We’ve talked a lot about why hiring a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for your small to medium-sized business (SMB) is a good idea. While we know that a Managed IT service can deliver an instant cost savings to most organizations, we also know that getting the most out of an MSP takes some work.
Breaking Old IT Habits
Some people find it hard to break old habits and fully embrace their MSP. For example, Monica Kling, Accounting and Information Technology Manager at Milwaukee’s Warshafsky Law says that it took her staff a little while to get used to the fact that they didn’t need to call her for computer issues anymore.
“Our staff was used to calling me every time a computer started acting funny,” says Kling, who recently engaged Gordon Flesch Company as the firm’s MSP. “The good news is that now I only get copied if there’s a major issue that might need my attention, and I don’t even need to know about the smaller issues that people are having.
We understand that it’s hard to change the way people work. But beyond learning to call the MSP’s support desk, there are more subtle yet important ways to get the most out of a Managed IT service. Hiring an MSP will almost certainly change the way you work and completely change the role of your IT department. The good news is that these changes are all for the better.
Today, I’ll explain three ways to truly get the most out of your Managed IT service.
1. Make Sure You Have Executive Buy-In
This may seem obvious, but I’ve seen many companies struggle because executives don’t fully embrace the opportunities offered by managed services. By that I mean that organizations don’t actively look for ways to refocus their efforts and resources when taking on a Managed IT service.
Many times, companies have a culture that stubbornly holds on and struggles to let go of traditional roles. To get the most out of these services, a company must be willing to let go of some control and trust the expertise of their provider. When a company truly leverages the capabilities of a Managed IT service, its staff, executives and resources are freed up to do more important tasks like growing the business.
It might be hard for some people to simply let the service provider take charge, and internal teams end up duplicating work that the Managed IT professionals should have been doing. Management needs to understand the efficiencies to be had and retask their IT people with new, more forward-looking roles.
2. Be Willing to Make Bold Changes
Many companies come to us because they are struggling with aging hardware, slow servers and inconsistent IT support. Often, these organizations want us to simply upgrade their networks and replace machines that are at the end of their useful lifespan.
However, a better solution may be to rethink your IT infrastructure completely, rather than just recreate or replace the same old systems. Adopting managed network services allows you to save on IT support and feel confident in the reliability and security of your data.
In some cases, hiring an MSP can give you an opportunity to replace your old framework with state-of-the-art cloud technology which can uncover cost savings and efficiencies you hadn’t dreamed of. It can take time for an organization to make this journey, but it can ultimately offer a higher level of service at lower costs.
3. Transition Your IT Team to More Glamorous Roles
The people who are often most resistant to getting onboard with a Managed IT service are those in IT. We understand that some staff members are concerned about job security and wonder if their new MSP will put them out of a job. But the fact is that hiring a Managed Service Provider frees up IT staff to do more interesting, important work.
Your IT staff shouldn’t be spending all their time installing software patches, running backup servers or doing IT support for your staff. Their services are better used writing new applications, building online support tools for your company, upgrading your e-commerce capabilities or improving customer-facing technology…not boring maintenance work.
Management needs to let their IT staff know that they are now free to use their energies on proactive efforts and trust that their MSP is handing the day-to-day cybersecurity and IT management tasks that used to take up all their time.
The journey toward Managed IT requires a high level of cooperation to define the service, a shift of responsibilities from client to service provider and healthy communication between the two. In many cases, selecting the right person to be accountable for the service in the client organization is the key to success. The skills for a good liaison or facilitator should be focused on leadership, collaboration, empowerment and business knowledge, not necessarily technical knowledge. But once an organization develops the trust and coordination necessary to succeed, you will suddenly find your people reenergized, refocused and more productive than ever.Every business, no matter its size, needs a strategic plan for growth. A Managed IT service can help you develop an IT roadmap, empower your employees to take control and help ensure your resources are being used in the most cost-efficient ways. Reach out to the IT experts at the Gordon Flesch Company today to discover additional ways a Managed IT service can benefit your organization.