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Your IT support needs to keep pace with today’s changing technology, and the demands of your business operations. Keeping your technology running and your employees productive is a key ingredient to your business’ revenue and profits – so how do you know if the skills of your internal team are up to standards for today’s technology, or if they need some help? One of the things growing small business executive teams are implementing is the combination of an internal IT manager PLUS outsourcing to a managed IT services company. Outsourcing managed IT services is when a company contracts with an external technology services firm that assists by delivering helpdesk access, managing and securing their network, helping with strategic business vision and process, and offering advice on tech investments that align with the business strategy. An in-house IT department is limited by resources – both personnel and capital – and is increasingly a less desirable risk, which is why small business is looking to augment their support instead. It may be time to upgrade your in-house IT if:

  • Their primary concern is keeping their job.IT is service based; it supports the whole organization and contributes to your profits. If your IT person is just speaking to you when there are problems in an effort to prove their value, your organization is missing out on strategic positioning in the marketplace and new technologies that could be strategic to your company’s growth. This may be the case if they always seem to be very busy with an emergency of the day. Risk is also associated with having the burden of IT on just one or two in-house people. If some unforeseen emergency or conflict occurs with your internal IT person(s), you have all your eggs – or passwords/network information – in one basket.
  • Their technical abilities regress.This happens and is a real scenario. An in-house IT person can become the expert of your internal networks, but because they are busy working on the network, they have very limited time to receive continuing education to improve their skill sets. This is tricky for an executive to spot – IT is likely not your core competency, so what do you need to look out for? Ask yourself: are issues resolved or do problems persist? Are we able to get work done efficiently because of our in-house tech person? Are clients suffering? A good employee will do preventative maintenance to avoid a cycle of break/fix IT problems. Managed Services provide experts and have the capability to become true business partners, offering virtual Chief Information Officer services – someone who can sit in on meetings, learn the capacities and needs of your business and help you strategically plan tech investments informed by the latest technology. Tech spending can be pricey, and the wrong decision even pricier. Having an expert to guide you early and often is invaluable. You can utilize an MSP (Managed Services Provider) to augment the skill sets you to have and help your internal IT person.
  • They don’t get their role in the organization.Are your employees seeking additional training and keeping their certifications up-to-date to keep their skills fresh and create a technological advantage for the company? Are they seeking a seat at the management table to offer suggestions to streamline operations, offer ideas for revenue generation and save operations costs? Is their attitude positive and their countenance approachable? The posture of a contributing employee is an active one – not passively waiting for problems to occur or only performing tasks they are directed to do.
  • They are inflexible.Your business has scaled, but your technical know-how has not. Hiring is tedious, time-consuming, and expensive, and you don’t know if after a large project you can support additional team members, but the current staff is maxed out by their day-to-day duties. Bringing on a professional managed IT services firm can help augment the skill sets of your internal team to allow them to focus on their main core technical expertise areas. Also, a really good managed IT services company has already invested in productivity tools that can be shared with your IT team to improve workflow and communication.
Not all managed IT service providers are built the same. You should be asking for references and case studies while interviewing these companies. Reputable Managed Services firms will offer abundant transparency, access, and documentation with quality communication between both parties, and work carefully with the outgoing in-house department to make a successful transition. Not ready to part ways with the in-house staff? A hybrid solution may work well in a situation where the in-house technician is willing to transition to a narrow set of responsibilities they can do with excellence or to employment with the managed services provider. Using a Managed Services Provider can be a huge benefit, and a wise investment that allows businesses to be free to focus on growth and enjoy an excellent level of service. If you would like to have a discussion about your business and learn more about our IT consulting and strategy services, contact us at 800-875-8843 or email ITsolutions@osisIT.com.]]>