My People are Running 120MPH Just Keeping the Lights On
One of the big reasons I hear from most IT Directors when asked why they aren’t adopting new technology is that they just don’t have the people to start investigating those new technologies. Many teams are already overburdened with their current workload and can’t afford to take time away from their day to day operational responsibilities.
So even though these teams know that introducing the next generation of tech into their environments can save them time and make them more efficient at their jobs, they are overburdened and can’t even begin to think about those new projects. They need a way to either relieve their current workload pressure, or get assistance with implementing and managing those new technologies.
Enter Managed Services
Managed Services can be described as a service that a company can take advantage of that gives them immediate access to skilled engineering resources to perform a variety of tasks related to operational support of IT infrastructure and services. Many companies are taking advantage of Managed Services to refocus their internal resources.
What does this mean for companies who are trying to implement a new wireless solution or deploy a new web application?
Your Team Shouldn’t be Patching
I see companies approach Managed Services in two key ways. The first is to use a managed service to take over the day to day administration efforts from their existing staff. This approach lets your team focus on selecting new technologies, get training on those technologies, and finally implementing them. If you follow this lifecycle all the way through, they should eventually look at offloading the operational support of those technologies to a managed service so that they can keep looking forward and innovating in their environment.
In reality, most companies have generic tasks that don’t provide a competitive advantage. No CEO ever went to a shareholder meeting to talk about an innovative new strategy around patching servers. These are the tasks that should be given to a Managed Services provider. They will typically have standard processes built up that make them very efficient at those day to day administrative efforts. They will have toolsets deployed and many times have a 24×7 staff dedicated to general maintenance. They can handle anything from monitoring & patching, to full administrative responsibility.
By using a Managed Services provider for general administration efforts, you get to refocus your team on new strategic initiatives. Because your team touches all aspects of IT, they are experts in how your business operates. From engineering to sales to management, they see how IT affects all of these areas. Take your team away from patching servers and get them focused on projects that make a difference in your company.
Immediate IT Needs Require Immediate IT Expertise
The second way I see companies approach Managed Services is to fill an immediate need for engineering expertise. A lot of times this comes in the form of a lost resource, where the remaining staff is unable to absorb the additional workload. Other times, we see companies that need to introduce new technologies into their environment, but aren’t able to train up their current staff to support those technologies, or they don’t have enough time to take any classes.
In these cases, Managed Services is a great solution. We’ve recently helped a company that needed to introduce a VDI solution related to one of their new service offerings for their company. This solution needed to be PCI and HIPAA compliant and segregated from their current infrastructure. They also had no existing expertise in VDI solutions. We designed, deployed, and continue to manage that solution for this customer, requiring no administrative effort for the customer’s IT staff. We were able to provide team of virtualization experts with years of experience to this customer for around the clock IT support. Now they can proceed with the launch of their product, backed by a knowledgeable engineering staff out of the box.
It typically takes 90 – 120 days to hire a technical resource, and between 6 to nine months to train them on company policies. If you need to train a resource internally on a new technology, the timeline before they can be considered fully versed in that technology can take over a year. With a Managed Services offering, you get skilled engineers day one. When your engineering team is stretched to it’s limit, getting a Managed Services contract can give your employees the support they need when troubleshooting complex issues. This also means that when your team takes a vacation, they don’t need to worry about calls while they are on the beach. The team of engineers provided by a Managed Services contract can protect your engineers from night time and weekend emergency calls.
Stay Competitive with Managed Services
Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Nimble companies that can adopt these new technologies have an advantage over their competitors. New technologies help companies launch new services, use resources more efficiently, and provide better data security. Your current IT staff are experts in how your business runs today.
Through the strategic use of Managed Services to alleviate your current workload and bring new skills to your team, your company can stop focusing on just keeping the lights on and start using technology to create your own competitive advantage.