Frustrated by your outdated IT environment? You’re not alone.
The demand for outsourced IT Managed Services in the Channel Islands is unarguably on the rise.
Businesses are tired of worrying that their IT environment is inefficient, outdated, vulnerable and/or costly, and that it will not be able to accommodate the business’ ambition. Moreover, they are frustrated that the company lacks the skills to fix it and that hiring new IT resource is rarely an option due to the growing complexity of technologies the associated skill set has driven up salaries.
Which is why it’s logical and economical for SMEs to outsource their IT; alongside the financial benefits – reducing costs – it also comes with a range of commercial benefits. However, to take advantage of these benefits, it’s important to find the right IT Managed Service Provider (MSP).
If this is the first time you have looked at outsourcing your IT, how do you make sure that the provider you choose will deliver value? Alternatively, if you have already found an MSP, how can you check that the contract is delivering all the value that it could?
The trick in either situation is knowing what is possible.
Who and what is right for me?
Partnering with an IT MSP is not a “one size fits all” scenario. Finding the right one for you depends on what’s important to your business and what you want to gain from the relationship. At face value, most IT service providers can deliver the same three benefits:
• access to specialist skills
• reducing costs
• delivering helpdesk support
And, while these three are valuable to any business, the most value comes from a service that is specific to your needs. But when the MSP market has preached only the same three benefits for so long, how can you know what else is possible, and therefore where you can look for extra value?
We’ve taken a look at how our IT Managed Services support our Channel Island clients and have identified 101 different benefits, categorised into nine areas of value. You can download the report here.
101 different benefits! That’s a few more than the three that most IT support companies will tell you about!
Clearly, not all our customers experienced – or even required – all 101.
However, you can use this analysis to identify what could be possible from an IT Managed Services relationship and then choose what you need, and find the provider who can best deliver on them.
1. Maintaining ‘Business as Usual’
The most common requirement of an outsourced IT partner. A standard service will include maintenance and monitoring of your connectivity, back-ups and network, plus the provision of a help-desk for your users. But does the standard service meet your business’ needs? Do the help-desk hours match yours? Do you use specific applications that you’ll need the provider to maintain? Is the back-up restoration process fast enough for your needs?
The thought of external threats breaching the network and compromising the business’ data, or its customers’ data, keeps many business owners awake at night. But aside from the technology deployments, how else might an MSP support your data security? How can they help make data security and protection part of the culture?
3. Financial ROI
The obvious financial benefits of an MSP are in removing hiring costs while still giving you access to the skills you need. But financial value can also come from the bundling of multiple suppliers into single bundles and the predictability of the overall service cost. Not to mention the reduction in administration.
4. Strategic guidance
A valuable service provider will not only be able to understand your company as it is today, but also your ambitions for the future. Such a team will recommend relevant technologies that are truly additive, appropriate to your market and goals, and ensure that your infrastructure is capable of taking them on.
Many MSPs will be able to support your move into the cloud. However, their approach will often be a simple one-size-fits-all deployment. But what if your business goals are best served by a hybrid cloud, which the MSP is not suitably skilled in? Or if you have proprietary applications that are not easily migrated? If cloud migration is on your agenda, or your current cloud environment is in any way non-standard, you will need to choose a service provider with very specific, and uncommon, experience.
6. Privacy & Compliance
Can your provider support your compliance requirements as easily as your network? These could be industry-specific regulations, such as in financial services and construction, or they could be international data privacy laws. Whatever the requirements that apply to your business, your IT service provider needs to not only ensure your IT adheres to them today, but also advise you on how to maintain ongoing compliance into the future.
7. IT skills gap
If your business is planning a major transformation such as an acquisition or a cloud migration, you will need specific skill sets to support you. IT project management, cloud management, network diagramming or systems integration to name only a few. But not every MSP will be able to accommodate. Identify what you need and choose accordingly.
Look beyond the basics of making sure your workforce’s tools are always operational and accessible. Productivity is about more than maintaining the status quo – how can you boost output? What other tools might your business benefit from using, and are you able to take advantage?
Finally, what opportunities do new technologies open up to you? Which are you interested in investigating the potential of? Or do you need a supplier who knows your business and industry well enough to make recommendations?
Click here (https://calligo.cloud/resources/ebook/101-benefits-of-it-managed-services/) to read the full guide on all 101 potential benefits and how your business could take advantage of them.
Calligo is a data optimization and privacy specialist.
We believe that data privacy should be the starting point for any interaction with data.
Our unique collection of services covers the entire data journey, from capture and storage to analysis, monetization and archival – with data privacy embedded at every step.
We provide a collection of privacy-first services for a business’ entire data journey:
– public & hybrid cloud
– data analytics
– artificial intelligence
– archival & erasure services
Headquartered in Jersey, Calligo is one of the first independent cloud service providers to offer Microsoft Azure Stack and has datacentres in the United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey, Switzerland, Canada, Singapore and Luxembourg.