The IT industry has changed considerably as enterprises have discovered the benefits of modern technology solutions. These solutions include BYOD policies, cloud applications and systems integration. All of these provide increased efficiency, productivity and when delivered well, profitability.
The combination of technical expertise and a strategic business approach make these strategies and solutions possible. Above all, this is being realised in big business via the adoption of a Chief Information Officer (CIO). A CIO uses his or her technical background to develop board level strategies that improve the businesses bottom line. In other words, they figure out how to best leverage the organisations technical spend.
One challenge facing small to medium business (SMB) is how to compete with larger organisations that have the resources to implement such strategies. Unfortunately, hiring a CIO or Director of IT is just not feasible for most businesses with less than 100 staff.
Without the skills and experience of senior IT mangers and CIO's, small business face a number of challenges including:
- Overspend on infrastructure. Many businesses without a technology road-map typically spend 20-30% more on infrastructure than their proactive counterparts.
- Application Creep. Without a cloud strategy, numerous cloud applications being adopted tend to overlap & are generally unmanaged. This results in increased monthly spend, lost productivity of staff and increased risk of data loss.
- Cybersecurity. IT security is an arms race. The only effective way to combat this threat is through careful planning and discipline to process and best practices.
Investing in IT management and the alleviation of the above has shown to deliver a 10x return on investment for those SMB's who adopt these strategies. Therefor, the challenge being faced by smaller businesses is not whether they should have a strategy, but rather how to implement an IT strategy that is appropriately sized and aligned to their needs.
In order to ensure our clients success we have had to adopt a service model vastly different to the traditional approach of outsourced IT services. Through the provision of an embedded ‘virtual’ CIO (vCIO) we’ve been able to add value to our clients. By providing them with this resource, we can provide the competitive advantage needed to keep up in their marketplace.
In conclusion, we believe this approach is the indisputable future of outsourced IT. The technology will no doubt continue to evolve. It will provide users with faster, cheaper, more efficient systems. The secret to success in the future however is not going to be about having the best tech. It’s going to be understanding how to best utilise the tools & resources you have to propel your business forward.