5 Strategies to Help Organizations Tackle Software Sprawl

Maximize your ROI on the technology you need.

“SaaS sprawl is a natural consequence of the SaaS revolution. An analysis of Okta’s 2020 customer database revealed that companies employing 2,000 or more individuals maintained an inventory of 175 SaaS apps on average”TechCrunch

number of apps used by large companies graph

The infamous phenomenon that is software sprawl, occurs when the quantity of applications or software components in an environment experiences rapid growth and fluctuations, leading to a substantial rise in complexity and rendering traditional software management approaches ineffective.

In the fast-paced world of technology, businesses often find themselves grappling with the challenges of uncontrolled proliferation of software applications across an organization. Suffice to say that this seemingly innocuous issue can significantly impact Return on Investment (ROI) if left unaddressed.

In this blog, we explore how software sprawl negatively affects ROI and highlight 5 powerful strategies for optimizing software licensing through consolidation, expert guidance and licensing discounts.


The Hidden Costs of Software Sprawl

Walk Me’s 2022 - 2023 State of Digital Adoption Report showed that large enterprises are spending over $246 million pursuing strategic goals with digital transformation, IT and software spend being the majority portion.

Surveys from this same report showed that large enterprises spend an estimate of over $104 million on their digital transformation and software.

On average, businesses deploy 89 different applications, with enterprises having as many as 187. However, 30% of these apps are either duplicative or provide no evident value.

These findings conclude that many businesses are overspending by millions on software they don’t even need.


Furthermore, with the complexity and rapid growth of organizational software usage, hidden costs can arise for several reasons, such as:


Saas waste proliferates graphic on wasted money on software

Redundancy and Overlapping Functionality

Multiple software tools with overlapping features can lead to redundancy, increasing operational costs without providing proportional benefits.


Inefficient workflows

Workers toggle between different applications approximately 1,200 times a day, resulting in nearly four hours of wasted productivity weekly and increased frustration leading to higher turnover rates.


Licensing Expenses

Unmanaged software sprawl often results in unnecessary licensing expenses, as organizations may invest in more licenses than required for their actual usage.


Integration Challenges

Disparate software systems may struggle to integrate seamlessly, causing increased IT support costs and further workflow disruptions as previously mentioned.


Building a Strategic Approach

In the pursuit of organizational efficiency and streamlined operations, consider these five key strategies to optimize your software ecosystem:


How Managed Solution Can Help

As seasoned veterans of successful digital transformation projects, we help ensure you have the software you need with a measurable return on investment. By leveraging our team you free your company from the clutches of software sprawl through the following advantages:

  • Consolidation for Efficiency: Streamline your software ecosystem by identifying and consolidating redundant applications, ensuring that each tool serves a unique and necessary purpose.


  • Leveraging Expertise: Seek the expertise of IT professionals to conduct thorough software audits, helping you understand usage patterns, license requirements and opportunities for consolidation.


  • Holistic Management: Implementing a comprehensive approach to the management of your software allows for centralized control and monitoring of your software environment, optimizing performance and ensuring compliance with licensing agreements.


  • Strategic Collaboration with Vendors: Engage in proactive discussions with software vendors to negotiate favorable licensing terms, considering factors like volume discounts and flexible payment options.


  • Regular Review and Updates: Stay informed about changes in software usage patterns and technology trends. Regularly review your software portfolio to identify opportunities for further optimization.


Centralized Control

Managed Solution provides a centralized platform for overseeing software assets, enabling efficient monitoring, updates, and compliance management.


Cost Optimization

By leveraging our experts, Managed Solution can facilitate the consolidation and efficient management of software applications. Our proactive approach empowers organizations to negotiate more favorable licensing deals, capitalizing on volume discounts and ultimately optimizing costs associated with software usage.


Expert Guidance

At Managed Solution, we have mastered the art of analyzing our client’s software environments to build better strategies and provide ample guidance and resources to maximize their cost efficiencies.


Enhanced Security and Compliance

Managed Solution will enforce security protocols and ensure compliance with licensing agreements, reducing the risk of legal and financial consequences.


Learn More

Tackling software sprawl is a strategic imperative when building a robust ROI for your technology. Through consolidation, expert guidance and licensing discounts, organizations can not only cut unnecessary expenses but also enhance efficiency, security, and compliance.

If you would like to learn more about how Managed Solution can help you overcome the costs of software sprawl, chat with one of our experts here.

By: Amanda Hawthorne- Director of People and Culture

No matter your role in the workforce, you’ve surely heard by now that we’re not only in the midst of a global pandemic, but we’re also seeing an epidemic of people leaving their jobs. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report released earlier this month, 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in December 2021. Though that number is a slight downtick from the month prior, the number of quits is still outpacing years prior; in fact, more Americans quit in 2021 than ever before recorded. The Great Resignation’s acceleration of employee turnover just adds to the difficulty of running a business in these challenging times. So, what can employers do to cope? What’s the solution?

Here, we explore some of the ways to increase worker satisfaction and reduce turnover -- and be ready for the inevitability of some churn within your workplace.

But any efforts to increase retention may fail if you haven’t first understood the reasons for employees leaving in the first place. Let’s explore some common themes for employee resignations in today’s work environment:

Employees leaving to handle caregiving responsibilities. It’s undeniable that Covid-19 exposed serious gaps in our country’s caregiving infrastructure. Some parents have dropped out of the workplace because of the intensive care burdens of young children and the lack of available daycare facilities – not to mention the increasing costs of such care. Others are leaving to care for an elder parent because long-term care facilities are expensive and perhaps less desirable during the pandemic. Still others have school-aged kids at home who just aren’t going to make it through Zoom school without supervision. The choice to leave the workplace may have been most common among caregivers whose jobs require their presence onsite, versus remote or schedule flexibility, but even those whose jobs allow such flexibility may find the competing pressures of work and caregiving to be in conflict – and overwhelming. It’s not surprising that some of these people decided to leave the workforce or seek out new opportunities with additional flexibility.

What can employers do? Employers should remember that employees are people, too – with complex lives and competing responsibilities beyond their paid employment. Consider whether offering benefits such as childcare subsidies or backup childcare assistance could benefit your workforce. These benefits can be a win-win for employees and employers, offering much-needed assistance to workers and potentially a tax credit for the business offering child are subsidies. Many employers already offer access to an Employee Assistance Program, which can offer referrals for child or elder care resources. If this is something you offer, make sure your employees know about the benefit – EAPs are easy to forget if you’ve never accessed one before.

Employees leaving for greener pastures: more flexibility, stronger benefits… Now that we are through the initial shock of being in a pandemic, when many people may have held steady in jobs they might have otherwise considered leaving, people are now starting to re-evaluate. Employees may be taking stock of their position on a total-rewards basis: what benefits is my employer offering? Are they helping cover the costs of healthcare for me and my family? Do I have access to progressive benefits coverage like telehealth? Especially as workers see peers leave their roles for greener pastures, they may be more likely to start wondering what else is available, and how their current opportunity stacks up.

What can employers do? Working with an insurance broker, companies can evaluate whether their existing benefits offerings are competitive. Employers must remember too that they are competing with larger companies for talent. It may not be possible to offer all the bells and whistles, but where can you really add value? You may want to work with your broker to survey your team to find out how they’re using their current benefits and where else they’re looking for you to assist.

Employers should also evaluate their workplace policies to see whether offering increased flexibility or other family-friendly policies could benefit their teams. At Managed Solution, we’ve offered varying degrees of remote work and schedule flexibility for years. Before the pandemic, this was more cutting edge, but as many jobs went remote for Covid-19, work-remote opportunities have become more of an expectation among workers. Now, employees are looking to their employers to understand what policies and programs will exist beyond the pandemic: will they continue to have access to remote work? Can they adjust start times to accommodate day-care or school drop off? Do you offer flexibility for part-time roles or job-sharing to accommodate those who need more time for caregiving? Now is the time for employers to start defining what the future will hold for their workers – and the more flexibility you can offer, the better!

Employees leaving to secure a raise. Inflation is real, and employees are aware of the rapidly increasing costs to even maintain a current quality of life. According to Bloomberg, “U.S. consumer prices soared last year by the most in nearly four decades, sapping the purchasing power of American families” -- and even as minimum wages have increased in parts of the country, “rising prices are eroding those advances.” For most workers, the best way to secure a significant wage increase is not to wait for an annual review at a current employer, where they may see a small cost-of-living adjustment, but to seek an offer at another firm.

What can employers do? Take time to look at your current team’s wages. How does it stack up to the market? Remember, too, that with the rise of remote work opportunities, you may be competing against wages on a national scale, as employees’ options are no longer limited to a local work market. Although it may not be possible to offer significant increases across the board, it may be prudent to identify key talent and ensure the individuals in those roles are paid appropriately. If base wage increases aren’t an option and you’re already paying market-fair wages, perhaps you can offer other creative incentives based on specific organizational outcomes… which may be written in a way that requires employees to remain employed with your organization for a specific duration to receive payment. (Future bonus opportunities may not be enough to overcome other significant deficiencies in employee satisfaction, so be sure there aren’t other underlying issues with workplace rigidity, culture issues, or lack of growth opportunities.)

Employees leaving a toxic or lack-luster work environment. As much as we’d like to think we can throw money at a problem to solve it (and sometimes that does help), recent data published by MIT Sloan Management Review suggests that a toxic corporate culture can be a top predictor of attrition – more than pay: according to the article, “a toxic culture is 10.4 times more likely to contribute to attrition than compensation… Our analysis found that the leading elements contributing to toxic cultures include failure to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; workers feeling disrespected; and unethical behavior.” With so many job openings, employees in such toxic environments can feel compelled to explore new opportunities in organizations that prioritize recognition, respect, and collaboration.

Additionally, many employees are feeling disconnected from their workplace without an office to visit. Employees may seek opportunities with organizations that prioritize team building, including those that offer virtual or hybrid events to help them get to know coworkers beyond their day-to-day work interactions. According to Angela Ashenden, citing findings from her co-authored paper (“Employee Workplace Technology Survey, 2020”) in an article posted on Reworked: “Although most of the technology basics are now in place to enable them to access their work tools remotely, employees highlight a lack of social interaction with colleagues (33%) and a lack of connection with what's happening in their organization (22%) as their biggest challenges with remote work.”

What can employers do? Employers should evaluate their own corporate culture. What are employees saying in exit interviews? What’s being reflected in employee surveys? Do you have a defined Code of Conduct or set of company values that outlines how your company engages internally and externally, to ensure that all team members feel respected? If these documents already exist, how are you reinforcing them on a day-to-day basis with your teams? Do your team members have ways to identify individuals whose behavior falls short of those standards, without fear of reprisal?

If you’re feeling good about the basic foundations of respect, inclusion, and equity within your organization, start considering how you’re engaging your remote or hybrid teams. Do you have an accessible intranet and collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams? (If not, let’s chat!) Are you helping team members connect on those platforms by announcing important company updates? Here at Managed Solution, we’ve leveraged Microsoft Teams to build community through Virtual Spirit Weeks, where our team members posted photos or responses to various topics. We were blown away by the responses to our prompts, such as “ManSol’s Got Talent” - where employees showed off their painting, cooking, athletic, and other skills. From virtual trivia night to a hosted virtual escape room, to “Quaran-teams” pods to connect folks across the organization for 15-minutes social breaks throughout the week, there are so many ways to help your team members feel connected on a social level.

Employees leaving for growth opportunities not available in their current environment. At the end of the day, most employees are looking for the opportunities to succeed at work – and the opportunity to grow into new roles within a company. If employees don’t see a clear path for growth within an organization, they may begin exploring ways to grow beyond it. Employees left in the dark about what opportunities exist in their organization, or who aren’t provided coaching support to take on stretch goals, may not want to languish in the same position forever.

What can employers do? First and foremost – make sure your employees know what opportunities exist! Particularly in a remote environment where there’s less of a chance someone can hear of something ‘through the grapevine,’ employers need to take care to publish job openings across the organization. Be sure to take seriously any employee who shows interest in an open role: at a minimum, someone in HR and/or the hiring manager should meet with that person to discuss the role, even if the person isn’t yet qualified. If that person isn’t yet eligible or suited to a role, help them understand the gaps – and provide guidance on how to close them! Engage your supervisors and managers in development efforts. Are they regularly meeting with team members to discuss performance and growth? And if someone in your organization has been promoted, how are you highlighting this story in your recruiting and internal communication? Employees want to know that internal growth is possible – and how to achieve it for themselves. Particularly for industries like IT, where there’s always something new to learn, consider how you are helping your team members learn. Can you offer professional development funding or tuition assistance? Reimbursement of certification costs? Outline these programs, and make sure they’re published across the organization. Helping people see opportunities and see your commitment to their achievement can keep employees committed to your organization for the long haul.

These are just some of the reasons employees are re-evaluating their careers during the Great Resignation. Whichever factors are driving turnover in your organization, making a concerted effort to uncover the reasons and address them will be critical for improving retention.

And while evaluating your strategy for retention is a must, employers must realize that it can take time to implement new programs or policies and see any impact. So, what to do in the meantime, when the Great Resignation is still underway? With the combination of a tight labor market and an acceleration of turnover, employers need to also be ready to engage in a competitive recruiting market to fill those inevitable openings. In many cases, this can mean looking to an outside recruiting firm for help.

Managed Solution has developed a consistent, proactive recruiting practice to ensure we’re connecting with qualified talent and building our pipeline for common IT roles, sometimes even before we have an active opening. But not every company is going to have a dedicated internal recruiting team building that pipeline even before it’s needed. Given today’s intensely competitive recruiting marketing, where candidates may have multiple offers in front of them, working with an outside recruiting firm can help your company improve success in hiring the right talent, fast – which is even more important when you get that unexpected two-weeks-notice letter from someone in a key role!

Do you have a critical opening you need filled yesterday? Just received a devastating two-weeks-notice letter from an employee in a key role? Let us know -- we can help!

Staffing Services: The Details- What you need to know!

By: Amanda Hawthorne, Director of People and Culture at Managed Solution

So you’ve got an opening or resource need on your team? Exciting! Managed Solution’s Staffing Services can help! But knowing where to start with an outside recruiting firm can be tough, and you may have a lot of questions about the process…

There are plenty of choices for service providers: so how do you know which is going to deliver?

Sometimes the exact resource or budget requirements for your position may be a bit hazy, and you may still be sorting out how exactly a new hire will engage within your team. Who can help you define your needs and understand a market-realistic hiring budget?

Everyone is already stretched thin today, and no one has time to interview a series of candidates who completely miss the mark. Working with a trusted Staffing Service provider like Managed Solution can help you quickly connect with pre-vetted technical talent so you can make efficient staffing decisions and get back to work with the right team!

Why You Can Trust Managed Solution to Deliver Top Talent

Managed Solution is an IT service provider – which means IT people are our business. For over 20 years, we’ve been meeting talented engineers and connecting them with our clients across Southern California (and beyond!) to fulfill ongoing support or even project-based needs. In the age of remote work and the “Great Resignation,” it’s more important than ever to hire highly skilled and vetted engineering talent – and even harder to find them!

After hearing from client after client about the challenges they’re having in finding and vetting top talent, we saw an opportunity here: open our Talent Community to our clients, giving them access to the amazing people we’re meeting daily. (And as a bonus, individuals in our Talent Community have already been vetted by our Microsoft-certified engineers!)

Plus, since hiring our Talent Advisor, Kat Grunzinger, we now have a talent concierge to meet with our clients and really dive into their needs, to help define an opportunity for efficient recruiting. Kat has years of experience in the recruiting space and has a true knack for building quick rapport with candidates, diving into what they know (and don’t), as well as understanding what opportunities are truly of interest to them. She leverages this same inquisitive nature to consult with clients to understand what Staffing Services are best-suited to their needs – and which candidates will really fit the bill!

What You Need to Know When Getting Started with Managed Solution’s Talent Advisor

You may be asking, what’s it like to work with Managed Solution’s Talent Advisor?

Here’s what you can expect:

First, Our Talent Advisor will want to interview you! We’ve found the best way to understand the true needs of an organization isn’t to rely on a job description (which may be out of date or miss key aspects of what a position truly requires), but to go straight to the source: you!

As a hiring manager, you’ll have insight into your needs, your team, and your organization – even if you haven’t scoped out a formal job description yet, or if you haven’t gotten the chance yet to update the one that’s been on file for years.

Our Talent Advisor can help you outline the specific function that’s needed. She’ll be aiming to understand the ins and outs of your open role, so she can connect you to the right resources. Key questions she’ll ask include:

  1. What function or role will this person play in your organization or project? Do you need someone to take charge and lead a team? Someone to execute tasks already outlined in a project plan? Someone your end users can trust to solve their issues in a responsive and friendly manner?
  2. What skills & experience are essential for their success? Are you seeking a well-rounded IT generalist with demonstrated success in a particular industry? A helpdesk superstar already proficient with a specific ticketing system and Office365 administration? An SQL wizard?
  3. Who will this person interact with most often? What people skills would make someone most successful in those interactions? Every team has a different style, and Our Talent Advisor knows a successful candidate will be a value-add to your existing team culture. Is your team highly process oriented or working in a compliance-heavy environment? Operating in a start-up mentality where adaptability is key? Our Talent Advisor wants to know so we can present candidates who are ready to jump in and be successful!
  4. What is the available budget and target market for hiring? Are you looking for an onsite resource in your downtown Los Angeles office, or flexible to find someone fully remote from anywhere in the nation? Do you have budget for a full-time internal hire, or will you be looking to staff a temporary need with an external position on an hourly bill rate?

Our Talent Advisor will ask these key questions so she understands exactly what this individual will be doing on a day-to-day basis and how their success will be defined. This will help her articulate the opportunity to potential candidates - and help us avoid wasting your time with candidates who would fall short of expectations. This understanding will allow her to scroll through her mental Rolodex of people in our Talent Community so she can quickly connect you with any pre-vetted candidates that might align with your goals.

Understanding your needs can also help us align our Staffing Service offering with your ‘ask’ to ensure we’re helping you meet your need in a cost-effective manner.

How Managed Solution Approaches Staffing Services

Managed Solution offers several different Staffing Services to meet your IT hiring needs:

  • Direct Hire Recruiting: With this model, Managed Solution will leverage your job specifications to actively seek out qualified resources for you to interview, hire, and onboard onto your team. In addition to the keen instincts of our Talent Advisor, we vet candidates with our Microsoft-certified engineers before we even present their resumes to you. When we send a candidate profile your way, you can be confident of that resource’s technical skills – plus, they’ll have been briefed by our team on your needs and expectations so you can get have a meaningful conversation from the start. With our significant IT hiring experience and vast Talent Community of pre-vetted resources, our Direct Hire Recruiting service will get the right person, sooner, so you can focus on your team.
  • Staff Augmentation Resourcing: In this service, Managed Solution performs the same service of connecting you with talent aligned to your needs, but, in this case, the resource will be retained by our team and assigned to a project or temporary position on yours. Let us handle the administrative side of things, from payroll to benefits, and you can focus on your team’s priorities. You’ll still get all the benefits of our pre-vetting, our Talent Advisor’s concierge intake process, and our Talent Community – plus, after a set term, you’ll have the option to convert your Staff Augmentation Resource to your own team without an additional fee.
  • Technical Vetting: With technical vetting, we’ve shifted the recruiting model a bit – you bring the candidates, and we provide feedback about the candidates’ critical skills, based on interviews with our Microsoft-certified engineers. This service is especially suited to hiring for executive or management-level IT staff: after all, who at your firm can provide a true skills assessment of a resource if that resource is meant to be the most technical member of your team? In that case, we’re happy to leverage the technical knowledge of our seasoned engineers and even our executive teams to help vet your candidates along job-related criteria that you define when you engage our services. We can also help provide feedback for your systems engineer, systems/network administrator, and helpdesk technicians! For a reasonable, fixed price, gain some additional peace of mind about your next hire!

When our Talent Advisor meets with you to discuss your team’s needs, she’ll help you determine which Staffing Service is right for you.

How a Strong Rapport with Your Talent Advisor Helps You Hire Better, Faster

Once a Staffing Service Agreement is signed, she’ll begin sorting through our existing connections within our Talent Community and will reach out to appropriate passive candidates on your behalf.

When we find suitable candidates – aligned to your role in terms of experience, skills, location, culture, and career goals – we’ll pre-vet them with our Microsoft-certified engineers and then present you with their talent profiles (a fancy term for their resumes, catered to your position). Ideally, they’ll all look good on paper, and then it’s time for you and your teams to interview!

Our Talent Advisor will work with you to define your own vetting process for the opening – who will be involved in the interviews; when/how interviews will be conducted; etc. Then, she’ll coordinate scheduling and share pertinent information to the candidate so they can be on-time and ready to discuss your opportunity, whether that’s in person at your office, or via Microsoft Teams video interview. (We can even send out a Microsoft Teams meeting bridge for you and the candidate to connect on!)

During the interview, you’ll get a sense of your own as to whether the candidate meets the eligibility and suitability requirements of your role. Our Talent Advisor will check in after your interviews to hear about what went well, what concerns still linger, and what next steps look like. Our Talent Advisor will also get feedback from the candidate to ensure a strong mutual fit before moving ahead in the process. This two-way flow of information and feedback is one essential for effective recruiting services – and helps ensure that by the time an offer is issued, you’re confident it will be accepted.

Having a strong rapport with your Talent Advisor can help you move through the hiring process faster, more effectively, and with the outcomes you’re looking for. Sometimes hiring managers hesitate to share negative feedback about a candidate’s skills or experience (because who likes giving bad news?), but we encourage open communication during this process. Understanding exactly what is or isn’t working helps us ensure a better outcome on the next candidate. And if things are going well, timely communication is even more important: you’re more likely to get an enthusiastic “yes!” in response to an offer when the candidate feels the process has moved along at a natural clip, and they’ve received timely, positive feedback. Plus, a strong rapport with your Talent Advisor also allows her to share honest feedback from candidates about your position, interview process, and the candidate experience.

What details Talent Advisor Wants You to Know

Want the inside scoop about working with our Staffing Services professionals? We sat down recently with Kat Grunzinger, Managed Solution’s Talent Advisor, to talk about her professional background in recruiting and her hopes for Managed Solution’s Staffing Services.

Here’s what Kat Grunzinger, Managed Solution’s Talent Advisor, wants you to know!

Q: What do you want a hiring manager to know about you?

A: “I want hiring managers to know that I’ve been in their seat! I know how challenging it can be to find, vet, and hire the right people for the right positions.  That level of empathy drives me to move quickly across the process – jumping onto an intake call, running through recent conversations to see if there are any immediately ‘right’ candidates, proactively sourcing talent across multiple platforms, and being timely in scheduling and feedback. I will earn the hiring manager's trust by active listening to quickly understand an opening; by being flexible and available for their calls; by following through on any action items outlined; and by reassuring them that I’m here for them! I feel most successful when I know we’ve done the right thing for the client.”

Q: What drew you to recruiting and what’s your favorite part of the process?

A: “I love getting to meet talented individuals and hearing their stories and learning what they want out of their careers – and then getting to help make that happen! It’s a privilege to assist in their journeys, and I take seriously that we are talking about a person’s livelihood. The same care I take in building relationships of trust with hiring managers, I apply to our Talent Community. My goal is to facilitate transparent, two-way communication. I’m not afraid to tell a candidate when a job isn’t going to help them meet their goals because it frees them up to find the opportunities that are right.”

Q: What should a hiring manager know about your job to make the relationship more effective?

A: “Honest and open communication matters. Not only is this aligned with Managed Solution’s values and Code of Conduct, it’s truly critical for recruiting and other Staffing Services. A hiring manager needs to be honest and realistic about budgets, the true needs of their team, – and sometimes as an outside entity, I’m able to help them see another side of the coin. Whether that’s advising the client about the right pay scale for a position with a specific region or helping them see that their job description is unrealistic (or describes three different jobs), I really appreciate when hiring managers value this two-way feedback. I think it brings us more credibility as recruiters and ultimately helps clients fill their needs.

I think it’s also important for a hiring manager to understand that my role as a recruiter is to help sell the value of an organization or position to candidates. The time we invest up front in an intake call positions me to effectively communicate with potential candidates about the roles, and to proactively answer the questions they have. We’ll both spend more time talking to the right people if a hiring manager spends the time with me up front to help me learn how their team functions, what types of soft skills help someone thrive, and what perks/benefits exist within their organizations. I’ll definitely do the right homework on my side to read the job description, the company website, and more before that meeting, but there’s nothing like learning straight from the hiring manager how the team is doing and what it needs.”

Q: What are your hopes for Managed Solution’s Staffing Services?

A: “My hope is that we can continue building trust with our clients, as we succeed in connecting them with qualified talent. I know I’ve done my job when a client comes back for help with another opening or refers us to their colleague for assistance on a role. Continuing to help good people find fulfilling work with amazing organizations – that’s what it’s all about!”

Ready to hand over the heavy lifting to us? Email us about our Staffing Services today!

In this video interview, you'll hear from Managed Solution CEO Sean Ferrel as he discusses how and why he got started with IT, his passion for people and how he's created a great culture, and what technology and other facets of business leaders should be focused on, especially with the current remote workforce.

How have you managed to get through and grow from tough times like the one we're experiencing now with COVID?

believe in the concept of taking the opportunity during these times. There's a restaurateur that is talking about taking his business to the next level right now, and during a pandemic when restaurants are barely open that might seem really hard to do, but he makes an analogy of comparing it to a forest and all the trees burn down and there are a few seedlings left and if you just give them water they can grow. So there becomes these sprouting companies. My advice is to ignore the negativity and the doubters and just seize the moment and opportunity. It's important to adapt to the environment and that's what we've done well during these times is just reacting to what our customers need.

What must leaders be paying attention to right now to ensure they're keeping the culture and the company alive?

I do think tech is and should be front and center now. Leaders are trying to figure out how to drive culture from afar and what does that mean - happy hour, activities. A lot of us are finding new ways to connect through the tools we have and be more transparent with employees through video. There are challenges though- there's nothing better than sitting face to face with some in a room and understanding each other and feeling their warmth, their trust, and I don’t think tech will solve that because we need that. It's a challenge but to combat that, I think it's important to stay curious, understand what's going on, not overreacting and doing things with humility. Don’t just worry about what you're feeling but what everyone in your organization is feeling. In regards to tech, I think leaders need to look at all the data they're collecting, and how they can automate processes within their business with the data that they have.

How can they take the great data and get business intelligence out of it so you can make data-driven decisions?

If you don't have the data, you need to figure out how to aggregate that data somehow. It's important to make sure your systems are integrating and putting the data together. It allows you to make decisions around investments and hiring. Collaborative tools are obviously huge now and we're getting hung up on conferencing tool - but how can businesses take it further and integrate communication tools with their data such as documents and files. Microsoft does a great job with this and Google is continuing to do more with this. Lastly, security is more prevalent than ever. A lot of companies are becoming more regulated and being forced to comply with security measures, but we're seeing more hackers out there coming in and grabbing information and credentials. It's not a topic talked about enough because it doesn’t contribute to productivity but if you're breached, your company goes into a standstill and productivity doesn’t exist so it's important to think of these things ahead of time. We've seen businesses lose $250,000 because of one click.

How can people ensure their data input is true and accurate?

We operate a services company. When it was the beginning of COVID, we started looking at our call logs, we saw an uptick in off-hour calls, but the type of calls that come in is what's important. Our help desk puts a ticket in to categorize it and add details. This data's accuracy is really important because it helps us determine what kind of issues our customers are having, do we need to hire, and what kind of technical skillset we need to hire for. Another example, on the revenue side, we tried to figure out what our sales pipeline looked like as businesses were evolving to COVID. It helped us look at the opportunities coming in, and the data needs to be accurate as far as what project or service we're going to provide, then we need to make sure we're staffing correctly for that, whether it's existing or new resources.

With so many options available, how do people choose the right tech for them?

People have gotten hung up on products that they're fans of, but I think we need to look at integrations and how we do things holistically. Each piece of tech can have a role, just as humans do, and the best businesses are operationally excellent with spot-on processes. Fast forward to now, it's become a challenge to sometimes get the information and data connected. We need to be more agnostic with our technology. Think beyond the hardware and tools, and think about the solution and process. I think if we can change our thinking that way, then they'll be successful. And the cloud is really what enables us to integrate things so well.

Any parting thoughts?

There's a consumption gap in technology right now. We have end users that can’t keep up with all the features and functionalities of their applications.  There's just so much that can be done. What I think is happening with the tech industry, is it should become about driving the end-user experience. Even if there's a great product in the market, unless your users are willing to adopt the technology, it's an uphill battle. If employees don't utilize the expensive new platform you bought, then what good is it? We have to make sure the technology we're implementing has a positive end-user experience and high adoption.

How can you find the best IT service provider? When it comes to choosing between reliable managed service providers, the best business advice is to understand what sets apart the best IT service providers from the rest. 

If your online business plans include outsourcing IT services, be sure you're ready to do research and ask the right related question before investing your time and money. Beyond competitive pricing, the best IT service provider should be able to protect your online business and keep your data secure. It should also provide full assistance if you are in the middle of digital transformation. 

Services vary depending on the service provider; however, the best outsourcing solutions and your top picks should offer a wide range of services and boast positive customer service ratings. To figure out whether a managed services provider is the right choice for you, or narrow the selection down to your top picks, ask the following questions and any other related questions before negotiating a contract.

Are You Offshore or Local?

The way the IT service provider handles their business operations is an excellent indicator of the customer experience you should be expecting. Offshore solutions usually offer lower prices but lack the language capabilities and on-site support. They can handle monitoring and ticketing remotely, but local issues that may need immediate attention just can't be solved with offshore solutions. With offshoring, there's also the issue of unreliable internet speed, which results in slow download speed and upload speeds. Online home-based businesses need peace of mind that their overall business doesn't suffer just because their offshore outsourced provider doesn't have a reliable internet provider. 

On the other hand, local MSP companies will likely use business internet providers that you also use and trust. They also behave proactively and offer assistance quickly and effectively. The difference in availability and skills can influence the way you grow your business ideas. The bottom line is the best IT service providers can usually be found in your backyard. 

Do You Have Any SLAs in Place?

A service-level agreement (SLA) is a commitment between a service provider and a client. These agreements are essential when it comes to response times. You want a reliable service provider that can react as soon as possible to keep your data secure and issues managed. Without an SLA in place, you could end up waiting hours or even days before your service provider responds to your request. The best IT service providers usually have some sort of SLA or targets in place that they adhere to, to make sure you're getting the support your organization requires. 

What Is Your Team's Skill Set, and Does It Align With Our Business Objectives?

If you want to get the best out of outsourcing, you want your service provider to be very familiar with your online business operations. Depending on the skills of their staff, they can either completely understand your goals and objectives or, they could fall below your required standards and cause problems further down the road.

Are You Willing to Provide Testimonials or References?

The default benchmark of success has always been customer satisfaction. Go through their web page and look for testimonials and previous experiences. Even if you find something, don't stop there. Browse the internet for more information that may be found in forums and review websites. Any kind of information provided by their previous customers will be worth your while.

How Long Have You Been in Business?

MSP companies aren't something new in the market as such business models have been around for years now. Companies with a good reputation already have an established track record, so you should consider historical data. If they are in business for years and have no red flags in terms of customer satisfaction, you should consider taking a closer look.

How Do You Define Your Services, and What Is Included in Support?

Before investing your time and money on a service provider, be clear about the kind of services and support they offer. It should also be evident what kind of services you will be getting according to their pricing model. Figure out what kind of platforms, data storage, and applications they offer. Determine how and if they resonate with your online business model and current needs.

Are You Proactive?

When it comes to outsourced services, there is a big difference between a proactive and reactive approach. Proactive service providers keep a close eye on your overall situation and provide valuable information when needed. By analyzing and processing available data, they can recognize potential problems and solve them even before they become an issue. A reactive approach is entirely different and considers offering assistance only when the client requests it.

Do You Offer Around-The-Clock Coverage?

24/7/365 coverage has almost become an industry standard, but not all MSP companies offer such services. With things like network monitoring and average response times, you want non-stop availability. If a problem occurs in the middle of the night, there will still be someone available to address it even though your in-house team isn't present in the office.

Are Security and Data Backups Included?

Most of the information in your company is considered sensitive data, and you will want to protect your business data. Good outsourced solutions will include the security and protection of your data. Cyber attacks are present now more than ever, and your service provider should be able to prevent such events from happening. Ask them if they use cloud storage or data centers and how they keep them secure. 

How Often Do You Test Backups?

Storing backups is great, but they are only as good as their ability to be restored. Whether the company leverages cloud storage or data centers, look for companies that take care of your backups and frequently test them.

What Is the Contract Duration, and How Transparent Is It?

Once you hire an outsourcing service provider, you will need to sign a contract. If you don't pay close attention to the details, you may end up signing a terrible deal that is binding. If you are dealing with professional businesses like Managed Solution, you should be able to test the services and cancel if you feel like it. In this case, there is a 60-day, no-fee opt-out clause that guarantees customer satisfaction.

Do You Offer Contract Flexibility?

If you are planning to scale your online business, you may require adding or removing staff members in your remote team. A flexible contract allows you to do so. However, a flexible contract doesn't always mean that you will get the best service all the time. Outsourcing companies with small teams will struggle to provide additional staff in these situations, so you should always look for solutions that aren't understaffed.


Our best business advice if your business plans to find an alternative to an in-house IT team, you should be on the lookout for service providers with updated business technology and full transparency. Start by checking their account management background and try to notice any red flags that might cause suspicion. For validation purposes and to protect your overall business, you may even want to contact other companies that use their services. 

Keeping your data secure should be a top priority. Protect your business and be sure to ask any related questions regarding their data storage, data backups, business internet speeds, and the measures they take to protect your business. A reliable and skilled service provider can be your shortcut to success. Cost reduction and assistance on-demand are just a few pros of outsourcing, but they play a crucial part in staff management. But, as always, it is all about making the right choice.

It seems that no matter how you put it, there are benefits of outsourced IT services.  In general, outsourcing will always have advantages over an in-house team.

The benefits of outsourcing IT range from improved business functions and increased productivity to lower operating costs, which help you gain a competitive edge. If you find a reliable outsourcing company, you can expect 24/7 expert coverage at all times that can immensely help business models that rely on customer interaction. The advancement of information technology has brought a lot of improvements to outsourcing in general, and current technology helps unlock all of the benefits of outsourcing. That is why we are taking a closer look at how outsourcing your information technology activities can benefit your company in the long and short term.

Better Management of Internal Resources and Staffing Flexibility 

Business owners agree that outsourced solutions don't only influence operational costs but also the allocation of in-house team resources. Running your business with an in-house IT team means more office space, regular training, employee benefits, and the other costs involved in maintaining a full-time staff. 

Finding reliable and well-informed team members can also be an exhausting and costly venture for both you and your hiring manager. Finding just the right candidates consumes time and money while outsourcing solves that problem by default. 

To reduce costs while still gaining the necessary skill sets, many companies choose to outsource. The cost of outsourcing is at a very low point when compared with the level of expertise of outsourced teams. It should go without saying that your CTO (or any other staff member for that matter) will benefit from increased productivity if you let them focus on core activities rather than dealing with the technical difficulties your customers and employees may be facing. Better staff management and a streamlined process within the company leads to cost savings and lower cost of operations in general.

Reliability and Efficiency

Different companies may choose to outsource for various reasons, but nothing beats 24/7 coverage 365 days a year regardless of your time zone. Medium-sized businesses can limit their business functions if just one of their core members doesn't turn up for work for a few days of the week. This is not the case with outsourced vendors because they can never suffer from understaffing. Their teams are operational around the clock, and the absence of one team member has absolutely no impact on your business. Their pricing packages guarantee full-coverage, with no exceptions. You, as a customer can choose between a variety of packages and services:

When looking at the pros and cons, the scale always tips in favor of outsourced IT support teams. When your best staff members are allowed to focus on core competencies, faster scaling becomes an option, and outsourcing can be very beneficial in these cases.

By providing access to a talent pool that can be managed based on your needs and requirements, outsourced solutions let you set the terms on which you want to scale. The ability to change and end contracts on-demand is considered as an essential advantage of outsourcing. Whenever you feel the need to change or renegotiate the contract you signed with your outsourcing partner, you can do so in a matter of hours or even minutes. This type of flexibility doesn't require a long-term commitment to in-house staff members but instead provides access to manageable resources that are allocated based on your business requirements.

Proactive and Dependable Monitoring

It is common knowledge that inhouse IT teams are mostly available from 9 to 5. After the traditional work hours are over, providing support to your customers, or monitoring your network with in-house staff can become costly when you have to pay for overtime. When you choose to outsource, the service provider needs to respect any SLAs you might have signed. This guarantees effective escalation processes with no drawbacks for your business and company. If you can't provide 24/7 coverage due to in-house staffing, you are operating with a single point of failure. If a problem occurs and needs immediate attention, there will be no one to address the issue, which is not the case with outsourcing and over the clock coverage.

Minimal Management With Maximum Efficiency

Process outsourcing is the future of IT. Offices require equipment, constant management, and continuous training if you want your staff to be at the top of their game at all times. Companies that outsource their IT services don't have to worry about this because the service provider handles training and management while your key members focus on what matters. Outsourcing also means you benefit from the advanced business technology that the third-party service provider leverages as part of their outsourcing process.  

Outsourcing companies put in enough time and effort to understand your business's unique requirements. By understanding your core activities and company culture, outsourced teams can become a valuable asset for your business. Worrying about finding internal resources with the right skill sets no longer becomes your problem because your outsourcing partner will only hire the best talent in the industry that can deliver the level of quality your business needs. By having access to such a talent pool, you can focus on efficiency and in-house management. At the same time, your remote team handles server monitoring, risk management, data center disaster recovery, customer assistance, all while ensuring your cybersecurity. 


Outsourcing is a growing trend in the industry. And by looking at the benefits of outsourcing IT, which reveals that the advantage of outsourcing outweighs the disadvantages, it's easy to recognize why business owners choose to outsource. The constant competition created by the open market drives companies toward strategies to reduce costs by improving staffing flexibility. Outsourcing has proven over time that it can be a permanent solution to the evolving problem every business faces. On-site assistance for your employees leads to minimal downtime while a talent pool ensures a competitive edge and the peace of mind that you will always have all hands on deck at your service desk. 

Staff management and monitoring are usually reserved for the "9 to 5" time slot, but business process outsourcing has broken that barrier. 24/7/365 device monitoring, ticketing system, antivirus, reporting & more are now available at affordable prices and a high level of quality. 

Companies like Managed Solutions also offer preemptive maintenance, desktop & infrastructure support & resolutions, technology roadmap guidance, optimized uptime, and more with on-site physical support. Get in touch today and accelerate your business growth with reduced operational costs and maximum efficiency.

We all know that things are changing fast in today's day and age. And nowhere else is this truer than in the IT world. To keep up with progress, companies have to upgrade or replace their systems continually if they wish to remain competitive and thrive in the 21-st century market. This could mean outsourcing your IT and getting an assessment.

Knowing exactly when it's time to outsource your IT infrastructure and get an assessment can prove the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful business year. That said, here are several telltale signs letting you know your IT system is outdated.

When You Can't Capitalize on New Opportunities

With today's technological advancements, customers expect their needs to be anticipated to provide a headache-free experience. Old legacy infrastructure rarely can provide this level of customer satisfaction. What's more, maintaining these outdated systems will cause businesses to be more at risk of outside forces and will often cost more over the mid to long-term.

Slow or No Growth Whatsoever

Business growth is usually a reliable indicator of technology readiness. When companies experience faster-rising costs than the top line, the culprit is almost always a technology gap. Businesses that properly use and implement technology will see top-line growth and lower operational costs at the same time.

Limited IT Productivity

It's a pretty well-known fact that regularly failing to meet deadlines is usually tied to a larger productivity problem. When it comes to outdated IT technology, the signs are pretty subtle and quite easy to ignore. But if your staff is starting to devise workarounds for your software, or are using supplemental software to make up for your current system's shortcomings, you know your current technology is doing more harm than good, and it's probably time to outsource your infrastructure.

Isolated Siloed Systems

Today's technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate. With the trend of the past decade being towards openness and more integration, many legacy IT systems are being left behind. As such, today's synergy created between data-producing and data-consuming systems cannot be understated in terms of their beneficial effect on productivity.

The problem, however, arises when many organizations are still using legacy IT, meaning that their teams are working in isolated silos. Trying to upgrade too many systems at once can also be counterproductive as it can slow down the overall pace and obscure important proof points. Outsourcing can be a more efficient alternative in this regard.

Dated Core Apps

Core applications such as a company's ERP and CRM are often taken for granted and will go untouched for many years. This oversight often happens because replacing them will usually result in a partial or complete business shut down for the duration of the transition. But many of the other applications will be changing more quickly, making your core systems lag in terms of features, functionality, and integration.

Reliance on Old Applications

Companies can also find themselves over-relying on old applications that are no longer supported by their developers. This reliance can tie the entire organization to an old IT system, which also increases security risks. These, so-called orphan applications need to be addressed before any serious issues arise. Outsourcing your IT infrastructure will help bypass the situation.

For those of us who don't know, on the 9th of July 2019 Microsoft will end its support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. Afterward, you will no longer receive any regular security updates.

It will result in the SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 as increasingly more vulnerable to cyber-attacks in the future, as well as potential business interruptions and loss of data. Likewise, the end of support will also mean that you can fail to meet various compliance standards and industry regulations. Also, your organization will encounter higher maintenance costs regarding legacy servers, firewalls, intrusion systems, and other similar tools that help protect your network and computers.

So, what are your options going forward? There are several options available to you to make this transition a seamless one for your organization.

Migrate to Azure

The first of these options is to migrate to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance. It is a pretty straightforward option with no application code changes and almost no downtime to your systems. A similar option is to move to Azure Virtual Machines. It will provide you with three years of extended security updates at no cost, and you can update to a newer version whenever you are ready.

By making use of Azure Hybrid Benefit, on the other hand, you will be able to run Windows virtual machines on Azure at a lower rate. You can save up to 55% with this option on your existing licenses. You will, however, need to have Software Assurance to use it.

All of these options presented here will require an Azure environment. It can be purchased in different ways and can be used beyond just hosting virtual machines. And SQL Server in Azure can be operated as a database-as-a-service

so that any patches will be assured automatically.

On-Premises Upgrades

For better security, performance, availability, and opportunity for innovation via cloud analytics, you should also upgrade your systems to SQL Server 2017. Several enhancements come with SQL Server 2017, which will help you stay more secure and increase performance. Among these, we can count the Automatic Plan Correction, which will help detect and automatically correct any query plan stability issues.

Similarly, there's the Adaptive Query Processing (AQP) that can batch mode operations used with Columnstore indexes. There are also numerous other diagnostic and troubleshooting improvements. Some Showplan enhancements, for instance, are great at query tuning. Several new DMVs are useful for diagnostic and troubleshooting purposes.

SQL Server 2017 also brings to the table some community-driven enhancements such as the possibility for smart transaction log backup, differential backup, better TempDB monitoring, and diagnostics, as well as improved backup performance for small databases on high-end servers.

Keep in mind that, if you are unable to make the transition before the deadline, there is the possibility to extend security updates for an additional three years. Nevertheless, this option comes at a rather steep cost, but you have the opportunity to cover only the workloads that need it while you make the necessary upgrades.


While the end of support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will happen in July 2019, it will also occur for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on January 14, 2020. You can take this opportunity to modernize your entire database to the latest version of the Windows Server. Managed Solution is here to help you through this whole transition.


Contact us Today!

Chat with an expert about your business’s technology needs.