Your managed services provider (MSP) plays a key role in preventing downtime and data loss that saps productivity and negatively impacts customer service. However, taking care of what you already own is only part of the picture. As the pace of technology change continues to accelerate, the most successful organizations take full advantage of emerging IT solutions to transform their organizations.
There’s even a name for it: “digital transformation.” It refers to the profound impact of technology on business processes and models, and the role IT plays in spurring innovation and creating competitive advantages.
However, developing an IT strategy is often challenging for small to midsize enterprises (SMEs). These organizations may not be aware of the latest technologies, or have the resources to evaluate various solutions in terms of their objectives. That’s why it’s valuable to engage your MSP in the IT planning process. Because MSPs work with a wide range of clients, they have seen which solutions work in real-world environments. Your MSP can bring that knowledge and insight to the table to help you select technology tools that relieve bottlenecks, boost productivity and save money.
Risks and Rewards
SME leaders recognize that the right technology investments can help increase productivity, enhance customer service and grow the top line. At the same time, they worry that the wrong IT solutions will sap resources and fail to deliver a return on investment.
These are valid concerns. Technology is complex and constantly changing. New services and capabilities are being introduced every day. Choosing the right technology solutions is difficult, and implementing them is time-consuming and disruptive. Given all the other challenges and opportunities that come with running an organization, it’s tempting to simply stick with the status quo when it comes to IT.
There are three problems with this approach. First and foremost, organizations that neglect IT investments risk becoming less competitive than their tech-savvy competitors. They may miss opportunities to enter new markets and develop new products and services. And they ultimately wind up with an aging, failure-prone IT infrastructure that is expensive to maintain and increases the risk of unexpected, costly upgrades.
The right MSP can help break this cycle and maximize your IT dollars. Good MSPs have insight into what technology solutions are available and what’s coming down the pike, and can help you stay current while avoiding a costly mistake.
Keep in mind that your IT strategy should prioritize immediate needs but also look two, three and five years down the road. For example, if you’re facing a server upgrade, you should consider your growth plans and how many users will need to access the server. Are you planning to implement new applications? Does it make sense to move your environment to the cloud?
These are the kinds of questions your MSP can help answer. MSPs know which solutions are proven and which are on the bleeding edge. They stay abreast of the technology roadmaps of leading vendors. Your MSP can help you develop a plan that’s flexible enough to accommodate emerging technology trends and changing requirements.
Many SMEs forego technology investments, choosing to simply replace equipment when problems arise. While it certainly makes sense to try to maximize the value of existing solutions, SMEs also need an effective strategy for advancing their IT environments to drive growth.
If you’re ready to develop an IT plan but aren’t sure where to begin, contact IronLogix. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work in helping you achieve your goals.