In our first installment, we went over Managed IT Services, Monitoring Services, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR), and Firewall services. (backlinks) Our second blog went over data infiltration and how a managed service provider can help you with Cybersecurity Services, Security and Compliance Auditing Services, and Antivirus Protection Services.
Our third blog went into Cloud Computing Services, Business Intelligence & Data Analytics Services, IT Development, and Network Services. Next, we spoke about the practical day-to-day application management needed when running a small business including Email Hosting Services, Mobile Device Management, Unified Communications & Voice Over IP Services, Managed Print, and Help Desk Services.
Clearly, there are a lot of different IT services to choose from, but you obviously don’t need all of them. Depending on what your business does, many of these services are likely to be irrelevant or, at most, one-off services used infrequently.
The types of IT services you ultimately decide to go with should fit in with your IT business strategy. Skipping this strategic step and simply jumping on the bandwagon of whatever IT service is popular can create misalignment between IT and business operations.
Keep in mind that choosing which IT services to adopt is an interactive process as well. Try them on and see if they fit. If they don’t, leave it behind and try out a different service.
Consequences of misalignment between IT services and business strategy
The most important thing when choosing business IT services is that you don’t commit to ones that aren’t aligned with your business strategy. Doing so can lead to:
● Investing in technologies that don’t fit into growth plans. For example, choosing onsite servers when your business needs cloud flexibility and scalability.
● Prioritizing the wrong IT projects instead of taking the time to consider which ones are truly essential.
● Wasting money by upgrading technologies that don’t support goals or needs, like upgrading to a top traditional phone system instead of investing in VoIP.
● Trying to expand your business into areas that are not supported by your current IT infrastructure.
● Investing in top-notch IT technology but not dedicating enough time or resources to maintenance or upgrades, leads to tech debt, issues with capacity, etc.
How to create a strong IT business strategy and choose the right IT services
Choosing which IT services to bring into the fold of your business is an important decision, and luckily, it’s not something you have to do on your own.
The best way to make sure that your IT services are in alignment with your business strategy is to work with an MSP, IT consultant, or internal IT expert to help you and other decision-makers figure out what services and solutions are most important for your business’s long-term plans.
A good step in the right direction would be to write up a list of what the objective would be for each IT service you want.
When doing this, do your best to assign each objective a clear KPI metric that you want to track. This will help you assess whether the services are truly fulfilling their purpose.
As you can see, more goes into the complex world of business IT services than the common owner understands. In order to get the full capabilities and efficiency needed for your company to succeed, consider a managed service provider.