This isn’t for the seasoned Sergeants or Colonels in the United Federation of Technology DOOM Marines field. If you’ve been through World War II, World War 98, and survived to make it to World War Cloud, then you probably have a solid grasp on things.
However, if you’re someone with no clue— a butter bar Lieutenant who insists Apple is King, or even an old school General with that grey beard still hanging on to why Linux is King, you might want to take a solid look-see at what I’m about to say about managed IT services. Because you're probably already at war.
There’s always something everyone can learn. So, stick around, stay awhile, and enjoy reading quite a bit of sarcastic tone with some pretty solid analogies. You might even learn a thing or two.
Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to get out of your own ID-10-T or PEBKAC issues that you don’t even realize you’ve fallen into.
Are you still with me?
Why Do We All Think So Differently About Managed IT Services?
To many (maybe you), technology is a foreign enemy, especially when it comes to managed IT services. A CEO sometimes sees technology as a necessary evil without a solid Return on Investment (ROI). In this case, the need for business technology is simply operational money that is dumped down the drain.
To CEOs, it’s a mixed bag, because they need everything to work, and they take their information from their executive management team.
What is told to them, they will go with— unless they are the micro-managing type. However, the great CEO’s have already researched all this information and realize how incredibly important it is to have an industry-standard IT Infrastructure and effective IT Solutions.
So, what about the opinion of technology from the point of view of a VP of Sales? Oh, you know these guys.
All of us in service and support know the especially important VPs of Sales. They are the heroes— the sole reason the company survives and all should be worshiped and respected without question. Not to mention, admired for not only their incredibly charming good looks but personalities and “customer service skills.” Are you nodding your head?
Granted, not all VPs of Sales are like that, but they usually are a dime a dozen. Don’t get me wrong, that’s exactly how you want most of your sales managers to be. It’s a solid personality trait, and it makes them highly successful at what they do—and you, as a company, need these people.
However, you need your nerds too!
If I could guess, you need your IT to function, you need it to “Just work,” and you need it to work exceptionally well all the time. Am I right?
Oh, as a side note for all you in finance or accounting, I know what you’re thinking, “Hey, we’re a different kind of nerd too; why the heck aren’t we acknowledged here?” Well, no one can get funded without you guys. You are special people, and similar to food, always needed.
It can be good or bad but always needed. I’m making it a point, though, to acknowledge that without your knowledge and extensive mentoring, I would never have the level of understanding a business and Gross Profit (GP) or “Margin” that I do now.
When you need it, you spend the cash and deal with it. Hopefully, your systems administrator or engineer can get things done in enough of a timely matter that your real heroes of the squad can go to war, selling those things that matter to your GP and bottom line. Are you catching the sarcasm yet?
But in reality, the real heroes of the company are none other than your grunt IT guys. Yes, I said it! All those guys working in the background to ensure everything continues to work for all the people that “REALLY MAKE THE DIFFERENCE” in the company.
Those are the truest heroes of your business. Ok, hear me out, because it’s time to get out of the 1980s. Guess what? You probably are not going to have anyone taking over your C-Level positions anytime soon.
You are going to have to continue working well into your 70’s before you feel confident in handling the company reigns over.
Or, you’ll get to a point where you honestly don’t care anymore and are ready to move to that nice little estate you’ve been planning since back in the Bush-era—which was just the other day, right? Yes, I said that on purpose, and no, I’m not going to designate Jr. or Sr.
Supporting and Maintaining Strong Business Technology
Technology is the very essence and backbone of your company, especially in today’s day in age. You cannot operate without it. It is not just about your end-user computers, your servers, your cloud-based Office 365— it’s so much more.
Technology is in the everyday equipment you use in your office, the business-specific technology hardware, the small handheld devices, smartphones, and all that beautiful third party software you spend thousands of dollars on.
I’d like you to think for a second about what it would be like to just remove one of those pieces I just mentioned. If you’re still thinking after a half minute or so, then the answer is you can’t survive without it.
Your business would be doomed! Imagine your accountants going back to counting beans because eventually you’ll need to share them for food.
The Significance of Service Through Managed IT Services
What’s the most important division in your company? If you’re an old school dinosaur, then you’re probably going to say it’s either your sales department or your practitioners, lawyers, or educators, (aka the “Doers” who drive the biz.)
But let me tell you, your most important division lies within your service. It is the people who make your job possible. From your technology team to your accounting and financers, these are the people who actually make the magic happen.
If you think for a second that a salesperson can make a better sell than a person educated in your business on the day to day, then you’re wrong. I challenge you to test it! Go send your most articulate service technician or rep out to talk to the customer instead of the sales guy and see what happens. You’ll be amazed.
I guarantee you that your service employee is going to be able to explain the ins and out of your product better than most of your salesforce can, any day of the week. You can even hold me to this. Which brings me to one of my major points…
Understanding “The Informed Buyer”
You probably already know this, but as a heads-up, if you don’t, the consumer has already made their decision on the product before your sales rep has even bothered to step in their door or pick up the phone.
This is called “The Informed Buyer.” Google is a thing! As much as major Universities and Colleges want to think they are still relevant, google and the internet exists.
Anything about your business, competition, industry, products, services, and just about anything else under the sun, is already known to the consumer before you talk to them. The consumer knows what they want and who they want.
So with that being said, the most knowledgeable person on your products or services is going to be the one that wins at the end of the day. So how do you combat this?
Marketing metrics and conforming to a new level of marketing strategies absolutely helps and will crush it out of the park if you know the right way to do it. But, you know what else helps?
I hope you knew that was coming because of my final point: Service and Delivery. And where does that start?
Faster, quicker, stronger, better, right? Your technology is your backbone. It is the “Conan the Barbarian” compared to modern-day metro-boy with his rolled-up skinny jeans.
If your business lacks functioning, industry-standard technology, you are going to be slower and have more issues than the other guy (aka, your competitor).
Before I wrap-up my rant, do me a favor and see if you can answer these questions:
How important is it to go to the Cloud?
Should I have an on-premise server?
What is a hybrid model?
What is business continuity?
What is Server Redundancy?
What the heck is BDR?
What’s an IT roadmap… and why would I need that?
What about Dropbox or OneDrive (If you have Office 365 and have no clue about this question, you really need to call me…I’m sorry, but you do).
Should I care if all my employees’ PCs only have 4gbs of Ram and still running windows 7 with a sub-par gen three i3 processors?
What’s better, dedicated IT staff, or should I outsource— and what’s the cost difference and service level difference?
If you don’t know 90% of the answers to those questions, you either haven’t been educated by your IT staff, you’re not paying attention to them, or you should probably sell your business now before you really mess things up. And, that’s just the honest truth. This is where managed IT services comes into play.
Managed IT Services For Your Business: The Final Say
As you can tell, and probably already knew, business technology is a dense topic. To be honest with you, I barely even scratched the surface. However, it’s important to know that just by reading this article, you’ve already committed to further educate yourself on the importance of technology in your workplace.
Keep a lookout for my next article, I'll be answering all of those tricky IT questions I mentioned above, as well as any other questions in regards to IT interaction between departments, business needs depending on demographic and size, and anything else IT-related. You can also reach out to us, here, for more information on managed IT services. We’re here to give you peace of mind to help you win more business.
Josh is a seasoned network and infrastructure engineer, a proud Veteran of the United States Air Force, and a Star Wars aficionado. He believes that when it comes to technology, the typical nerd is more of a stereotype— and that idea is something that needs change. "It's time for us geeks to realize the value and importance of customer service and proper communication." As much as he enjoys staring at lines of code, or creating his own intrusions and hacks, he can't help but love to take a magnifying glass and soldering iron to a circuit board. It's a great break that continuously improves his hardware skills."