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Managed Solution Unveils New Website: Embracing a Human-First Approach to Technology in the New Year  

Managed Solution unveils a fresh website on January 17, 2024. This unveiling highlights their dedication to putting people first in the ever-evolving technology sector.

In our ever-evolving digital landscape, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. That's why we are thrilled to announce the launch of our new and improved website in 2024. With a sleek and user-friendly interface, navigating through our services and solutions will be a breeze. If you wish to enhance your digital environment or seek sophisticated tech solutions, our website is your ideal destination.

Managed solution new website launch embarking on better delivery on digital transformation

The Most Exciting Part

Our commitment to your success doesn't stop there. We understand that technology is constantly changing, and so are your needs.

We will continue to dedicate resources to research and development. Ensuring our IT solutions remain up-to-date and tailored to your needs. Our experts are always available to provide personalized help and guidance, ensuring your success in the digital world.

More Than Meets the Eye

We've not only improved aesthetics, but also enriched the functionality and the relevancy of our existing content. As you explore our website, be sure to check out some of our enhanced features and resources: 

  • Events Page: Our new events page is home to our upcoming events, workshops and webinars, as well as past events to watch on-demand. Engage with us on a more personal level and stay tuned for exciting opportunities for collaboration and learning. 
  • Blog Posts: Our newly introduced blog section offers insights, tips and discussions on various facets of IT. Get your regular dose of tech wisdom directly from the experts.  
  • Case Studies: Our success is the success of our clients, partners and team. Read our case studies to see how we conquer challenges, achieve lofty goals and build lasting connections. 
  • Services: Explore our full range of services, tailored to meet the diverse needs of businesses in the digital age.
  • Careers and Culture: Get a glimpse into our company culture through our Careers page. Discover job opportunities and learn more about our commitment to growth, success and work-life balance. 

Launching our new website is just one of the ways we're supporting our clients in their continuous journey towards digital transformation. At the heart of our operations is our unwavering commitment to people. We believe that technology should be inclusive and accessible to all.

As we move forward in the new year, we will enhance our offerings, embrace new challenges and continue to create IT solutions that empower businesses and individuals alike. Our focus on people has been instrumental in reaching our current position. It will also continue to guide our future. Our goal is to create an IT system that is adaptable, attentive, and open to everyone.

 Stay Updated

In addition to our website, we are excited to bring you a wealth of industry insights and knowledge through our newsletter. When you subscribe to our newsletter, you'll be the first to know about upcoming events, webinars, and workshops that can further enhance your understanding of the ever-evolving IT landscape.

As we embark on this exciting journey into the future, we invite you to stay connected with us. Beyond subscribing to our newsletter, we encourage you to follow us on social and engage with our content. Together, we can drive digital success stories and shape a future where technology empowers and enriches lives. We are grateful for your continued support and look forward to serving you better in the years to come.

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8 Tips to Prepare your Business for a Recession

Don't lose your shirt during a recession -- read on for helpful tips and tricks to keep your business thriving!

 

Recessions can be challenging times for businesses of all sizes. Due to recent events, many businesses are fearful of what lies ahead economically. Thankfully, there is wisdom abound from the financial crisis of 2008, and a plethora of strategies to help you prepare your business for a recession so that you can maintain growth!

 

Diversify Your Offerings

During a recession, customers may be more cautious with their spending. As a result, businesses that rely on a single product or service may struggle to generate enough revenue.

That's why diversifying your offerings and opening new streams of revenue is a great way to get ahead. By expanding your product or service offerings, you can appeal to a wider range of customers and reduce your reliance on any single product or service.

To do this, consider areas of value your business has the capabilities of providing that you aren’t currently making any revenue off of, or additional products that you can invest in creating that may provide a great profit for you.

For example, a restaurant might consider offering catering services or selling branded merchandise. Alternatively, you could expand your menu to include more options, such as vegetarian or gluten-free dishes.

If, like us, you’re a tech company, this concept can still apply to you! Perhaps you have an abundance of expertise in your field that you can use to create and sell courses through sites like Udemy.

You might also consider challenging your expertise and adding more value to existing clients. For example, if you are a software provider with content writing talent, you can potentially use that to create a content writing service for existing clients.

 

Focus on Customer Service

During a recession, customers may be more selective about where they spend their money. That's why it's essential to focus on providing exceptional customer service. Providing consistent, quality customer service will help you build customer loyalty while also attracting new customers through word of mouth.

To do this, consider the areas that may affect the quality of service your staff provides. If there is opportunity to boost your teams’ internal engagement and morale, be sure to tune into that. Creating a healthy and engaged working environment sets the stage for your teams servicing to improve.

It’s also wise to consider investing in additional training for your staff. Ensure that your employees understand your business's values and are equipped to handle customer inquiries and complaints. You may also want to consider offering incentives to customers who refer new business to you.

 

Invest in Marketing

History has taught us that businesses who lean into advertising and marketing during recessions tend to perform better. It can be tempting to cut back on marketing expenses to save money. However, investing in marketing can actually help your business grow during tough economic times.

For one, increasing your marketing efforts in general allows you to reach new customers and increase brand awareness. However, and most importantly, marketing during a recession means there will be less competition.

Many businesses will try to get ahead by giving into cost-cutting temptation or will sadly not have the means to advertise, giving a small amount of other businesses more opportunity to shine. That being said, you want to be sure you budget your advertising and marketing efforts appropriately.

To make the most of your marketing budget, consider investing in online advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing campaigns. These forms of marketing can be highly effective and cost-efficient.

Leaning into free marketing tactics can also make a large impact on lead generation. For this we recommend rolling up your sleeves and putting in the effort to boost your SEO and social presence as much as possible.

Another great and cost-effective strategy is collaboration. Consider partnering with other businesses or organizations to co-promote each other's products or services.

 

Improve Operational Efficiency

This part probably goes without saying but it's essential to focus on improving operational efficiency to reduce costs and increase profitability. To better help you prepare your business for recession, look for ways to streamline processes and eliminate waste.

You may also consider outsourcing certain tasks to reduce overhead costs, but we’ll discuss that more later.

To improve operational efficiency, consider using technology to automate manual tasks. For example, you could use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage customer interactions, or a project management tool to streamline your team's workflow.

If this sounds a bit overwhelming, you can also look into freelancing or booking a consultant to help you identify inefficiencies and implement solutions.

 

Keep an Eye on Cash Flow

Cash flow is critical during a recession. Make sure that you are closely monitoring your cash flow and again, taking steps to reduce expenses where possible.

If possible, try negotiating with suppliers for discounts or better payment terms, and be on the lookout for opportunities to reduce inventory levels.

To manage your cash flow effectively, consider creating a cash flow forecast. This will help you anticipate your cash needs and plan accordingly.

You may also want to think about working with a financial advisor to help you develop a cash flow management strategy.

 

Partnerships and Collaborations

As the economy slows, it may prove challenging to fund new projects or initiatives. However, by forming partnerships and collaborations with other businesses, you can pool resources and achieve common goals.

To form partnerships and collaborate with other businesses, start by identifying businesses that share your values and target market. Reach out to these businesses and propose a mutually beneficial partnership or collaboration.

Using social media platforms or attending industry events are also great ways to network with other business owners and find potential partners.

 

Outsource Non-Core Functions

During a recession, it may be difficult to justify hiring new employees to handle non-core functions. That's where outsourcing can be a valuable tool. By outsourcing non-core functions, you can reduce overhead costs and free up resources to focus on your core business.

To determine which functions to outsource, start by identifying the tasks that are not critical to your business's success. This may include tasks such as accounting, human resources, or IT support. Then, research outsourcing providers and compare their costs and services to find the best provider that fits your budget.

Keep in mind that when outsourcing, it's critical to choose a provider that aligns with your business's values and goals. Look for a provider with a proven track record of success and good customer reviews.

It's also essential to establish clear expectations and communication channels to ensure that the outsourcing relationship is successful.

 

Outsourcing for Information Systems

Diving a little deeper here into our area of expertise, outsourcing some or all of your IT services can greatly benefit your business during a recession and in general.

Read our full article on that here. But to keep it short and sweet, outsourcing your information systems can help you reduce costs, improve efficiency, and access specialized expertise.

To outsource your information systems, start by identifying the specific functions of IT that you want to outsource. This may include software development, data management, cybersecurity, or Helpdesk support. Then research outsourcing providers that specialize in these areas.

Like all outsourcing goes, you want to be sure to choose a provider with experience in your industry and a proven track record of success. Look for a provider that offers a range of services and can provide customized solutions to meet your business's specific needs.

 

Final Notes

As unpleasant as economic crisis are, there are so many creative strategies and opportunities to help your business thrive. By expanding your offerings, boosting your marketing, collaborating with other businesses, outsourcing, or doing combination of these things – you can prepare your business for a recession and whatever else life throws at you!

If you’d like to learn more about IT outsourcing, let us help walk you through the process to give you a better idea of what it looks like and how much you can save!

6 Benefits of Working with a Managed Service Provider 

(For small or one-person IT teams) 

 

There is nothing wrong with having a small IT team. When your company is starting out and the caseloads are simple, that small-scale department works well! Benefits of working with a managed service provider.

However, as your company grows, and your IT needs begin to stack up – you might find that working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) could be a match made in heaven (compared to traditional in-house additions). 

We understand that outsourcing may feel like a big step, so we want to speak to that and shed some light on all the ways that teaming up with an MSP can help you and your team succeed in all things IT!

 

Save Money

You may be surprised to find out that outsourcing usually saves companies money or provides more value for a lower cost. This is primarily because when you outsource, you no longer pay for the expenses associated with hiring a new team member, or members for that matter.

Most Managed service providers offer tiered (silver, gold, platinum) packages that allow you to set a budget that works for you while giving you a larger breadth of talent and support. 

Managed Service Providers can go beyond managed services to save you and your team money. From procurement to security, there are plenty of cost-saving services and software’s that come with the right outsourcing partner.  

Many MSPs (Managed service providers) have procurement experts that can provide you with more affordable and robust licensing opportunities. Furthermore, the right MSP should also be able to help you bolster security measures to ensure that your data and networks are secured.  

The latter being especially important for cost-savings, as Cybersecurity prevention is now estimated to save businesses up to $1.4 million per incident. 

Learn more about the financial benefits of MSPs in our recent article, where we discuss how outsourcing IT can help with cost-savings and potentially boost revenue.

 

Scale Support 

With an MSP you can scale your reach as needed. For example, at Managed Solution, cases are escalated up the ladder until resolved.  

blog post image for managed solutions blog on the 6 benefits of working with a managed service provider.

Meaning that if you get a case that you would like to assign to our team, we will align it with expertise according to its priority level and it will escalate up from there until resolved. 

Another great benefit of working with an MSP, like Managed Solution, is if the MSP you work with is a Microsoft partner – you also get t Microsoft Premier Support as a final escalation for the especially challenging cases that revolve around Microsoft services/ software. 

Furthermore, as your company’s IT needs grow, you will have the support you need to increase your overall service level in real-time. 

Your MSP will monitor your needs and offer guidance on what services should be scaled up or down. Helping to optimize user-satisfaction and cost-effectiveness, simultaneously.

 

Security 

By 2025 humanity’s data will reach 175 zettabytes. We’ll take a quick pause for you to look up zettabytes. There are about 21 zeroes following that 175.  

There is a TON of data available now, and as that pool grows, so too do its attackers. Last year alone global cyberattacks increased by 38%. 

Now more than ever security should be brought to the forefront of business conversations. When considering working with an MSP make sure they are security focused and can offer the abundance of tools and services you can leverage to ensure that your data is protected.  

Another one of the great benefits of working with a Managed Service Provider? Many MSPs offer the markets’ best and most current cybersecurity products and services. These include company-wide training, email two-step factor authentication, and network monitoring.  

Some can also provide software that leverages artificial intelligence to help you detect potential viruses and attacks. Another vital aspect of security is having a solid plan for data backup and disaster recovery, which, you guessed it, MSPs can provide. 

With disaster recovery comes the benefit of minimized downtime which can save companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. An equipped and adept managed service provider can prove to be a vital resource for those worse case scenarios.  

But of course, with the amplified support and governance of your system and technology, the chances of disaster streaking are greatly decreased 

 

Onboarding and Remote Work 

With an MSP, your onboarding process becomes streamlined. You can work with your MSP to acquire, track, and manage technology for new hires as well as employees throughout your company. 

This is all done through a suite of Microsoft technologies including Active Directory, Intune and Autopilot. As a Microsoft partner, we recommend one of the best active directory software on the market, Azure.  

Azure active directory allows companies to manage applications, authentications, devices, domains, maintain governance, identity protection and so much more!  

Beyond Active Directory, if you need support in multiple cities/states, you will need to find a national or international MSP depending on your locations. This way you can ensure that you’re being supported in the correct time zone so that cases are promptly worked to completion. 

 

New Technology 

With technology evolving quickly and constantly, staying up to date on all-things tech can prove to be extremely costly.  

It isn’t always financially viable to invest in single-use technology. However, with an MSP, you can access the latest tech without having to make huge financial investments.  

This is because many MSPs offer procurement services that allow you to harness the latest technology at an affordable price. 

The right MSP should provide you with expertise and guidance as to which technology licenses and opportunities best fit your current and ever-changing needs. 

 

Focus on Tasks You Love 

When you outsource IT you get to be in control of what kind of work you do in your day to day, and how much you do in your day to day. 

You’re more in control than ever when you outsource. When you delegate tasks and projects, you free yourself up to focus on areas that you enjoy more or that matter most to you! 

In our recent case study with Red Door Interactive, Dennis Gonzalez, their sole, lead IT servicer claims that he is now able to spend less time focusing on low-level helpdesk tasks. Saving him both time and stress. 

Now Dennis is able to focus more on overseeing important projects and maintenance of cybersecurity, while also leveraging a large team in support and services. 

If you are considering outsourcing some or all of your IT, but do not know where to start, reach out to us! We are happy to help give you an idea of what an MSP partnership can look like for you.

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managed solution celebrates 20 years banner

Managed Solution is proud to celebrate 20 years in business!

 

In 2002 our Founder and CEO, Sean Ferrel, launched a business out of his college dorm. His mission? To create a better way to support companies through the power of technology. What began as a dorm-room dream grew to a fully functioning organization. 

Fueled by an exceptional team of talented individuals -- our success intersects at passion for people and expertise of technology. 

Our Why 

Our reason for coming to work everyday doubles as our secret to success: people. Both internally and externally, we explore technology solutions through a people-first perspective. We believe that the care we take of our team sets the standard for the care that we take of our clients and partners.  

20 Days to celebrate 20 years!  

So how are we celebrating this massive milestone? Every day for 20 days we are digitizing fun group activities through Microsoft Teams. Kicked off with pictures of the team members from 20 years ago! 

On Day 6, we reflected on the core values that make us who we are by looking at the code of conduct that got us where we are today.

Most importantly, we took a moment of gratitude for our team and accomplishments in our quarterly meeting, where many of our amazing staff members were highlighted for their incredible contributions. 

In Our 20th Year We… 

Awards 

This year alone, Managed Solution has been awarded 14 times. Our top-tier leadership team has been recognized for their dedication and direction in a string of honors. Starting with our very own CEO, Sean Ferrel, making San Diego Business Journal’s Most Influential People in San Diego, 40 under 40, and being a finalist for SDBJ’s CEO of the Year.  

Furthermore, we had multiple C-suite staff placements on SDBJ’s Top 50 Influential Women in Tech’s list by our VP of Sales and Marketing - Tina Rountree, and VP of Strategy and Programs - Alecia Wilson, as well as our amazing COO - Jenell Mott! 

As a company, we were also over-the-moon to learn that we were placed on SDBJ’s Best Places to Work list 2022! 

Our powerful solutions and services have also been recognized this year in Expertise.com’s Best Managed IT Service Providers in San Diego, Techreviewer’s Top IT services Companies in 2022, Cloudtango’s Top Managed Service Providers US Select 2022 and many more! 

Community 

At Managed Solution, another huge focus for us is giving back to our San Diego Tech community. 

Some ways we were able to do that include donating Microsoft Technology to San Diego’s Just in Time Foster care Sponsoring and participating in this year’s Cause Conference, to empower ourselves and fellow organizations to make a positive social impact within our community.  We proudly helped sponsor Farm to Table’s charity event, benefiting Hospice of the North coast.

With Center for Community Solution’s Tea and Tonics event, our sponsorship helped raise over $510,000 to aid survivors of domestic abuse and contribute to abuse-prevention initiatives.  

As Cyber Security Month Champions, we spread Awareness during October’s Cyber Security Month to help businesses and organizations stay in-the-know about the best practices for safety and security!  

Speaking of Cyber Security, we had a blast at SIM’s Cyber Security Padre event where we came together with other IT professionals for two of our favorite things: Cyber Security and sports! 

We also enjoyed participating in many of Telarus’s golf events throughout the year, where we were able to connect with an onslaught of amazing individuals in the Tech community!  

Internally 

We've had a big year here at Managed Solution. From employee shout outs to fun bonding events, to babies and weddings and promotions! We couldn’t be more thrilled with the memories and bonds we’ve made this year. 

In February, with our 14 days of love for Employee’s – we shared what we loved about our stellar staff members! 

We came together in fun team building trivia events including this totally tubular 80’s themed trivia night. 

We also highlighted our Rockstar team members in our ‘Player of the month’ program. Every month, we reward a staff member who has gone above and beyond with 8 additional hours of PTO.  On top of this, we’ll be adding an Employee of the Year category in 2023! 

Want to learn more about our 2023 initiatives, sponsorships and events? Click here[link] to sign-up for our monthly newsletter to stay connected with us! 

The Years Ahead 

Businesses can sometimes lose their purpose in the grind of meeting bottom lines. Here, we understand that by doing right by our people the numbers will always follow.  

What has really defined our success and kept us in a state of growth, is the happiness of our team. Our future holds the promise of maintaining that ideal. Along with that – we have a collective excitement and curious approach for the challenges ahead. 

We are so grateful to have served you for these 20 years and we look forward to the next 20 years… and heck, the 20 after that! Thank you for your continued support, be sure to join us in the celebration on Instagram and Facebook!  (more…)

 

Outsource IT Helpdesk

 

There are many advantages of outsourcing your IT services; some may seem obvious, while others may surprise you. We conducted a survey of our customers and asked why they chose to outsource their IT services, here are the most common answers to that question. 

Optimized Spend 

Far and away, the top answer was reduction of costs. One of the most significant benefits you may see when partnering with a qualified MSP is reduced costs for IT hardware (volume discounts) software and employee costs. Working closely with your Managed Service Provider can help you lower operational costs, minimize capital budget for technology expenses, and reduce overall IT spend.

Rapid Response 

Workplaces and hours are more flexible than ever before.  Which means companies choosing to build out an internal help desk are now scrambling to offer 24/7 support for the business and many are realizing that this is an expensive proposition. A MSP is available after hours, weekends, and even holidays to provide real-time support whenever you need it.    

Certified Engineers 

A huge benefit of outsourcing your IT is that you are partnered with an entire team of professionals that bring a broad depth of knowledge across industries, at a flat monthly rate. The reality is that no one person can keep up with all the changes happening in technology today, and it’s often not in the best interest of a business, non-profit, or health provider to remain “status quo”. When you partner with a qualified MSP, you receive a team of IT professionals, project managers, cloud experts, help desk professionals, and virtual CIOs that that bring best of breed solutions to help your company remain competitive.   

Security 

Cyber security is not a “set it and forget it” function anymore. In today’s world of increasing ransomware and cyber-crime, all companies need to be looking at MSPs that bring security solutions to the forefront of the conversation. Many MSPs offer the most current cyber products in the market, including training your staff, email, and network monitoring, and even leveraging software that uses artificial intelligence to detect potential issues before they become a problem.   

Scalability 

As your business grows and changes, your IT needs grow, change, and evolve, and you will need to scale your IT systems up or down to accommodate those needs. IT demands can be changed in real-time to meet your unique business needs weather you’re on premise or in the cloud. Your MSP should monitor your needs and provide suggestions to scale up or down based on your hardware usage to ensure that your user experience is maximized while costs are kept low.       

Transparency  

Many MSPs can provide detail customized reporting about your ticket resolution times and utilization of their services.  Also, the ability to log into a dashboard that can show you the health of your IT systems, both on premise and in the cloud. 

What Size Company Benefits from Working with an MSP? 

Overall any size company can receive enormous benefits when working with a Managed Service Provider. A company,  that does not have an IT department can retain a Managed Service Provider to act as an outsourced IT staff that keeps the computers and the network running, makes sure that software upgrades and patches are done, provides cyber security services to minimize the risk of hacks or ransomware, and makes recommendations about timing to replace aging internal servers and networking equipment. Or provide consulting if moving everything to a cloud environment makes more sense for greater accessibility and flexibility.  

Mid-size and large companies, that have an IT Manager, or some IT staff often outsource pieces of their IT functions to avoid hiring and training additional IT engineers and avoid the added expense of company-paid benefits or the risk of turnover that is prevalent today.    

When there is an internal IT team, the MSP staff often takes care of the “day-to-day” issues, such as helping users when they are forgetting passwords, supporting users with access to applications and data, or assisting with network issues.  Many large companies hire an MSP to manage cyber security software and provide “tier 3” technical support beyond the capabilities of internal junior-level IT staff.   

 

What Should I Consider When Selecting a Managed Service Provider? 

Now if you’ve read this far and are thinking, “I could really use the services of a Managed Service Provider,” here are some things to consider...   

Expertise 

Once you understand the range of services you need, look for a Managed Service Provider with the experience and expertise to provide reliable IT solutions for those services. Many small to mid-size Managed Service Providers across the United States specialize in specific products and specific industries. Do your plans include moving to the cloud, look for a Managed Service Provider with cloud experience. Or, if you have a particular software integral to your business, consider a MSP that understands and supports that software.   Struggling with  compliance requirements, make sure the MSP has the tools and ability to support your organization through this complex process. 

A Managed Service Provider with the right expertise can become a partner in your business’s growth, management, and health.   

Range of Services 

Every MSP has a range of services that they provide to take care of your IT and cloud needs. Those can include onsite IT resources, remote technical support and network monitoring.  Along with cyber security software products, cloud hosting and management, even virtual CIO services. Determine the services you need and partner with a Managed Service Provider that comprehensively addresses your unique needs.   

 

Security Solutions  

It is critical to work with a MSP that operates in protected environments to ensure the safety of your data. Find out what security products are available and if they’re offering the most comprehensive solutions to keep your data safe.   

If you’re in a cloud environment here are some items to consider:

  • are they advising a “shared” cloud or a “private” cloud
  • consequently what are the risk should another of their clients fall to a cyber-attack
  • if you need to change service providers would there be a cost to migrate your systems off their platform
  • how easy would it be to migrate off the platform

Customer Experience 

Firstly make sure to discuss your needs and requirements when it comes to response times.  Dig into the support structure to make sure they have an adequate number of employees to support your organization.  What type of customer service does the Managed Service Provider provide? Customer service should be apparent at every stage of their operation, from the sales team to the technical support. A MSP is an essential part of your tech team, ensure you are working with a helpful service-minded provider. Most MSPs monitor client satisfaction, ask to see those scores to find out how their clients experience the service received.   

Reach 

If you have offices in multiple cities or states, find a MSP that can support all locations. However many MSPs work only regionally, while others have the resources to provide services nationally or internationally.   

Trust 

Turning over your IT services to an MSP is a big decision that involves a great deal of trust. Make the right decision, and you sleep well at night. Make the wrong decision, and your business will suffer.    

Understandably trust is earned over time, so be sure to ask your MSP for the following:

  • references
  • customer satisfaction scores
  • number of years in business
  • partnerships (are they large organizations like Microsoft?)
  • review response and professionalism of sales process

Cloud Customization  

Your business is unique, when considering moving to the cloud, you want a MSP that will create a custom environment. Therefore choose a Managed Service Provider that will customize its services and solutions to help optimize your business.  

Cost 

Since cost is a consideration in business decisions compare the cost of the services to the cost of hiring internally. Typically, a company cannot hire the expertise and resources available at the cost a Managed Service Provider charges. Work with the Managed Service Provider to help them understand your budget and choose services that meet your IT requirements. To stay competitive in today’s market, reduce costs and keep your data secure, consider partnering with a MSP.   

 Interested in learning more about our help desk? Click here.

 

A Comprehensive Overview of IT Roles in an Organization

The value of different IT roles and IT support structures.

In today's blog, we break down the various IT roles that make up a businesses IT department and compare the functions of these roles in-house with outsourced IT structures -- including hybrid options and capabilities.

 

The Importance of Understanding the Make-up of an IT Department

Since technology is advancing at an accelerated speed and changing the digital ecosystem in the business realm, it is both an exciting and challenging time for global industries. Businesses’ technology needs are growing, but so is their capability of supporting those needs.

The truth is, we have become so dependent on technology that any disruption can lead to catastrophic consequences. Every business needs a reliable and effective information systems support department to reduce IT costs, stay competitive, and tackle systems issues that arise.

Furthermore, enterprises attain higher agility and flexibility thanks to outsourced IT support, which allows them to optimize their operations and consequently maximize their profits.

Let’s take a look at how information technology specialists who can provide guidance and help ensure that the systems the IT department manages run smoothly.

In-House vs. Outsourced IT Support

Outsourcing IT support may be the most viable option for startups and small businesses as they tend to lack trained IT personnel . Larger companies may need to employ both mobile and desk-based staff, so their decision may be less clear.

With an in-house IT support team, you will have dedicated personnel that can immediately address hardware and software issues as they appear. There is also the apparent benefit of consistent costs as team members’ salaries remain the same each month.

The disadvantages include possible hidden costs (e.g., hiring a full-time professional) and providing them with an office, desk, computer, payroll account, and other benefits that may drive the cost even higher.

On the other hand, outsourcing IT support tends to be less expensive as much of the costs are spread over multiple clients due to the managed IT services model. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about expenses related to training or certifying IT staff.

Furthermore, with companies like Managed Solution, you get 24/7/365 service and monitoring, as we offer around-the-clock access to IT support specialists.

As for the cons, some business leaders may not feel that their outsourced tech specialists are part of the team. When computer issues arise or when you need advice on the future of technology within your company, some feel that they need to spend time bringing them up to speed.

A way this matter is countered is through finding a provider that puts the people of your company first and cultivates a team of experts with a history of seamless integrations with in-house teams and IT infrastructures of all shapes and sizes.

At Managed Solution, for example, we pride ourselves in these very facets of support, so that you get expert specialists who transition into your organization with ease.

IT Support Roles

The changes new technologies bring to the business environment are disruptive, and the way economy functions is changing fast. The traditional business hierarchical systems are dissolving. The lines between CEO, CIO, CTO, and CFO roles are blurring as a consequence.

Let’s dive into these IT roles, which are so crucial in today’s digital age.

CIO

A Chief Information Officer is a C-level executive that oversees the IT needs of a company. They don’t deal with operational responsibilities (IT directors do that) since their responsibilities and skills are much different than they were 10-20 years ago (and they continue to evolve and adapt).

CIOs are responsible for strategic planning of business growth objectives and creating business value through technology. They oversee the development of customer service platforms, ensure tech procedures and systems lead to desired business outcomes, and manage development and IT team personnel.

They also establish IT standards, strategies, and policies while dealing with IRM (information risk management). CIOs are an important part of a company’s digital transformation.

CTO

The position of a Chief Technology Officer is thought to be one of the vaguest roles because it depends on many factors, such as business area, the number of outsourced/in-house workers, business processing style, etc. The CTO is there to solve tech challenges, work with IT personnel, and keep the organization running.

Their daily duties vary from company to company, but they are usually focused on external clients who purchase the company’s products. CTOs should be informed on the latest innovations, staying on the cutting edge of technology to allow the organization to offer the best products.

IT Director

The responsibilities of an IT director may include managing a team of employees, overseeing the infrastructure of technical operations, increasing user satisfaction, eliminating security risks, maintaining systems and operations, and tracking technology to achieve business goals.

An IT director is the person who oversees the people dealing with these tasks, and he or she is responsible for answering questions such as,

  • “Are IT teams achieving their goals?”
  • “Are they having issues?”
  • "Are other departments providing the necessary support, infrastructure, and resources to the IT department?”

VP of Information Technology

VP of IT is responsible for planning the IT future for the company, as well as for the implementation of systems and their maintenance. Also, he or she must ensure maximum stability and uptime in the organization’s computer networks and systems.

The VP of IT is a technology leader who must be able to plan for the company and rally the troops around the plan, especially when new training is required for system changes and upgrades. In most companies, the VP of IT reports to the CIO.

IT Support Engineer

An IT support engineer is responsible for resolving any IT tasks at hand. They assist the project manager in managing projects, database administration, information security, installing new software, hardware installations, and other tasks to help the department perform their duties.

They need to have deep technical knowledge to be able to address problems efficiently and quickly. They are there to provide tech support for any IT-related issue, dealing with tasks such as:

  • Troubleshooting technical issues regarding equipment, such as a desktop computer, laptops, tablets, printers, or any network-related issues
  • Documenting all the issues and actions taken to resolve issues so other IT personnel can read about the problem and see the solution
  • Configuring computer system phones, printers, and resolve related issues
  • Testing the latest technologies

Managed Service Provider

If you’ve ever come across the term Managed Service Provider (MSP), it is a concept in which organizations and companies outsource specific services to companies specialized in providing them.

If you run a small or medium-sized company, you probably don’t need or cannot afford to hire a CIO, CTO, and IT director. What you can do is outsource a company specialized in providing IT support services that hires professionals who can perform those functions.

MSPs regularly perform areas of business activity such as:

  • Managing software inventories
  • Managing IT infrastructure
  • Managing user access accounts on clients’ systems
  • Offering fully-managed hardware outsourcing
  • Offering tech support to staff
  • Adding network security layers to IT systems
  • Providing strategic guidance and consulting to help clients fulfill their IT initiatives/goals (CIO role)

They can provide Software-as-a-Service and offer remote storage or servers. Some managed service providers are specialized in providing hard-to-find IT expertise to assist users with usage difficulties or prevent issues on a client’s system.

In Conclusion

Large enterprises usually need to segment their IT support department and hire IT specialists (such as a CIO, CTO, IT director, VP of IT, etc.) to drive their tech development, implement the latest tech solutions, and oversee maintenance.

As for startups and SMBs, these organizations are focused on growth but don’t have enough resources to create an in-house IT support team. In that case, outsourcing help from MSPs is often the only viable and cost-effective option to get access to IT experts to support their business growth.

After looking at this breakdown of Outsourced IT, it's easy to see that companies of all shapes and sizes have multitudes of benefits to access including reduced costs, optimized operations, and a breadth of knowledge to access 24/7/365 days a year.

If you're considering Outsourcing IT, contact us today to learn more about what this can look like for your business and understand how we can support your IT goals to achieve greater success.

4 Ways Outsourcing IT Through Managed Services Will Help Your Business

Businesses around the world are turning to Managed Services to improve their workplace. Boost efficiency while reducing costs by outsourcing your IT department.

Here are 4 ways outsourcing IT through Managed Services will help your business:

Managed Services

1) Experienced professionals

There are very few problems that an IT outsourcing company has yet to see. Although having in-house IT is beneficial, a one-person or small IT team does not necessarily ensure that you have the faculty needed to manage every IT problem that your business might need help with.

A Managed Services Provider will always have experienced professionals that have faced an outstanding variety of situations and knows how to fix them. Meaning, they can provide the resources and expertise to give you assurance that your IT infrastructure needs will be met top to bottom.

2) Reduce IT and labor costs

By outsourcing IT, you can convert fixed costs into variable costs so you can see and budget for exactly what you need. Benefits such as flexible payment models allow you to scale your business up and down so you pay for what you really need day-to-day, and not for what you think you might need.

Furthermore, MSPs (such as Managed Solution) frequently offer discounted rates on software licensing & hardware, while also analyzing your specific technology needs to provide consolidation and elimination of unnecessary technology to maximize your spend.

Lastly, the hiring process of new IT professionals is becoming more and more difficult, lengthy, and expensive. By outsourcing IT you can override this costly step while still getting the best professionals without the hiring hassle.

3) Increase core business efficiency

By eliminating the headache of an IT department, businesses can get back to focusing on what they do best. This means having more time and resources to implement new business ideas, increase competitive advantage, and also relay these benefits onto the customers.

4) Decrease risk (and increase security)

One of the biggest fears of companies today is losing data. With the digitalization of so many, if not all, important documents, files, research, records, and more, companies have to be more and more aware of backup and disaster recovery.

Managed Services providers can easily implement and explain BDR plans that are custom-fit to each company. This means no more worrying about whose hands your data is in if your employee loses his mobile device or company laptop. All your data can be secure and reliable.

 

Learn more about managed services provided by Managed Solution

 

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