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  • Andy Jonak

Why use an Outside Firm for IT Services?

Updated: Mar 31, 2018

In today's economic climate, organizations are continually looking to make the most of their investment in technology and IT infrastructure. IT needs to ensure that they are as efficient as possible, while continuing to provide a better experience for their end users and continually increasing their value to the organization. How can IT be strategic, proactive and continually look for ways to add value (Read: help the organization make money) while the IT staff is forced to spend much of its time addressing issues and putting out fires in reactive mode? This is precisely the reason organizations today are increasingly turning towards outside services firms for help.

While there are many reasons to utilize outside organizations for IT professional services, in Vicom’s experience customers tend to need assistance in the following areas: 

  • Implementation of Projects 

  • Alleviate workload for the IT staff 

  • Provide IT Strategy

Implementation of Projects

IT departments refresh their environments with new technology, new software, or upgrades to existing hardware and software on a regular or cyclical basis.  These projects tend to be large, resource intensive, disruptive, and may even stretch or even be outside the skill areas of internal resources. In many cases, these internal resources just simply might not have the time to accomplish these projects effectively—purely a bandwidth issue.  A competent professional services firm can help address and minimize these issues to ensure success.  

Alleviate workload for the IT staff

IT Managers are often frustrated that their people spend most of their time reacting to issues and fighting fires, versus looking for ways to help improve services and increase value to the organization. Using an outside firm can free IT staff to focus on strategic initiatives and on being proactive, which empowers them to help the organization.  

An outside services firm can also help fill gaps where skills are lacking to ensure a smoothly-running IT organization.  These services can be used tactically—to bring in needed skills, or to replenish skills when a key person has left—or strategically, where an organization recognizes that they don't want a skill in house and will use an outside firm for this skill when needed.  And not all organizations’ needs are the same:  different organizations will value different types of skills for services depending on their needs at the time.  

Services that are delegated to outside firms do not have to be "low skill" items (server builds, rack and stack, etc.) but can be high value items that would otherwise force resources to take their focus off of larger goals and objectives.  When selected services are provided by outside firms, IT resources can focus more on strategic items that are aligned with larger organizational goals meant to provide value to the organization. 

Provide IT Strategy

When we are embroiled in our day to day activities and constantly reacting, it becomes a challenge to focus on the big picture.  We lose sight of such things as:  

  • What technologies should we be considering in the next 1, 3, 5 years? 

  • How can these new technologies provide a better experience to users and provide value to the organization? 

  • What are the implications of moving towards new technologies and solutions as they pertain to our specific environment and our specific organization? 

  • How can we improve the environment that is already in place so that it's providing the most value possible to the organization? 

  • Who can help me in answering these questions?

A strong services firm can provide a clear strategy around these questions, creating and helping to implement a roadmap to new technologies and solutions.  On a smaller scale, a strong services firm can help optimize or adjust the existing environment, to realize value that is aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives.  Selecting the right firm to provide help with your overall IT strategy is critical in helping evaluate new technologies and trends to see what makes sense to you in your specific environment.  

How to Choose a Professional Services Firm

Choose firms who provide IT services for you carefully. Any firm considered needs to be able to provide consultative, value-based expertise that gives you the ability to make the right decisions for your IT environment.  Services firms must know your industry, must have a history of providing services to similar customers, must have your best interests in mind, must have deep expertise in the services, technologies or solutions considered, and must provide justifiable value that makes sense for you and your organization.  

Thoughts

  • Look for an experienced, competent professional services firm. 

  • Make sure firms considered truly understand your organization and your industry and have very deep skills in the services being considered. 

  • Make it a point to understand how the services you are considering make sense and provide value to you and your organization.

Vicom has provided organizations with services to help evaluate, architect, implement and maintain IT environments and realize value for over 30 years.  For more information on our services please reach out to us at me ajonak@vicomnet.com call us at 631-694-3900 x 342 or visit www.vicomnet.com.  Wishing you IT success in 2013. 

Andy


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