Information Technology (IT) is an absolute cornerstone for a business to succeed in today’s business environment. For any industry or any size business, IT is a necessary element to increase efficiencies and increase profits. IT becomes a business investment and must be managed to maintain effectiveness. To recognize value from your business investment, IT must:
o Align with business goals
o Provide critical business functions at high quality
o Deliver specified and measurable service levels
o Provide recommended risk mitigation tactics
o Maintain cost effectiveness.
Does your IT meet these requirements?
Aligning IT with business goals is imperative to ensure continuity and increase effectiveness of IT investments. IT must become an enabler to meet business goals by facilitating business operations, business initiatives and expected business growth. Developing an IT strategy is necessary to align IT with business goals, and this strategy must be managed and measured to guarantee compliance.
When implemented effectively, IT provides critical business functions including Sales & Marketing, Finance & Accounting, Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Manufacturing and Production, Operations, Customer Service, etc. High quality IT is recognized when the service levels or service delivery meet business needs – meaning the IT services are available to keep the business running when required. The IT strategy should detail the measurable service levels required to keep the business running.
Unfortunately, IT presents inherent risks. When risks become issues, the result can have a devastating impact on your business. System outages, security breaches and unforeseen disasters can stop your business from functioning properly – which translates into decreased productivity and lost revenue. Senior Management must determine how much risk the business is inclined to withstand. The IT strategy should detail the recommended risk reduction and mitigation tactics for IT systems.
IT expenditures include both capital costs and expense costs. Initial capital outlays and purchases are costly, and technology evolves quickly which renders older technology obsolete. The IT strategy should detail the capital expenditure plans for upgrades and innovations. IT operations and maintenance typically consumes approximately 70% of an IT budget. Maintaining cost effectiveness is a challenging requirement. Proactive solutions and operational efficiencies provide proven methods of increasing the overall effectiveness of your Information Technology investments.
What is IT Managed Services and How Can it Improve My SMB?
IT Managed Services is simply outsourcing some or all of your IT Infrastructure operations and maintenance to experienced IT Professionals. Managed Services Providers (MSPs) add value by assisting or replacing your current IT staff to increase the overall effectiveness of your IT investments, which will improve your SMB.
But not all MSP’s are the same. The best MSP’s offer SMB clients:
o IT strategy planning
o High quality IT delivery
o Measureable service levels
o Risk mitigation tactics
o Cost effectiveness.
In addition, MSP’s should provide:
o Education and information to help your business understand what Managed Services can provide
o Details on how Managed Services solutions can help improve your business
o A no-obligation Discovery Meeting to assess your current IT environment and provide a recommended strategy for Managed Services.
Outsourcing to experienced IT Professionals provides a means to get the most value for your IT investments, and allows you to focus on your business.