Strategic IT Management isn’t a Replacement for Onsite Techs

Strategic IT Management: Outsourcing vs. In-house

As an IT pro, you know that there is a never-ending list of tasks that need to get done. Internal IT teams are seemingly responsible for everything from fixing printers to troubleshooting phones and replacing or reconfiguring hardware around the facility.

The scope of these tasks can stretch your departments’ capacity, and as such, it’s not uncommon for organizations to outsource some of their strategic IT functions to an outside company.

Regardless of where you work, consultants, managed service providers (MSPs), or any third-party expert that comes in with new ideas can present challenges. But, in healthy working relationships, the outside provider will bring in specialized knowledge, big-picture strategy, and help you lay a groundwork for growth.

In this post, we’ll look at smart ways outsourced IT companies partner with internal departments to accomplish big goals.

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MSPs Round Out the Security Strategy

IT departments are expected to stay updated on the latest tech trends, protect their corporate networks, train employees, and keep their eye out for potential breaches.

In a recent survey of 912 employees in the healthcare industry, Accenture found that increased cybersecurity training did not lead to safer behaviors online. They also found that employees still wrote down login details and placed the paper next to their computer and that many were willing to sell confidential data for as little as $500.

Cyber Security Training Statistics
Source: Accenture

MSPs offer a proactive approach to keeping company data and trade secrets secure. Between ransomware and malware, careless employees, and IoT devices, an MSP brings an extra layer of protection to the mix that fills in the gaps, helping organizations to find solutions to minimize threats and gain more control.

Access to Innovative Technology

One of the main reasons businesses bring in an external consultant is the possibility of innovation. Many companies struggle to adopt new solutions in-house. It might be due to cost barriers, lack of knowledge, or the time it takes to learn the ins and outs of new equipment and account for inevitable downtime.

The MSP’s job is to keep their clients updated on the latest technology available. By working with a specialized, outside IT provider you benefit from the collective research the vendor amasses by working with a number of clients.

If you look at the most “in-demand” security competencies from 2017, there’s quite a spread. It’s a challenge for IT departments to gain competency in machine learning, ethical hacking, risk management, cloud security, and the rest while trying to manage day-to-day requests.

Critical Security Competencies
Source: Forbes

Special Projects

We see this with a lot of clients; they have a solid IT strategy in place when it comes to solving day-to-day operations. But, when the time comes for an organization to become compliant with changing legal requirements, or they want to plan for a network redesign, internal resources can struggle without some guidance from an MSP with in-depth knowledge.

Bringing in an extra pair of hands can help organizations plan for major internal changes, from expansion to moves, mergers, and acquisitions.

Say your organization is planning for expansion: you’re taking over the rest of your building or adding a second location for a whole new division. You’ve got two IT experts on staff and a few junior level employees that work under them.

These team members are skilled techs, but this is a major project. In this case, bringing in an MSP makes good sense. It’s more affordable than hiring more IT staff, and you’ll have the ability to tap into an advanced skill set you don’t necessarily need every day.
Between ransomware and malware, careless employees, and IoT (internet of things), an MSP brings an extra layer of protection to the mix that fills in the gaps, helping organizations to find solutions to minimize threats and gain more… Click To Tweet

Planning with Business Goals in Mind

The role of IT has shifted considerably, and it’s less about break fixes and more about creating a systems architecture that supports your long-term business goals.

An experienced MSP can help you figure out what equipment you’ll need, how to reduce costs, and most importantly, how to align IT services with business objectives.

The right outside IT provider can help your team identify the tools they need to create automated workflows, which help them get more done in less time. They can also help to find a way to organize and understand key data.

According to many surveys, today’s IT professionals have more data than they know how to handle. An MSP can step in and come up with a unified strategy for working with data, while at the same time, making sure security remains top of mind.

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Wrapping up

Bringing in an outsider can feel like a case of “consultant knows best.” As such, it’s essential to consider how you can work together and leverage each other’s strengths.

At Lockstep Technology Group, our goal is to partner with your IT team and help you reach your business goals. Contact us today and we’ll discuss the technology solutions that make things easier on your IT team (and the rest of your organization, too).