Chicago has one of the tightest labor markets for skilled IT workers in the US. According to the Chicago Tribune, the three most in-demand tech occupations in the Chicago area are software and web developer, computer system and cybersecurity analyst and network architect, administrator and support specialist. The median wage for all Chicago-area tech occupations was more than $82,000, according to the data. That’s 80 percent higher than the median wage for all occupations in the state.
That’s all great news if you are a tech worker, but for employers looking to fill IT roles like network administrator or IT support, hiring and retaining good IT people is getting harder.
One of the most common solutions to the IT labor shortage is Managed IT. A good Managed IT service provider is more than just an outsourced IT solution. An IT service provider should be a true partner, working with businesses to pull together a comprehensive, forward-looking plan for growing your business with technology. Here is our list of the three most important services a Managed IT provider can deliver to small and medium-sized Chicago companies:
The average salary of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) in the United States ranges from $170,500 to $297,000, according to Robert Half’s most recent Salary Guide for Technology Professionals. For larger corporations that pay bonuses and performance awards, those numbers can jump to seven figures.
The little guys — or even the not so little — have a hard time competing for highly qualified IT talent when even the low end of the average wage won’t fit into their budgets. Still, many small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) need the skills and strategic leadership that a CIO can bring to the table.
Many SMBs opt to outsource their technology needs and leverage the expertise of a virtual CIO (vCIO) as part of a Managed IT solution. Outsourcing can provide predictable, fixed monthly costs, a reduction in downtime and greater efficiencies that come with a consistent and reliable IT environment. Even more importantly, a vCIO can give your business an IT strategy, not just IT support.
In addition, one of the benefits of an IT leadership position is his or her role as a strategic advisor. A vCIO will make sure that, not only will your computer and software needs be met, you will get a customized IT roadmap that helps give your organization a competitive edge.
According to a recent CompTIA of over 400 businesses using managed services providers, 46% have reduced their security budgets by at least 25% or more. Imagine walking into the CFO’s office asking for a little less money.
In the same survey, 50% said they have cut annual costs anywhere from 1% to 24%. How does it happen? Outsourcing an IT infrastructure is much less expensive than investing in your own IT department. You don’t need to pay health benefits, vacation time or other perks to your managed service provider. You simply pay your Managed IT provider to deliver the most current technology, manage your cybersecurity and the rest of your IT budget can be invested in helping your business grow. In other words, you focus on doing your job and stop worrying about things like software updates or tech support issues.
Traditional in-house IT staffers are ‘generalists’ in a technology sense, typically spread too thin by responding to support issues from every corner of the business. On the other hand, a managed services company has trained professionals that provide premium service. It’s a network of specialists that are fully immersed in the latest technological trends, issues and innovations that can help your IT keep ahead of changing trends.
Given the intense threat environment facing businesses, an MSP must have a mature and complete cybersecurity focus and approach to IT. This is especially true because the threat landscape evolves rapidly and it takes vigilance to stay ahead of the threats.
Defending a network from attackers and criminals takes a multi-layered security approach combining powerful software with a suite of security services to deliver both foundational security and highly advanced protections. MSPs must work to constantly ensure they are trained and staffed to deliver a multi-layered security approach to clients, so that if one layer of protection is vulnerable or fails, there are others protecting you.
A company with resources and a staff of business consultants and analysts can help you not only keep your current technology infrastructure up and running but can help with long term projects. A Managed IT service company that can help implement business process and consulting services can help you push your business forward, not just maintain a status quo.
If you’re interested in vCIO, cybersecurity, or strategic technology planning services in the Chicago area, reach out to the team at the Gordon Flesch Company today and be sure to check out our infographic below for more insights.