Whether it’s as simple as sending emails or as complex as using artificial intelligence (AI) to find hidden data in an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system, we know businesses can’t operate in today’s economy without technology.
Many businesses work with an outsourced IT services provider to manage their technology. But there’s more to Managed IT than just figuring out what hardware and software you need. When examining potential IT providers, assess whether they provide in-depth consultation before, during and after implementation. It can help ensure you’ll make the right decision and reap the following benefits.
1. Clearly Define (and Achieve) Your Business Goals
What do you want to achieve with your technology? It’s a simple question, but many companies don’t really know the extent of what today’s technology can do. A business owner will sometimes come to us with a list of software or hardware that they think their company needs. Instead of just taking their order, we ask them to pause for a moment and talk with one of our IT consultant about their business goals and the challenges they face, and to allow us to perform a thorough assessment of their IT environment. Allowing an IT consultant into your business will help bring clarity to your technology.
To put it simply: you don’t know what you don’t know. Through a thorough discovery process, we often learn things about your business processes or inefficiencies that could be solved by a different technology solution than you may have thought of on your own. Not only do we usually find a better fit for your needs, but it’s usually a better fit for your budget, too.
2. Increase Adoption of New Technology
There’s a paradox that takes place in many businesses: people want the benefits of the latest technology, yet they don’t want things to change. Let’s face it; learning new technology isn’t on the top of most people’s list of enjoyable things to do at work. Sometimes doing it the old way seems easier than having to figure out a new system.
By working with a IT consultant, you can know that your employees will be equipped with the right technology and given the tools and guidance they need to make the transition as smooth as possible. You can spend a lot to get all the bells and whistles, but if user adoption is low and they don’t know how to use a new system, it will be money down the drain.
3. Minimize Downtime
Working with an IT consultant who knows the ins and outs of your business helps not only determine which technology needs to be integrated, but how to integrate it. While also having a A consultant helps you prepare for the transition by putting all the pieces in place — from equipment and networking to scheduling of technicians and going live. They’ll also provide recommendations and put proactive measures in place to prevent future issues. While also making sure it a lines with a strategic technology roadmap that everyone is working on.
Time is money, and the last thing you need are unexpected surprises and downtime. You can be assured that the project goes smoothly and that there’s minimal downtime. The right IT consultant can help ensure that your expectations and standards are met, and they can help with vendor management, too.
4. Strategic Technology Roadmap
Unless you’re the business owner, we all report to someone. By working with an IT consultant, you’ll have a better understanding of your company’s needs and how a technology solution can meet those needs. A consultant can also help you demonstrate the value that a technology upgrade can bring to your organization and its bottom line. From there, you’ll be equipped to present your findings (with data to back it up) to the powers that be and have a better chance of getting approval for your plan.
Most company executives focus on the bottom line and how decisions affect the company's ability to serve its clients and improve productivity. Having an IT consultant gives you all the information you need to walk in and speak with confidence while also providing exceptional technology solutions. You can even ask your consultant to make a presentation with you and be available to answer questions directly.
A Word of Caution
When evaluating a potential Managed IT services company, make sure the person you work with truly is an IT consultant and not just a salesperson. It’s concerning how often we see some other company representatives making recommendations without having any prior IT experience or expertise.
Your Managed IT consultant should serve as your virtual chief information officer (CIO) and help you make technology decisions based on what’s best for your company and its bottom line, not theirs. If someone doesn’t develop a level of trust and take the time to get to know your culture and your business needs, it will only set your company back.
A consultative approach with a tried and true process is the best way to ensure success. At Technology Pointe, we promise to take the time to get to know you and your business goals. Only then will we recommend a solution that we feel confident will meet your needs. Contact our Austin or Dallas office today to start the conversation.