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Beyond the Basics: Getting the Most from Your Managed Services Provider

Increasingly complex network environments, growing cyber threats, persistent budget limitations and an ongoing talent gap have created a perfect storm of technology challenges for organizations large and small. As a result, more are looking for managed services providers (MSPs) to assume an expanded role in their IT operations.

While MSPs are still tasked with providing essential services such as network monitoring, management and security, many organizations are seeking more strategic partnerships. Industry surveys reflect the growing demand for MSPs who can provide high-level guidance on how to align IT strategies with overall business goals.

In a recent Techaisle survey, for example, 97 percent of upper midmarket firms and 79 percent of SMBs said they increasingly look for advisory support rather than simple fee-for-service arrangements. Specifically, they want to work with providers with both technology expertise and business acumen to help them develop long-term IT goals, establish budget priorities, and develop effective policies and processes.

In essence, they need the guidance and leadership of a Chief Information Officer without the financial burden of having a full-time CIO on staff.

The Need for Strategic Direction

It’s just a fact that the demands of a changing technology landscape create significant burdens for organizations with limited IT staff. The need to support distributed workforces, modernize applications and accelerate cloud adoption can be overwhelming for in-house IT staff struggling to keep up with day-to-day management and maintenance requirements.

In a 2022 survey of more than 36,000 IT professionals in 33 countries, 62 percent reported being “physically and emotionally drained.” More than 40 percent said they want to quit their jobs due to excessive stress, exhaustion and a broken work-life balance.

MSPs such as IronLogix can help relieve the burden through a more consultative approach to managed services. In addition to taking on some of the day-to-day operational tasks, we provide executive-level guidance to help our customers identify and implement technologies and process improvements that effectively link technology and business requirements.

A Case in Point

A recent case study provides one example of how we deliver customer value through strategic advice. Barb & Company, a Columbia, S.C.-based accounting firm, was considering moving its primary tax software into the cloud. While it seems to have become accepted practice to move everything to the cloud to reduce on-premises infrastructure requirements, we decided to take a closer look. After a thorough assessment, we demonstrated that a cloud migration would ultimately be more expensive than keeping the app in-house.

“It’s nice to have somebody to crunch the numbers and say the best bang for your buck is to do A rather than B,” said Mike Barb, CPA and founding shareholder of the company. “A lot of IT companies wouldn’t have done the analysis.”

Taking a Closer Look

Such assessments are among the chief benefits of working with IronLogix. We can evaluate a customer’s hardware, software, network capabilities, security measures and overall IT infrastructure. Through our “virtual CIO” services, we can then provide performance benchmarks, cost analyses, and other recommendations for optimizing the IT environment, enhancing efficiency, mitigating risk and driving long-term business growth.

Additionally, we work with customers to establish budgets that optimize resources while supporting business objectives. We can also serve as a liaison between customers and technology vendors to ensure appropriate and cost-effective technology implementations.

All companies today need to leverage technology for growth and success. The IronLogix team can help you identify and implement solutions that meet your long-term strategic goals as well as your day-to-day operational needs. Contact us to learn more.

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