What’s your view of your IT department? Do you have one? Is IT just a necessary overhead to doing business? Or a hotline to call when your printer doesn’t work?
Growth-minded companies recognize these as outdated perceptions. The unprecedented rate of technological change among all industries demands companies become more agile. Forward-thinking businesses utilize managed IT services for growth and competitive advantage. Partnering with an expert to implement data solutions, mobile initiatives and cloud integration — among many applications — allows your organization to focus time and resources on core business objectives.
Shift your mindset from IT “the email expert” to IT a “major opportunity for business growth.” If Managed Network Services (MNS) is a new concept in general, familiarize yourself with the wide scope it entails and its long-term financial and operational advantages. Once you’re ready to formulate an implementation strategy, here are some initial questions to evaluate:
When is it time for Managed IT services?
In all likelihood, now. Spiceworks, the online community for IT professionals, just released it’s annual survey projecting IT trends for 2018. “Small businesses are less likely to invest in both IT staff and newer technologies than their larger enterprise counterparts.” While all businesses reported investing in cloud technology, “smaller firms wait to see how IT is being used and deployed [by large enterprises] before adopting it themselves.”
Taking a proactive, rather than this responsive, approach to technological advances gives your company a competitive advantage. Technology within your field is often changing faster than your IT team can implement it. If your internal team consistently puts off new projects or has a backlog of user requests, it’s likely they would welcome the support of a managed IT partner.
How do I choose a good Managed IT partner?
Clearly define your company’s requirements and needs, and then request a detailed action plan from potential partners. Your IT provider should remain focused on your goals and resources, not the latest product package. As with most business partnerships, the right fit will be with someone who takes a holistic approach — from understanding your business and implementation to training and ongoing maintenance.
Your IT partner should make business operations easier for your team. The Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest hotel and golf resort shifted their IT services to UTEC about 15 months ago. General Manager Tom Lamb explains, “A big factor in making the switch was the comfort level we had with the integrity and resources that UTEC would offer over a several year commitment. Mark (Funchion) and his IT support team took ownership of getting us up and running. They were with us every step of the way in making the transition to their platform. The UTEC team worked very hard to make it easy on the Eagle Crest management team.”
What should I expect once a Managed IT partnership is in place?
If parameters are properly established from the start, a fast and effective deployment of services, as Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest experienced with UTEC, should be easy. A good IT partner will maximize existing equipment and capabilities. They’ll also provide access to technologies you wouldn’t otherwise have the personnel or financial resources to implement. Monthly costs will be predictable within your agreed upon scope of work. You’ll have peace of mind not just with budgets, but also with industry regulations. Your IT partner takes on the burden of compliance, providing the systems and processes so you consistently meet or exceed requirements within your industry. And most importantly…you and your staff will have peace of mind knowing that your network is secure, safe and professionally managed.
As a local or small to mid-size business, every potential opportunity for growth needs to be explored. Implementing managed IT services makes it turnkey to use emerging technology is your advantage.