Companies both large and small are realizing the time and cost-saving benefits of contracting with ISOs (independent service providers) to perform services that fall outside their core expertise. Small to mid-size companies, in particular, are looking to manage all or part of their IT hardware maintenance needs, and to provide remote IT support and management services. The resulting partnership enables client organizations to gain added productivity, efficiency and cost-savings over their IT operations while keeping the organization’s technological systems running at peak efficiency. It also empowers the organization to do what it does best: Serve the needs of its customers.
Small to mid-size (SMB) companies are finding themselves pressed to deploy the same technological functionality their larger competitors are using simply to keep pace. This pressure adds complexity for small IT teams, and it adds costs to their already overstretched budgets. While turning to an outside source for infrastructure support may seem counterintuitive at first, there are many ways in which an ISO can increase operating efficiency, boost revenue and reduce costs. Six of the most fundamental ways are outlined below:
1. Businesses Can Focus on their Core Mission
Companies that focus on their core expertise are able to pay greater attention to building their brand, increasing sales and cultivating profits. While their professional teams are dedicated to providing a superior customer experience for clients, the ISO is working hard to keep the client organization’s IT systems and services running. Most ISOs are agile enough to ramp up services when business volume, seasonal cycles, and new projects demand and ratchet down service levels when demand drops. The efficient division of labor and flexible service model enable small to midsize organizations to best serve their clients, while the ISO services the organization’s technological needs.
2. Reduced Head Count and Overhead
There is a direct correlation between head count and overhead costs: The ISO can nimbly handle some or all of a company’s IT infrastructure services needs. The relationship is a cohesive partnership in which the external team serves as an extension of the company’s internal team. The company benefits from the “brains” and “smart hands” of the ISO team to manage HR issues like hiring, training and providing benefits.
“Global ISOs are able to provide their clients with significant economies of scale. As high-volume providers of both technology and manpower, they’re experts at reducing the cost of both. Many of these firms are large, efficient suppliers with the buying power to invest in advanced technology, equipment, training and staff.”
3. Economies of Scale and Pass-Along Savings
These world-class assets are made available to clients at a fraction of what they would have to spend to acquire them on their own. Client organizations benefit from the high-volume cost savings ISOs are able to pass on.
4. Deployment of Top-Shelf Enterprise Level Systems
One of the most essential requirements for selecting a managed IT services partner is selecting a partner with the knowledge of industry-specific reporting requirements (e.g., HIPPA, PCI/DSS, SOX and other requirements), technology partner certifications, (ISO 9001, Microsoft, Cisco, HP, etc.) and personnel clearances (e.g., DOD) to ensure your operations and your data are kept confidential and safe.
5. 24/7/365 Monitoring and Support
While IT staff members are off-premises after hours, corporate computing systems never sleep. They’re hard at work updating applications, processing data, performing backups, serving VPN users and processing online orders and requests. ISOs can provide third party maintenance support around the clock — monitoring circuits, to head potential problems off at the pass. Staff members don’t need to be concerned that they’ll start their day firefighting any number of incidents that arise overnight. The proactive, “always on watch” support of the ISO ensures strong customer, vendor and staff relations — coupled with enhanced security and efficiency of all mission-critical applications and systems. The net result: Downtime is minimized and productivity is maximized.
6. Ability to Leverage Industry-Leading Practices
ISOs rely on their industry knowledge to deliver services and implement best practices that align IT with the needs of their clients. Many ISOs adopt ITIL. This framework is considered the gold standard for capturing and reporting business issues. There are many benefits to the ITIL framework including enhancements to service delivery, customer satisfaction, resource utilization, and business risk and service disruption management. The ITIL framework also provides greater visibility of all costs and performance levels. Additionally, many ISOs offer their clients a variety of service level agreement (SLA) reports and that provide detailed performance, incident-tracking and escalation data, as well as service delivery metrics and SLA management services.
Today’s ISOs offer far more than traditional break/fix maintenance. In addition to data center, service desk, cloud and grid computing, and individual project management, they afford proactive management of your global IT infrastructure. Client organizations can benefit from significant operating advantages and flexible pricing options.
Looking to find out more about Managed Services and IT as a Service (ITaaS)? We’d love the opportunity to help you be more efficient. Contact Maintech today.