The term “Managed IT Services” isn’t new but unfortunately, there are a lot of companies that say they’re “managed” but they’re really not. How can you tell the difference and how do you know if that’s what your organization needs? Start by asking yourself, “Is IT serving our business?”
Here’s what we mean by serving your business. Imagine that you hired someone to take half the workload off your plate. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Now imagine that instead of decreasing your work, it doubled because that person couldn’t do what you wanted them to do without your constant supervision and intervention. That’s what it’s like when IT doesn’t serve your business.
If IT Isn’t Helping Your Business, It’s Holding You Back
When IT doesn’t help your business, it can actually be doing the opposite – holding you back. You might not think that the reason you miss your goals and are always a few steps behind your competitors is because of IT, but think for a minute about what IT is supposed to do.
IT should equip your people to serve your customers and achieve your goals. IT should put you in a position so that you can innovate and pivot with changing circumstances. So, if you’re just thinking that IT is overhead, you need a mindset reset so that you can start thinking about IT in a new way and that means you need a new approach.
Your new approach should be proactive because when you get down to the root of the problem, what’s happened is that you’ve allowed IT to be reactive. Discovering that you need to move from a reactive to a proactive approach to IT is normal for companies that are maturing and serious about moving forward momentum.
How to Recognize Reactive IT
Let’s look at some of the causes behind the growing pains that you’re experiencing. Don’t be surprised if you notice some overlap between the following situations.
You Break It. They Fix It.
If you’re paying for IT support by the hour, then it’s likely that everything you’re getting from them is a response to a problem. With this model, the IT company makes more money when you have more problems. You never know what your invoice is going to look like from month to month, so you’re focused on keeping your bill as low as possible. Additionally, when you try to solve your own problems in order to keep your IT support bill low, employees become less productive as they wait for help or try to find their own workarounds.
You’re Underinvested in IT
Underinvestment in your technology could be because you have a narrow view of what IT is supposed to do for your business. It could also be because you’ve had bad experiences and they’ve made you afraid of making the wrong decision. The bottom line is that you need to invest because hardware breaks down, software becomes out of date and technology changes. Staying the same doesn’t result in forward progress.
You’ve Outgrown Your IT Company
You might be getting every capability that your IT company can offer and find that you’ve bumped into their limits. When your company gets to a certain size – say 20 – 30 employees – your needs automatically become more sophisticated, especially if you have remote workers. You need more than a help desk and a repair shop. You need the expertise of every discipline in IT, including IT strategy, but they can’t offer that.
You’re Not Strategic
Whether you’re getting no advice about the future or bad advice, the outcome is still the same – you’re stuck. These days, many competitive advantages come from technology but you have to make sure that you’re adopting the right technology and that you’re building with compatible systems. Also, you really can use technology to support your business goals so if you’ve never had that kind of a conversation with IT, then they probably don’t know how to be strategic.
You’re Not Managing IT
IT management is how you build a strong technology foundation. If your IT company isn’t using industry best practices and quality tools to manage your infrastructure, then you probably have unpredictable technology. IT management is both proactive and reactive, so it identifies and solves issues before they become big problems, and provides help for users when they need it.
You’ve Had a Cyber Attack
While it’s true that no one can 100% guarantee that you’ll never have a cyber attack, the experience you had if you did have one can be a red flag signaling that you need a different approach. A proactive approach to cybersecurity includes mechanisms and processes to prevent, detect and respond to an attack, and help you to assess risks including risks that come from connections to your supply chain. If you don’t have all of those pieces, then you’ll be suffering more than you need to when an intruder gets into your network.
How to Go from Reactive to Proactive
Whether you can identify with one or all of these reasons why IT isn’t serving your business, it’s safe to say that you’re after better results from your technology. You want technology to push your business ahead, to help your people work more effectively, and to better serve your business.
It’s time for Managed IT Services.
Leap Ahead with Managed IT Services
At Bellwether Technology Corporation, we help clients use technology to not just get ahead, but to transform their organization. Through our specialized teams and engineered IT processes, we create a strong IT foundation and find novel ways to use IT to meet business needs.