In the traditional business model, a company hires people (or one person) to run its IT department, or at very least pays an outside “IT guy” (or woman) to come in whenever there are problems with the system, upgrades to be installed, or personnel changes (either adding or subtracting) that require IT support.
I suggest that a smarter, more effective approach to IT that also has a much better ROI is a contractual arrangement (often an agreed upon monthly rate) with a reputable outside IT firm. Let’s examine some of the reasons why.
How many IT guys (or women) meet with the company CEO and proactively explore how IT can not only evolve but also actually drive the evolution and expansion of the company? Is your IT department analyzing what is working and recommending changes to maximize operational efficiency and productivity? Probably not. A good IT partner should offer value that is not limited to technical issues but crosses over into other areas, including overall business strategy and objectives. In today’s high-tech world, IT should not be perceived as a necessary cost center to keep computers running; IT should be seen as the lifeblood that drives and affects every aspect of business – because for most companies, that’s exactly what it is. If your IT staff isn’t thinking strategically about how to leverage the latest technologies to benefit your customers and your business, then you are missing out on opportunities to increase revenues and enhance profitability.
I’ve talked about scalability in past Insights articles, but it’s worth mentioning again because it’s one of the most powerful advantages of hiring an outside IT provider and building your entire system offsite at a central data center. When a company tells us it is expanding and asks us how much a new server will cost, we don’t just offer a price; we ask questions and investigate the company’s goals and expectations. Instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars to own a new server, our customers can pay a few more dollars each month and we can increase their server capacity at our data center in minutes. And if the company needs to downsize, it’s not stuck with an expensive (and aging) server. We just reduce its server space at the data center and charge it less each month. This flexibility allows the technical roadmap to remain aligned with the business roadmap.
IT technology and trends evolve very rapidly. Are you willing to spend the thousands of dollars necessary to continually send your IT staff to certification classes? Can you afford for them to be out of the office to attend technology certification classes and seminars? Do they even have the desire to stay ahead of the curve? A good IT provider is single focused on IT and is certainly investing in its staff’s continuous education to ensure that its employees are always up to speed on the latest innovations.
Neutrality and Cost Efficiency
You do not have to provide an outside IT provider with a salary, benefits or health care insurance. A dedicated outside provider will not ask for a raise, call in sick or take a vacation. A disgruntled IT employee may complain and even become a security risk; a neutral outside provider will neither complain nor present a security risk. IT personnel may quit, which means downtime, hiring, onboarding, training and hassles. An outside provider will keep working as long as you pay the monthly fee.
I often tell our prospective clients, “We offer an incredible level of focus. We focus on the latest industry innovations to ensure your business takes advantage of all relevant technologies. We focus on providing the most efficient solutions for your operations. We focus on keeping your IT system perfectly aligned with your growing and evolving business. We focus on IT so you can focus on your core business.”
Shaun Olsen is the CEO and President of CloudWyze. CloudWyze was created to help businesses focus and perform at their optimal level by crafting and executing custom technology plans for businesses of every type and size. To learn more about CloudWyze, visit www.cloudwyze.com. Shaun can be reached at [email protected] or 910-795-1000.
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