Is Your Company Ready To Move To Managed IT Services?

April 21, 2015
Posted in Blog
April 21, 2015 Richard McElroy

Is Your Company Ready To Move To Managed IT Services? If you are reading this you may be asking this fundamental but important question. You also probably have a good idea of what Managed IT Services are. For those that do not know, Managed IT Services companies become your company’s IT staff. Normally, this entails a Service Level Agreement that includes items such as:

  • 24/7 x 365 monitoring & alerting on servers, computers and devices to watch for a variety of issues from hardware problems to software issues.
  • System administration tasks. Automated jobs that perform tasks on a weekly basis such as cleaning the company’s computers temporary files and Internet debris to speed up the computers.
  • Applying tested patches as required by the software and hardware manufacturers.
  • Help Desk services.
  • Vendor management services.
  • Virus and mal-ware protection.
  • Backup and disaster recovery services.

Before making the decision to move to Managed IT Services, there must be a commitment from management to provide first class IT services to employees and customers. Some thoughts to consider when researching this decision are:

Are we big enough for Managed IT Services?

Managed IT Services is an area where size doesn’t matter. All companies can benefit from Managed IT Services. The bottom line is that productivity drives profitability and any productivity edge that your company can get drives dollars to the bottom line.

How important is IT technology to our company?

It may be hard to believe that in today’s technology driven world not everyone considers IT technology to be important to his or her business. Many owners and upper managers prefer to focus on their core business and put little thought into technology if it is not directly related to the core business.

As the person researching whether to move to a Managed IT Services model, it is important to realistically look at whether management sees value in IT technology. If management is of the opinion that if a computer breaks they can “just run to the nearest Big Box store and buy a replacement” or they prefer to “fix it when it breaks” well then…

Are our internal IT infrastructure and management practices making our employees less productive than they could be?

This is always a fascinating question. It is ceaselessly amazing to see what amount of technological inconvenience the typical computer user will put up with at work and never voice their frustration.

These are some examples of “technological inconveniences” that have been observed in the past that leave you shaking your head:

  • A user re-booted their computer three times a day because it hung when they had more than three windows open.
  • A user lived with mal-ware and pop-ups on their computer rather than tell management that the computer wasn’t working correctly.
  • A user waited over 7 minutes for their computer to boot up every morning or whenever they restarted it.
  • Users that put up with email delivery being delayed for hours. Day in and day out.
  • Users that spent time downloading various programs to work around the lack of technology that the company had in place.
  • Three non-technical people gathered around a single user trying to help them connect to the Internet. Not one noticing the unplugged network cable on the floor.

The list of productivity killers, whether it is slow performance of servers and the applications that run on them, badly designed and provisioned networks, mismanaged firewalls, generally poor communications, amateur system administration, or just computers that were driving their users crazy, is endless.

One thing I recommend doing is to take a survey or sit and watch employees use the technology they have been provided with to do their daily work. The results may be surprising.

If our internal IT technology is bad, is our external facing IT infrastructure making us look bad to our customers?

Probably. If the internal technology is outdated, slow and unproductive, then there can be little doubt that customers can see this from the outside. Whether it is because they are requesting data services that can’t be provided or they experience the dreaded customer service response of “the computer is down”, your customer is on the receiving end of your technology infrastructure.

Could we provide extra value to our customers if our IT infrastructure was more professional?

An obvious answer, YES! The wish list of what can happen once the infrastructure is up to snuff and well supported is endless. Unfortunately, antiquated technology and non-managed systems will not provide your customers with the buying experience that they are becoming accustomed to from the competition and in their daily life.

At the end of the day, professionally Managed IT Services will allow your company to help your customer and add real value to your relationship. It is a competitive edge that will give you a leg up in an increasingly competitive world.

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