Managed Services in the IT field are seeing explosive growth. Many companies are starting to see the benefits such as lower costs, better service and more predictable IT systems. When it comes down to it, outsourcing these services is common sense.
Focus on the Core:
For many companies, IT is a distraction. It takes away resources from the core business to work on things that should be used like a utility similar to the water company or the gas company. By outsourcing the tactical aspects of an IT department, the company will have the ability and resources to focus on what is important for growing the company.
At a particular stage in a company’s growth, being able to fully leverage new technologies to streamline or grow the business becomes more important. Hiring a CIO is one of the first steps these companies take when they reach this stage of growth. However, this creates an inherent conflict in the IT organization. Larger companies can afford to staff project teams to implement new technologies. Smaller to mid-sized companies cannot. They leverage their internal IT staff supplemented with a smattering of consultants to launch new initiatives. The challenge is that whenever Sally in accounting has a problem with her PC, one or several of the resources working on a strategic project has to stop what they are doing to put out Sally’s fire. With 500+ employees, this can result in hundreds of similar fires every month. As resources start getting pulled from the projects, timelines and sometimes budgets for these projects that could have had real bottom-line impact start getting extended. So on top of valuable resources working on non-value adding work, the opportunity costs for not realizing the advantage of a strategic IT project needs to be figured into the equation.
One of the key initiatives for strategic CIO’s is to make sure that their employees are focused on adding value to an organization. Network maintenance, help desk support, PC management, printer management, smart phone management, systems administration and maintenance are all low to non-value added tasks. Managed Service Providers take over the tactical making sure that CIO’s have more of the most precious commodity they can have, time to focus on what is important.
Managed Service companies such as Principium Technologies in Louisville, KY, bring highly talented experts and mature IT processes to small and mid-sized companies. Smaller companies cannot typically afford high-priced experts, but Managed Service Providers can primarily because they are leveraged over many accounts. Experts are very important in the growth stages of smaller companies primarily because this is the stage of transition to larger and more complex systems. Having them designed correctly is key to making sure that the systems work as expected.
Because of the expertise, training, economies of scale and IT process maturity, Managed Service Providers are affordable. Partner relationships and the ability to focus on the best technologies to manage and maintain infrastructure make sure that the most cost-effective and efficient tools and processes are leveraged to provide the best possible service to the customer and often assume the role of Trusted Adviser for things such as hardware purchases.
IT as a Service:
For smaller businesses where capital can be scarce, Managed Service Providers supply their services for a flat monthly fee. Even hardware, such as servers, PC’s and laptops can be provided as a service. All paid on a monthly basis and only on what you use.