Insights from Orion Group

Managed IT: Right For My Business? Part 2

This is part 2 of a 4 part series exploring the difference between a one, two or three man IT support model and a managed IT support contract. The author has over 30 years working as an IT leader with some of the best run companies in the world. He has worked both sides of the fence – as a company IT employee and for outsource providers. He’s seen successful engagements and failures. This experience informs this series.

My intent in writing this series of blog articles is to compare and contrast qualities of in-house IT with a managed IT contract. In Part 1 last month, I discussed cost, response, reliability, dependability and help desk. In Part 2, I’ll compare experience, dependability, process and world view.

When done right, managed IT is a far superior model to the traditional one or two man IT shop. Not only is it more cost effective, but it is almost always a more effective support model. Let’s first consider experience.

A managed IT support provider will have a pool of many technical resources with varying experience levels. They’ll have technology partners that represent an extension of their service model. Managed IT customers have a large virtual IT support organization deep and wide with experience. A small IT shop will have few industry connections. So, a managed IT contract will bring a wealth of experience to the table compared to the small IT shop model which will translate into faster issue resolution times.

Because of this depth of resources, a managed IT contract never goes on vacation, calls in sick or gets hit by a bus. They staff to the right level of response and dependability. Your local IT team cannot compete with this depth of resourcing. Managed IT: more dependable by virtue of their numbers.

In addition to having more experience and hitting all cylinders on dependability, a managed IT contract will operate more efficiently because they have to. To satisfy their customers and make money, they have to stream line and improve their support processes. Most small IT shops don’t have many, if any, formal processes for taking a support request, scheduling upgrades, or addressing system failures. Managed IT must have tried and true methods and processes for handling these and other typical scenarios. This translates to shorter times to repair, more efficient actions, fewer errors, and improved customer satisfaction.

Finally, because managed IT firms service hundreds of customers, they bring an experienced world view with which the small IT shop can’t possibly compete. That broad experience translates into better support recommendations and smarter technical help. Smarter people contribute to lower customer stress and more business uptime.

Managed IT wins on experience, dependability, process and world view. Tune into next month’s, Part 3 installment – Tools, and Technology and Standards. If you have any questions related to managed IT services, don’t hesitate to contact Orion Group.

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