems, investing time and resources into exploring and implementing new technologies is a luxury few can afford. Unfortunately, this lack of innovation can lead to systems reaching obsolescence, detrimentally affecting your ability to operate effectively.
If we take cloud services as an example, there are multiple benefits which organizations can realize by moving specific workloads offsite. Commodity I.T. services such as email, data backups, and file sharing offer no competitive advantage. Migrating these business applications to dedicated third-party service providers, not only allows you to take advantage of economies of scale and advanced feature sets, but also frees up your I.T. team to concentrate on driving initiatives—which create business value. However, many organizations tend to keep running dated technology onsite, since they do not have the time, skills, or additional resources that are required to initiate cloud migration.
An External Point of View Is Needed
As stated, to function well, your business depends on your technology. The rapid rate of technological change is disrupting I.T., and internal teams are finding it challenging to innovate and take advantage of new solutions while simultaneously running existing systems. Contracting an external professional I.T. services company can not only help you get the independent I.T. assessment your business needs, but can also help identify bottlenecks, uncover inefficiencies, and identify possible opportunities to maximize current technologies. These activities can help you reduce costs and increase your company’s productivity and profitability.
Partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) Can Help
Once an assessment of your company is complete, an I.T. service provider can help you implement their findings and recommendations. To ensure you extract the most value out of your I.T. investment in the long term, partnering with a managed services provider that will augment your internal I.T. team (and essentially become an extension of your business) is the best way forward. By making this strategic decision, your organization can reap the benefits of partnering with a managed services provider.
Improve Productivity and Focus
People often get frustrated when they are distracted by activities which detract from their key focus areas. By outsourcing parts—or all—of your I.T. environment to your MSP, you gain the benefit of freeing up internal resources to focus on activities which are core to your business, thus improving their productivity and increasing your efficiency. For example, instead of managing commodity I.T. infrastructure, like backups and email, which add no real competitive advantage, your internal team can be repurposed to drive revenue-generating activities.
As MSPs provide services to a broad set of customers, they can invest in technology and then offer this service at a competitive cost due to economies of scale. This ability allows MSPs to implement the latest technologies and pass on the innovative benefits that these new solutions have to offer to their customer base. Furthermore, as I.T. companies specialize in providing these services, your business gains the advantages of skills and experience, which are honed across multiple industries and situations.
Access to Specialized Skills
The rapid transformation of technology over the past decade has resulted in a skills deficit which could have an impact on your business. A lack of suitably skilled individuals, who are capable of harnessing the potential of new technologies and transforming them into a competitive advantage, can frustrate businesses who are trying to implement new strategies. By partnering with an experienced managed services provider, you gain immediate access to these scarce skills. Furthermore, a good I.T. firm will have the expertise and experience to help your organization not only implement new solutions but advise you on the best use of your current technology set.
Enhanced I.T. Management
Since MSPs have entrenched partnerships with leading industry vendors and solution providers, they can leverage these relationships and provide your business with access to experts and cutting-edge solutions. This partnership network can also help you manage your existing relationship with your own third-party vendors. Your MSP may have a better understanding of the information these vendors provide and can translate these benefits into strategies for your business. They can also leverage their technology partnerships to negotiate better pricing for you and consolidate the effort of managing multiple parties by acting as a conduit for your business.
Assessing the State of Your I.T. Is Essential
In today’s digitally-driven economy, your business relies on technology to operate and compete effectively. However, the rapid pace of technological change, as well as the lack of capacity in traditional I.T. teams, can result in inefficiencies that can detrimentally affect your I.T. infrastructure. Getting a professional technology service provider to assess your I.T. environment can help you uncover inefficiencies, clear up bottlenecks, and improve productivity. However, to truly benefit from this assessment, partnering with a service provider can take your business to the next level by helping you focus on your core activities, reduce costs, access specialized skills, and manage third-party technology relationships. Not only can an ongoing relationship help you achieve all these benefits, but partnering with the right service provider can be the competitive advantage your business needs to thrive in today’s digital economy.
To learn more about how a professional assessment of your I.T. can help take your business to the next level, contact JMARK today.
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