It’s nearly impossible to operate a successful business today without technology. Practically all businesses understand how important technology is to their business, and how detrimental technology downtime can be to the business’s success. For these reasons, most businesses seek I.T. service providers that can provide a quick response in the event the business experiences some sort of technology interruption. Technology shouldn’t just “work,” though. Businesses should view technology as a tool to improve efficiency, support innovation, and ultimately surpass competition. Likewise, businesses should focus on finding an I.T. partner that will proactively drive forward these business objectives, rather than settle for a typical I.T. vendor that simply focuses on keeping technology running.
IT Partners vs. IT Vendors
While most I.T. service providers will be right by your side to help guide you through any technology challenge you request help with, mature managed I.T. service providers (“MSPs”) don’t wait for your request. Mature MSPs, driven by their proactive culture and alignment with your business objectives, work through a continuous list of assessments, reports, R&D, engineering, and projects that collectively help them drive your business technology forward. In this way, mature MSPs are more like an extension of your in-house team than they are outside consultants.
Technology Best Practices
A simple yet often overlooked aspect of technology planning is a routine Best Practices Assessment. During this assessment, the MSP will evaluate your technology from a business operations perspective and compare it against widely recognized standards for businesses in your respective industry. These assessments very often identify unnecessary technology spending as well as newer technologies that can help your business improve its operations and communications. Businesses that evaluate these best practices routinely are able to maintain a leg up on their competitors.
Did you know mature MSPs can see into the technology future? Well…this technically isn’t true, but it seems that way to many businesses. MSPs that invest in continuous research and development of cutting-edge technologies have insights into future technology shifts that will change the way in which your business operates. When your I.T. partner helps develop a technology roadmap for your business well in advance of these notable shifts, you are better prepared with a strategic plan for adopting and adapting to the new technology. What’s more, by the time your business implements the changes and is humming along, your competitors are just now finding out about the technology shift.
Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO)
Large enterprises have a dedicated role for a Chief Information Office (CIO) that is responsible for overseeing the maintenance and direction of Information Technology (IT). Your small or mid-sized businesses, however, can take advantage of a “vCIO” provided by your MSP. You can meet with your vCIO as frequently as you’d like (typically at least once per quarter) to discuss your business goals for the quarter, and the vCIO can then determine how your technology can be shaped to help support those goals. Considering a new line of business software for your organization? Curious if there’s a more efficient way to collect information from your customers? Your vCIO can help!
Successful businesses view their technology as an ever-evolving tool for achieving business goals. Mature MSPs, such as Digital Boardwalk, understand this vision and have many years of experience helping organizations manage their technology. When you consider a new I.T. service provider, be sure to give attention to the value this proactive type of partner can provide your business.