Managing IT is a lot like planning a trip: You can take a lot of routes to get to the same place. When you’re planning your company’s technological future, you have a choice between a number of different management strategies and vendor scenarios, including multi-vendor, single-vendor and all-in-one IT departments.
You probably already know a fair bit about outsourcing — and you’ve probably worked with your fair share of managed service providers — but an all-in-one (AIO) IT department stands in a class all on its own. Unlike conventional vendor arrangements, an AIO IT department functions like another team on your payroll, providing cost optimization, efficiency suggestions and long-term oversight and planning. Here’s what an AIO IT department does from day to day and how it can help your company, no matter what’s next on your technological roadmap.
Regular Meetings Keep You Updated
Imagine having the time to actually review system logs and network events — and analyze overall network performance for future integrations and fixes. Your Virtual CIO, the key contact between you and your IT department, picks up this burdensome task and presents their findings in easy-to-digest formats for you as frequently as you like. Their reports can help you gain insight into your network, systems and projects without performing your own analysis.
Your AIO team will also help you oversee the financial aspects of your company’s IT, preparing reports on your technology spending and offering suggestions for savings down the road. And data-backed insights like these can act as the burden of proof when you’re trying to convince your boss that it’s time to spring for that new network.
One-Stop Continuous Support
You can call 3-1-1 for almost anything, from rescuing a cat stuck in a tree to reporting graffiti. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a service like that for your business’ tech?
One of the primary benefits of an AIO IT department is that it can handle everything from a severe network outage to a routine question about your cloud. There’s just one phone number to call, and you know who’ll answer your phone call.
Even off-hours issues are handled by a trained support staff. In fact, with continuous monitoring, issues like these are often resolved before you even realize there’s a problem. Now there’s something to get excited about!
Intimate Knowledge of Your Team, Equipment and Systems
Your Virtual CIO keeps track of your network specifications, system design and features. That way, when it’s time to integrate to a new phone system, server or cloud, they know if you need to upgrade your bandwidth or install new switches and routers. They’re backed by the know-how of a team of specialists who they can tap for professional expertise when it counts.
Vendor Management for External Teams
No IT department can do it all. Outsourcing to vendors can be a handy, low-cost way to handle routine business functions, like supporting customers or entering data, without training and managing a separate internal department.
However, overseeing a complex network of vendors is time-consuming from an administrative perspective. And poorly managed ecosystems aren’t just a threat to your productivity. They can also result in security issues if your vendors don’t use high-level security protocols and firewalls when handling your information, files and applications.
An AIO IT department is able to communicate with vendors for you. Your Virtual CIO can serve as go-between for you and your vendors, not only acting as a project manager on your behalf but also investigating security measures to keep your network and your information safe.
Future Planning and Innovation
Staying on top of innovation and technological trends is often overwhelming for businesses outside the tech industry. But along with that issue, innovation investments can represent a serious financial commitment. According to technology research firm Gartner, every dollar invested into technology requires $7 of IT spending to bring it into fruition.
Here’s where the benefits of AIO IT really come into play. Like any conventional outsourcing strategy, AIO streamlines IT spending, allowing you to be much more flexible about where you put your money and when. But AIO comes with the added benefit of commitment.
Virtual CIOs and IT departments act, for all intents and purposes, like an extension of your company’s internal team. We’re with your business for the long haul. An integral part of our work is positioning your business to adopt new security measures, equipment and infrastructure to keep you on the cutting edge. We can offer advice for how to modernize your existing systems and how to spend those innovation dollars wisely without a hefty associated cost in IT execution. It’s all in a day’s work for your AIO IT: helping you avoid potholes on your business’ path to the future.