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Information Technology

Managed Services Providers: Partners, Not Replacements

Technology is advancing is so quickly that it seems like there are not enough qualified tech professionals to go around, creating a growing IT skills gap. Lacking IT personnel can impede day-to-day business operations, overall company goals, and, ultimately, the bottom line. According to a ChannelPro Network article, CompTIA researchers found that eight out of 10 business executives are concerned about the IT skills gaps within their organizations. This skills gap can create heftier workloads and hinder employee satisfaction. In addition, when in-house teams lack key resources — including enough staff members — their abilities to innovate wane. Insufficient resources can also create a pattern of reactivity, forcing in-house teams to put out more fires because they’re unable to take proactive measures with limited time or skills. Plus, having fewer skilled professionals available can make an already expensive and competitive hiring landscape even harder to traverse, putting increasing pressure on today’s tech leaders.

Gaining additional resources

In response, many chief information officers (CIOs) and other IT executives are turning to managed services providers (MSPs) in efforts to bridge the gap. MSPs can alleviate many stresses by identifying areas ripe for improvements, implementing the technology necessary to make those changes, and offering ongoing monitoring and support. However, there is a common misconception that mistakes MSPs as in-house IT staff replacements rather than partners.

In reality, MSPs are often responsible for ensuring day-to-day functionality such as data backup and security. For example, MSPs can help IT executives assess their cloud application readiness and provide strategic support during data migrations, tasks their in-house teams may neither have the time nor appropriate resources for. This can take pressure off in-house teams, enabling them to focus on bigger-picture tasks like meeting strategic project goals, improving user experiences and customer satisfaction, as well as meeting or exceeding business objectives.

MSPs can also augment their partners’ IT and staff setups with shared services, a diverse pool of resources available on an as-needed basis. This empowers tech leaders to scale personnel support and technology resources only when necessary, helping to lower costs while achieving project goals. Just remember: Not all MSPs are created equal, so it’s important to be selective.

Ensuring valuable partnerships

When choosing an MSP, tech decision-makers can often feel pressured to use shrinking costs as key criteria for bringing on MSPs, especially during times of economic downturn, according to the CIO article. It’s important to partner with MSP experts who not only understand their technology but also their clients’ specific industries and businesses.

An effective partnership keeps business — not just technology — at the forefront of all planning. Many seasoned MSPs have existing relationships with vendors, which often means they can secure good rates and fast responses on products and services for their clients; MSPs can also leverage these relationships to renegotiate vendor contracts if necessary.

Over the years, significant demand for MSPs and their services has spurred more strategic partnerships. The MSP’s role has evolved from simply offering services to being a true consultant and business partner to clients. For some tech leaders, an MSP’s technical support and services are enough to help in-house teams bridge the skills gap. Increasingly, however, more IT executives are turning to MSPs for customized experiences and specific expertise as they adapt their strategies to meet changing customer needs. Overall, it’s essential for any business leader planning to work with an MSP to remember that MSPs are not replacements — they’re partners!

At Value Global, we offer industry-specific customized IT solutions for those within the eCommerce, software, and oil and gas industries. If you’re looking to partner with professionals at an MSP who view your successes as their own, contact the experts at Value Global today.
Information Technology

Innovate Your Infrastructure

In the early years of the digital age, your company most likely purchased and managed all of its technology needs in-house. Over time, as the computing universe grew ever-more complex, you added new parts and programs to keep up with the developments and to maintain your competitiveness. As such, the complexity of managing of this universe became more complex, as well. The IT team could probably still handle it, with a little bit of outside help here and there.

However, with the advent of cloud computing and hybrid infrastructures, it may be that your in-house team is struggling to keep up with it all. The complex web of legacy hardware and software programming that was supposed to make your business easier is actually hobbling your productivity because it does not function as an integrated whole. To manage their infrastructure and allow their in-house teams to focus on higher priorities, many of today’s most competitive enterprises are electing to do business more efficiently and cost effectively by outsourcing their computing needs to a Managed Services Provider, or MSP. These providers help you cobble both your cloud and in-house solutions while also consulting you on the best ways to integrate the two for optimal efficiency.

MSPs streamline business processes

A MSP offers advantages that are unmatched within an in-house configuration:

  • Assured expertise — The increasingly complicated digital universe is more sophisticated than the average in-house IT employee can manage. However, the failure to keep up with technological and industry developments can erode competitiveness and cripple a business. The MSP overcomes the challenge of insufficient tech by assuming the task of staying current with technology trends or even ahead of them. Their primary service is to keep your business at your sector’s technological forefront.
  • Assured compliance — Although much of today’s compliance programming is automated, these rules and regulations change frequently, making it difficult for in-house IT staff to keep the company in good standing with its regulators. A MSP offers a dedicated compliance capacity that will keep your entity on top of any regulations changes
  • ‘Round the clock support — The global economy has also impacted when you work, and many companies frequently do business in far-flung time zones. Your organization cannot afford to have a technology failure in one time zone and the IT response to that failure in another. MSPs offer service and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Secure growth — Finding new business opportunities in the global marketplace is critical to maintaining competitiveness. Often, however, on premise legacy programming is too limited in its scope and capabilities to effectively and efficiently scale up when those opportunities arise. The MSP offers scalability both up and down, so your company has the tools to manage the new business with ease, as well as save costs by reducing capacities in slow periods.
  • Improved productivity — Outsourcing the IT function frees up staff to focus on the core corporate issues that are central to your company. Instead of spending time tracking and debugging code errors, your IT workers can concentrate on using the expanded technology to improve your products.

Many companies now realize that their on-premise technological configuration can no longer match the value of the services provided by dedicated IT companies. An expert MSP team engages cutting-edge cloud-based technologies to ensure that your enterprise experiences best practices in all its endeavors.

We can help you design the engagement model that works best for your oil and gas, retail, or software company so you can maintain your competitiveness in today’s, and tomorrow’s digital marketplace. Contact us at Value Global.
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