IT management has become an integral part of many companies operating strategies. Modern organizations are incredibly reliant on IT to cover core functions—everything from managing customer interactions to scheduling/organizing labor, handling payroll, filing regulatory paperwork, and more. If there’s a formal business process for it, odds are that there’s some IT tool for that process.
However, many companies still struggle with IT operations management. Their IT infrastructure is often a hodgepodge of different solutions and technologies chosen not because of their compatibility and ease of integration, but to fulfill specific needs one at a time. This technological mishmash can be incredibly difficult to manage for any internal IT team working on a limited budget—assuming there is an internal IT team!
Another challenge is adapting to the new “work from home” dynamic that the COVID-19 outbreak made almost mandatory. Now, companies need their remote work IT solutions to operate at peak efficiency to avoid productivity losses among their remote employees.
Enter IT service management. Modern managed service providers (MSPs) offer businesses of all sizes the expertise and IT service management tools they need to get the most out of their technology investments. What are the benefits of using outsourced IT management solutions? How can modern IT management tools and services help companies adapt to the remote work era?
Modern IT Management for a Remote Work Era
One of the biggest changes in 2020 was the sudden surge in remote work practices among companies in all industries. Because of COVID-19 and “stay at home” orders many local governments enacted to try to limit the spread of the pandemic, numerous businesses were forced to either close their doors or try to implement new remote work solutions to keep employees, not in the office productive and contributing to the bottom line.
In October of 2020, Gallup published an update to its statistics on remote work. According to the article, “33% of U.S. workers are always working remotely, 25% sometimes, 41% never.” While this is lower than the 51% high of people who were “always” working remotely in April of 2020, it is still higher than the (according to Statista data) 17% of workers who did so before COVID-19.
Gallup also noted that: “Nearly two-thirds of U.S. workers who have been working remotely during the pandemic would like to continue to do so.” In other words, remote work isn’t going away any time soon, so businesses need to adapt to the new era of “work from home.”
Modern IT project management and service management solutions help businesses prepare their business processes for a remote work environment by:
- Modernizing legacy systems to work on the cloud;
- Managing enterprise resource planning (ERP) in a remote work environment; and
- Handling changes in IT infrastructure
An MSP has the IT portfolio management tools and expertise to help a company’s remote work strategy succeed.
5 Benefits of Modern IT Management and Managed Services
Aside from helping companies transition to a remote work strategy, how can modern IT management from a managed services provider benefit an organization?
There are many benefits of using modern IT service management solutions from MSPs, including:
1: Increasing Productivity While Enhancing Enterprise Security with IT Asset Management Software
For any business, productivity is key. However, in a remote work setting, some of the very tools that enable productivity can create security vulnerabilities that malicious actors can use to steal or damage sensitive information.
One of the biggest benefits of using an MSP’s services is that they often have the right tools and expertise to perform IT change management in a safe and secure manner.
For example, say that a business needs to dispose of obsolete IT assets. Using an IT asset management open source solution internally, the organization may miss critical steps that help ensure that any data on those assets are safe from theft. An MSP’s IT lifecycle management service can help with wiping the storage drives on obsolete assets (or even physically shredding them) so that stored data cannot be stolen. This helps to protect the business against data breaches.
Alternatively, an MSP with experience in cybersecurity—specifically IT risk management and IT incident management—might be able to assess existing remote work tools and systems to identify potential vulnerabilities and fix them. They may also be able to propose changes in the company’s remote work processes to increase safety—such as requiring users to log in via a virtual private network (VPN) solution or to apply a specific encryption protocol to protect data-in-flight.
2: Providing a Proactive Approach to IT Portfolio Management
IT portfolio management is a critical part of any successful IT strategy. From the IT models management process the company uses, to the specific IT assets, business processes, and disposal tools applied, everything matters.
However, many companies fall behind on their IT portfolio management. They often don’t leverage the right tools to evaluate their network bandwidth use, fail to accurately project growth in IT demand, and leave legacy systems in place long after support has stopped. This creates network bottlenecks, poor user experiences for their IT solutions, and security vulnerabilities that shouldn’t be ignored.
Leveraging the services of dedicated IT infrastructure management services can help businesses proactively manage their IT portfolio. Instead of waiting for a system to fail or get bottlenecked, the MSP can implement fixes and make recommendations for scaling IT resources to prevent bottlenecks and vulnerabilities.
3: Ensuring Your Systems Work with Modern Tech and IT Systems
Legacy systems or systems that are designed to work in a specific IT architecture but may not be compatible with modern systems (or have had their support from the original manufacturer discontinued) are a common sight in businesses. However, these systems may not work well with modern cloud-based IT service management tools or architectures—creating a buggy and frustrating user experience that impedes business operations and productivity.
MSPs may be able to provide (or create) application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable legacy systems to work on modern, cloud-based architectures. Alternatively, they may provide IT change management suggestions to help modernize or replace an obsolescent architecture or solution for a minimal cost. In many cases, modern IT operations management solutions may have functions and features that make them far more beneficial than the legacy system.
4: Creating Measurable ROI for IT Asset Management
One of the big questions any business owner or operations manager has about IT service management is: “What’s the ROI for this?” To help justify IT expenses to shareholders, CEOs, or others, it’s important to be able to demonstrate the return on investment for them.
Here is where an experienced managed service provider can help.
Using IT asset management software to identify what assets are on the network, how they’re being used, and their impact on common business processes can help organizations of all sizes establish the ROI for their IT investments. This includes creating impact analyses for gauging the ROI from any new IT deployments.
For example, if a company launches a new productivity solution, the MSP can assess whether it has a positive impact on task times, tasks completed per day, or other performance metrics by analyzing how that productivity software is used. This can help determine if the new software is providing a positive ROI, or if it is simply consuming resources.
Optimizing IT portfolio management by measuring the success of new IT assets can be crucial for minimizing budget waste and maximizing ROI.
5: Getting Your Own IT Department for Less with IT Operations Management
Internally creating an IT operations management team can be prohibitively expensive. Depending on things like experience, skills, and local market conditions at the time of hire, an IT engineer’s salary can, according to Glassdoor, range from $49k/year on the low end, to more than $97k/year on the high end. Some salaries go well above $120k/year.
Experienced IT engineers know what they’re worth and that there’s a high demand for their skills. Because of this, building a sizable internal IT infrastructure management team is out of reach for many small to midsize businesses. Worse yet is the risk of hiring the wrong IT engineer for the job. Having the wrong person running the company’s IT infrastructure can lead to numerous problems with service delivery, platform stability, and cybersecurity.
Leveraging a managed service provider with their own extensive team of proven IT experts is often much less costly than trying to handle recruitment, training, onboarding, and payroll for IT staff internally. Additionally, because they have proven skills and experience working with many different IT asset management software and IT infrastructures, they are better equipped to provide a positive ROI than an unproven new hire.
Systems X IT Management
Need help finding the right IT service management software, deploying new IT solutions, improving your cybersecurity, or getting your legacy systems to work (or finding better alternatives)? Systems X is here to help! We have the right IT asset management tools and expertise to create a real and measurable ROI for your business.
Reach out to the Systems X team today to learn more about how you can modernize your IT infrastructure and give your employees the tools they need to drive success.