3 Ways You Know It's Time to Outsource Your I.T.
Are you navigating the best ways to manage your company's I.T.? Our CEO at The IT Company, Paul Sponcia, has created a list of the top 3 aspects to look for when deciding if it is time to outsource your I.T.
1. You understand the IT has become critical to your business, and you need to delegate it to someone where it can be professionally managed.
While a lot of business owners and leaders understand IT is important, many don’t understand (or want to believe) how critical IT has come to their operations – that is until it ceases to function, or causes so many issues that they can’t overlook how important it has become. Understanding that it is critical should lead a business owner/leader to the natural conclusion that it requires qualified professional management. It can no longer be given to the CFO, the young person who is smarter with computers than you or the administrative person who understands a reboot can fix some things. No, you have to understand that having qualified and competent people running IT for your business is critical. The problem is-you’re a small business who doesn’t possess the financial or personnel resources to build it, and who wants to run an IT department anyhow?
This evolution leads you to the understanding that IT is not only something that has to be professionally and competently managed, it is its own functional “thing” in your business- just like operations, accounting, HR, etc.- that you have to create rhythm and accountability for, which leads us to #2.
2. You recognize that IT is no longer a typical expense item - it is a functional department to be managed, but you do not have the resources to do it.
For too long business owners and leaders have been treating IT like they do the commercial cleaner and the plant watering people – a commodity where you are constantly seeking the best price or to water the price down. They see no value because they are a commodity, where it is virtually impossible to measure the difference in one or the other. IT has become different, and in some ways the same.
Most MSP’s are still doing bottom of the “stack” stuff and calling themselves an MSP. Helpdesk, Sys Admin, Backups, managing cloud, AV, security, remote monitoring, spam filtering, etc. All these things ARE important, but they do not marginally improve your success as a business – unless they do not work properly, then they adversely affect you and you know it. They are essential, but they are foundational building blocks NOT the proactive and value-added services that help your business become more successful.
Mature Leaders and business owners who are running mature organizations understand that IT is now a functional department (like ops, accounting, HR, etc.), one that is critical to the business success and one where you can achieve greater success. These leaders understand IT not only has to be delegated, it must be accountable to the business and doing that in-house is cost prohibitive, and many times will hold you back. Investing in IT properly has a return, seeking to drive the price down from a service provider only reduces the value of the service, while seemingly increasing your bottom line or lowering your expenses as a percentage of revenue but likely costing you more on the backside.
A department means it has a budget, it has a plan, it is accountable to these things. It is delegated and expected to perform to the results established. This is where IT begins to show value as it is integrated across the organization, making every department better.
This is where #3 comes in. Any department, any functional business unit in an organization should produce measurable value to the organization. Mature business owners and leaders recognize that IT has become so critical it can produce exponential value creation in the organization, and they want to unlock that by properly aligning to the business.
3. You recognize that IT can give you either a competitive advantage, or hinder your business, and you need to be proactive in aligning IT with the business’s goals and objectives.
Delegation and abdication or two very different things, and recognizing the need to delegate to a professional, and that IT has become a fundamental component of your business requires mature business leaders to focus on not abdicating. Not abdicating means not missing the opportunity to fully align IT to your business goals and objectives and therefore actually see increasing value out of IT instead of racing to the bottom of the IT barrel.
Mature Managed Service Providers are transforming to Technology Success Providers, meaning we are absolutely providing the basic blocking and tackling that every MSP has to do - and better than them I might add - but we are also working directly with the business leaders to understand their vision, mission, goals and objectives and working with them to align IT to that by:
- Proactively understanding how the business operates to understand the opportunities, and challenges.
- Developing a strategy and Aligning strategy to objectives AND outcomes.
- Ensuring that the strategy includes all stakeholders.
- Attaching budget to the strategy.
- Developing a regular cadence to review the strategy, assess risk (technical and business) and costs and work towards objectives.
- Performing ongoing business impact/risk analysis to ensure its working.
- Being accountable to the plan, but also agile the business needs as they change.