Let’s face it—today’s businesses are Busy with a Capital B. You know the saying - over worked, under paid. In many cases, small and medium business owners and managers of not for profit organisations are working 10 - 15 hour days. The job of bringing in new and sustainable clients to ensure growth is all-consuming.
So often today, the numerous daily requirements necessary just to run a business leave very little time for business owners to discern where within the business innovation would be useful, much less the time to actually create and focus on preparing to meet the future needs of the business.
Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) components of the business are necessary to support the business owner along with everyone else in the organisation. If the business has one dedicated IT person or even a team of people, they can consider themselves lucky.
However, all too often, the team of professional ICT people spends the majority of their time keeping the systems productive and their users happy. They have little, if any, time left to dedicate toward systems’ improvement. However, the IT department is the main area capable of figuring out the future technology needs of the business and how to prepare the organisation to meet those needs.
Most business owners struggle to keep up with today’s constantly changing technologies. Fifteen years ago, who would have realised how the internet would revolutionise the way we do business? Social media has drastically impacted the way business owners need to reach their target audiences, just within the last 5 years. Not many of us are truly able to look ahead and keep up with the changing technology and what it means for today’s businesses to remain viable and profitable in the future.
A managed services provider (MSP) or managed security service provider (MSSP) is a group of people who are employed to make sure that your organisational ICT requirements are healthy and productive. However, an MSP can also change the way a business innovates. It can change the way a business grows and even change the core focus of a business.
There are two ways that an organisation can use an MSP / MSSP. The first is to use it as a virtual ICT Team. They do everything from managing users and equipment, to handling documentation and monitoring all equipment and users including the virtual ICT manager / Virtual CIO. In most cases, for a set fee, they will do everything that an IT department would do.
Using an MSP in this way has two benefits:
* The business owner can rely a constant operational cost that includes expert capabilities, education and advice without having to enlist any additional outside assistance.
* The organisation alleviates human resources complications related to internal hiring. There are no personal or staffing issues to deal with and no need to provide super or annual leave.
The second way to use an MSP is a hybrid. The company retains an ICT department, or components of one, and those team members do the high-level thinking. They are the people who know the business, know the budgets, know the organisation’s capabilities and more importantly, know the owner’s management style.
While the higher level, internal IT team members are handling the strategic planning, the MSP is taking care of the everyday jobs and keeping the systems and users running smoothly. The MSP can also be used to introduce new systems and capabilities in combination with the internal team.
What happens when several IT people get together in a room? You get a Geek love in that leaves us mere mortals far behind. Then innovation will blossom and grow. The geeks will see connections with systems, ways to reduce costs, innovation possibilities and how to improve efficiency within your budget and daily requirements. These beautiful visions cannot happen in the vacuum of an overworked and unappreciated ICT department.
To decide whether or not to use an MSP in either of these ways, first look at your organisation’s current IT requirements and ask these questions:
Could your organisation reduce costs and increase efficiency by hiring people to do the smaller, time-consuming ICT jobs within the organisation?
Would your ICT management have more time to create the future of your business if their work load was reduced?
Would the reduced costs that come from the right MSP make your business more profitable?
If the answers to these questions are yes, please call us to talk more about MSP’s and how they could help your business move forward and meet the demands of the future.
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