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In today’s competitive business environment, technology is essential.  IT is no longer just about business continuity and typical infrastructure support alone.  As technology continues to advance, so has the complexity and need for innovation and increased productivity.  In order to stay competitive, organizations must rethink their traditional technology support model and start thinking about new models that reinforce the realities of today’s business and technology landscape.

Now, the emphasis must be on business goals, end-user technology adoption, and productivity to help your organization achieve the next level of innovation and success through digital transformation.  Hence the move from traditional IT support models such as Managed IT Services, Break & Fix, or even in some cases internal IT to Managed Workplace Services.

Current IT challenges with small to medium size organizations

challenges in IT industry today

  • Lack of true IT strategy to meet business goals
    • Our experience shows that for many small to medium size organizations on traditional IT support models the focus is still on reactive day-to-day IT support and business continuity; with little time for strategic IT consulting, that aligns technology to business goals. As a result, you see low ROI and IT becomes just a necessary evil.
  • You employees don’t know how to use the technology you are paying for
    • Because of technology complexity and lack of consistent training your employees can’t take full advantage of the technology you are paying for.  As a result, they are frustrated and unproductive.   Often, there is no superuser on staff that is monitoring how your employees are using your systems or answering their operational questions.
  • Lack of a business enablement platform
    • There is a high probability that you are already using the Microsoft Office365 productivity suite but not taking full advantage of its capabilities. Microsoft Office365 releases 10’s of very useful features per year that you might not be aware of.  Also, you are using several expensive applications to do various things, but the applications are not integrated so your employees are working in silo.
  • IT Support with Lack of Transparency and Accountability
    • We often see organizations on traditional IT support models (. e.g. Managed IT Services, or internal IT) who assume their systems are secure and under control until there is a catastrophic system failure or major security breach and it is a big surprise!
    • Do you know what’s under the hood? If you lost your IT provider or IT staff would you know where to find the following or what steps, you need to take?
    1. Where is the latest system documentation?
    2. Security and backup restore drills, audit paper trails?
    3. Passwords?
    4. List of vendors and their contracts?
    5. Have you stopped paying for software subscriptions that are no longer in use?
    6. Do you know where all your equipment and software licenses are?
    7. Do you know when your disaster recovery plan was last updated?
    8. Which IT Vendor expenses need to be renegotiated for a better rate? (e.g. Telecommunications)

How does Managed Workplace Services solve these challenges?

One can think of Managed Workplace Services as Managed IT Services 2.0.  This is the support model that will take you to a Digital Workplace.  A properly managed workplace service encompasses four key components: strategic consulting, education and adoption, business enablement, and IT support services.

Strategic Consulting

Businesses must first determine their strategy and main objectives otherwise technology can be a waste of money. The right consultant can help pinpoint the issues that need to be addressed, understand your business and business goals, and then architect solutions accordingly. Leading a successful business transformation requires vision, focus, and process.  As result, you must enlist a consultant that has both a business background and IT experience.  In addition, they must have tools, processes, and standards in place to deliver effective IT strategic consulting.

Education and Adoption

The benefits of a proper education program drive increased satisfaction and confidence in IT, increased security efficiency, and increased adoption of the desired tools and platforms.  You need continuous education to help your team build knowledge around your core productivity applications (.i.e. Microsoft Office365), so your employees are more efficient, and you are getting more out of the resources you are paying for.

Your IT resources must track end-user technology adoption by having the proper application monitoring technology in place which highlights where you can add value to your end-users.  Monitoring reports can be analyzed and show how applications are being used, unlocking the power of your applications.  You will be able to understand usage and utilization of technologies such as Microsoft SharePoint, OneDrive, Skype, Teams, Flow, Forms, and PowerApps (to name but a few).

Business Enablement

You must leverage Microsoft Office365 as it is currently the dominant productivity application platform.  When configured properly Office365 along with prebuilding Microsoft SharePoint templates and plug-ins can transform your environment into a Digital Workplace.  A Digital workplace will help you optimize your business, drive collaboration, and increase employee productivity.  This out-of-the-box set of applications establish a consistent business structure across functions.  For example, Intranet to communicate news and information, Document Management, Support Internal Service Requests for HR, create department portals for HR, Sales, Marketing, Facility Management, IT Support, Project office, automating business processes across functions, tracking customer information and activities through-out the client life-cycle etc.

  • Empowers employees to reach new levels of productivity through real-time collaboration
  • Break-down silos between departments
  • Lower IT complexity and costs
  • Provides structure and consistency through the entire business
  • Drive technology adoption
  • Unify employees and departments
  • Ensures governance and security of data

IT Support

Day to day IT support cannot be forgotten as it’s an integral foundation for every organization. Your IT support must proactively monitor your systems on-premises and in the cloud to make sure issues are identified and corrected before they turn into catastrophic failures. Accountability is key; your IT support should share with you on monthly basis the state of your system.  This includes but not limited to the status of your system documentation, disaster recovery plan, your compliance, customer satisfaction, trends around the time it takes to resolve issues reported by your employees, the status of your security and backup restore, audit paper trail, etc.  In this way, you are reducing risk and know what you are paying for.  Last but not least, you should always have checks and balances in place; have a third party audit your systems a couple of times a year.

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