Elevity Services

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Elevity is one of the largest and most capable technology management providers in the Midwest. Our team of technology experts can help you reach a truly elevated level of IT strategy, security, solutions and support.

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IT Strategy Consulting Options for Growing Businesses

Matt Freymiller
01/12/2022
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Consultants can sometimes get a bad rap. When someone says “consultant” they probably picture a business consultant that gets paid too much money to produce a vague, jargony report no one reads anyway.

The good news is that in the world of technology management, a strategic consulting partner can deliver powerful, real-world results. Today, we will discuss all of the ways a technology management partner can provide IT strategy consulting to help a business grow and thrive, including what to look for when choosing an ideal strategic partner.

First, let’s define what we are NOT talking about. We are not describing a break-fix style service, specializing in firefighting or damage control. Those kinds of services might be able to help a client who needs to get a crashed mail server back online. However, they are not good at helping clients choose the right email service or backup system to prevent a server crash in the first place.

IT strategy is a broad term used to describe the management of hardware, software, networks, policies or cloud technology. Businesses seek IT strategy consulting to offer solutions and assist in the development of a strategic IT plan based on the organization’s goals and objectives.

Most importantly, a true strategic partner will build a relationship and deliver transformative results for their clients. Support companies, on the other hand, talk about their record of heroics as the key value to their customers.

WHAT IS STRATEGY, REALLY?

“IT strategy” is by far one of the most overused yet under-delivered parts of a technology management service. Every managed IT provider knows they have to say strategy, but what is it really? 

Strategy is the number one pillar of our consulting services. To achieve strategic goals, we offer vCIO services, an individual that knows your account and delivers strategic reviews quarterly for all of our customers. This person has years of experience in a variety of business and IT environments and ensures we are accountable and help you be successful in strategic planning. These assessments make sure you are on track to meet quantifiable goals and benchmarks.

Unfortunately, many competitors can only offer nominal vCIO support (usually the owner of the company) who has little real-world experience in strategic thinking outside of the managed IT world.

A consultant delivering IT strategy will review the mission of your company, as well as its goals and existing strategies. This can give a solid picture of what IT tasks are being done and any gaps in the current strategy.

DELIVERING ANALYSIS AND INSIGHTS

Having a regularly scheduled meeting with your IT partner is a good thing for a lot of reasons. But a regular meeting is not strategy. With our competitors, quarterly talks are often used for reviewing the latest service tickets, security scans and what needs to be bought or upgraded. Does that sound strategic?

A true business review meeting (We call ours a Strategic Business Review (SBR)) is a structured process to identify new business opportunities and ways to improve the company’s performance using technology. It serves as a roadmap for future tech investments and applications. At Elevity, we typically conduct SBRs with our clients quarterly to ensure each client’s technology roadmap remains aligned with the organization’s business goals.

This will include hardware and software evaluation, an essential service provided by IT strategy consulting. Very few companies today can remain competitive without implementing large scale software systems. But choosing the right solution can be critical to the success or failure of a business, and represents a major investment in time, money, and expertise. Unfortunately, not all software solutions are equal. In fact, evaluating and choosing a new enterprise system is more difficult than ever due to evolving and increasing demands from end users.

SECURITY, SECURITY AND MORE SECURITY

A strategic technology management partner offers security in several ways. First, there is the security of a recognizable face. A Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) should be a company executive responsible for helping you navigate between the business needs, user needs, and the IT tools used in the company. You should have a dedicated support team you know and trust so that if you call up for support, the service professionals and vCIO are already up to speed with your specific needs.

And of course, security means cybersecurity. Consider that 43% of cybercrime is targeted towards small and medium sized businesses and that since the Covid-19 pandemic started the FBI has seen a 300% increase in cybercrime. Make no mistake, if the strategic consulting service company you choose does not have a solid process for securing your organization no matter where your people work (in or out of the office), then you are likely to be calling them about an incident or security breakdown. 

I hope this gives you a sense of the strategic support a managed technology partner can provide. If this sounds like the kind of services your company could use, please reach out to the technology management and strategy experts at Elevity.

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