Every 12 months the new year brings renewed commitments, ambitions and aspirations. In 2021 many businesses are setting new year resolutions to review their IT. Why? put simply 2020 has shown businesses just how much more they could be taking advantage of technology to advance their business.
The last year was like no other. Amongst a variety of challenges businesses were forced to rethink old ways of doing things. The majority of the office workforce moving to semi-permanent work from home arrangements was highly disruptive. This fuelled one of the greatest ever leaps in the adoption of new technology. Above all, the unprecedented increase in the adoption of communication and collaboration tools.
All at once the eyes of many businesses were opened to just how much untapped potential exists in the proper adoption of technology. Additionally, this potential was commonly found in technology already being paid for.
How many of your processes and workflows had to change to meet the challenges of remote working? Some businesses soldiered on as best they could in 'unprecedented times'. Whereas others adapted their workflows and found new, often more efficient ways of doing things. Whilst these small gains may not seem like much in a vacuum, the combined benefit of many small improvements have delivered significant results in many SMB's:
- Improved customer interactions / communication handling
- Improved efficiency of office staff
- Reduced admin overhead of cumbersome tasks through workflow automation
- Increased staff satisfaction and value in their work
The act of innovating and improving can be contagious. Perhaps the greatest benefit many businesses gained from 2020 was a renewed sense of 'what if'. A challenging of the status quo and a dissatisfaction with mediocre.
By far the biggest advantage these businesses will have in 2021 is a mobilised workforce actively looking to improve all aspects of the business and their interaction with clients.
"Why did it take a pandemic to find out about this?"
A phrase we've heard echoed amongst many prospective clients we've spoken to recently. Businesses who adopted Microsoft Teams were stunned at the simplicity and capability of the suite which in most cases, included a number of useful applications which they were already paying for but had never used or even been told about.
Unsurprisingly this discovery has led many to question the value being delivered by their current IT support provider. In the past simply being responsive and friendly was more than acceptable to most. Now however, forward thinking businesses are seeing the true value of a proactive partnership, and looking to the market to see what's possible.
With eyes wide open, business leaders don't want to have to wait for the next pandemic to discover tools that could have solved problems and improved their value to customers years earlier. SMB's need an IT provider that doesn't simply react to their needs, but rather is proactive and able to present ideas to improve their business in real time.
There is no such thing as a weight loss pill
Unfortunately, there is no overnight fix. In the same way that a personal trainer can not simply deliver on a new years resolution to lose weight, an IT provider is not able to instantly deliver true value to your business. Great results require time, expertise and most importantly, a routine proven to deliver results.
Similarly a truly proactive IT Provider (MSP) should be a coach. Someone to help you define and reach your goals. In order to achieve success your MSP must take on a leadership role in your organisation; adding insight, ideas and direction to your business. Additionally, a truly proactive MSP must be:
- Able to not only provide reports but also gain actionable insights from network and helpdesk performance.
- Be disciplined in process and routine to ensure consistent & predictable results.
- Willing to understand your business, the commercial drivers and challenges.
- Resourced adequately to ensure proactive personnel can remain strategic and proactive without being dragged into reactive client issues.
Above all it all comes down to process and capability. MSP's must be able to deliver their skills and experience in such a way that it can impart its strength into the client organisation. A reactive service desk function cannot achieve this. A service delivery process designed to deliver technology success however can.
In summary, most SMB's don't get the most out of their technology. 2021 is the year to rethink how IT is resourced and the true quality of the relationships with suppliers. There is no need to settle for the status quo, alternatives are out there. There has never been a better time to ensure your business is running efficient and effective.
If you would like to talk about what outcomes may be possible we would be happy to have a conversation. Simply call us or make a booking via our website.