4IT Blog

4IT has been serving the Miami area since 2003, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Real Magic Behind Best-in-Class Managed Service Providers

man-1633667_1920

One of the shortcomings we see constantly in emerging mid-market and mid-market organizations is the lack of IT management tools.   During our contracted annual IT audits, we often discover ticketing systems that are doing nothing more than providing a rudimentary database for open issue tracking, monitoring and alerting tools that are barely configured, no time tracking for IT employees, no project management tools other than excel, no automation tools, and little or no integration between whatever tools are being used to manage the people, the processes, and the infrastructure.  Although there are very good technical arguments for investing in these tools regardless of the size of the IT environment, paying for the tools and the engineering labor to deploy and manage them correctly can provide a shortsighted business argument against them.  With the right manager, and a small group of very talented and disciplined technical engineers, you can gamble with this lack of tools for a period of time without causing major problems.  Make no mistake; this lack of visibility into the IT operation is a major technical problem, one that anyone who has managed IT operations for a high growth organization will acknowledge.  What is generally less clear is this operational blindness is also a major business problem.

Every time I get the chance to meet with other IT directors and CIO’s, they remind me how difficult it is for them to convince business stake holders to continue making the necessary investments in IT infrastructure, software, and engineering talent to address the needs of a growing business.  The two questions I always ask next are what business information is being provided to the stakeholder to justify more budget dollars for IT, and how often is that information being communicated.  More often than not, the answer I get is a sheepish look.  Many don’t even have a formal annual budgeting process for handling licensing and renewals.

So how does this apply to best-in-class MSP’s?  One characteristic that accurately predicts profitability in the MSP space is the investment the MSP makes in tools to measure and maximize engineering productivity. One of the biggest contributors to that productivity increase is the extensive use of automation to eliminate repetitive tasks, proactive monitoring and alerting to minimize manual auditing, and utilization reporting to measure how and where engineering labor is being allocated. Best-in-class MSP’s try to automate everything, focus their engineers on engineering work, not manual monitoring, and measure every ticket, time entry, and engineering task.  For larger MSPs, this level of visibility is critical to business success and the difference between making a 10% net profit or a 10% net loss on their managed service agreements.  It was a revelation to discover how valuable these tools were in our MSP practice to those customers that wanted visibility into their IT departments to see the “business” side. We now have clients that have added their own internal IT departments, but continue to use our toolset to manage their people and their infrastructure.

One ultimate truth to remember is that the business stakeholders care not about technology for the sake of technology; they care about how IT will improve the bottom line, increase customer and employee retention, and provide insight into their critical business numbers.  What they care about is the money, and the really good ones are particularly sensitive to waste.  I always try to emphasize the value of implementing business measurement tools for IT by explaining how much easier it is to justify an IT budget increase by showing the KPI’s that will be at risk when IT labor utilization exceeds 90%.  Even more convincing are previous quarterly reports showing the steady growth of utilization closely mirroring growth in the business. 

No one, least of all business owners, enjoys throwing money into a black hole.

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, 11 December 2017
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Mobile? Grab this Article!

Qr Code

Tag Cloud

security Tip of the Week Technology Cloud Privacy Best Practices Microsoft software Internet Business Computing Hackers Backup Productivity Hosted Solutions Business Management Managed Service Provider Malware Google IT Services Business Efficiency Windows Innovation Disaster Recovery IT Support Business Continuity Hardware Workplace Tips VoIP Computer User Tips Saving Money Miscellaneous Virtualization Windows 10 Upgrade Mobile Device Management Mobile Devices Data Network Security Server Mobile Computing Alert Email Network Communication Save Money Microsoft Office Small Business communications Quick Tips Smartphone Social Media Smartphones BYOD Information Technology Going Green Mobile Office Android Health Office Apps Managed IT Services Outsourced IT Gadgets Application Ransomware Operating System Chrome Browser Productivity WiFi Managed IT Mobility Disaster Holiday Firewall Tablet Avoiding Downtime Unified Threat Management IT Solutions Best Practice Data Management Spam Cybersecurity BDR Cybercrime Passwords Telephone Systems Search The Internet of Things Risk Management Remote Computing Remote Monitoring History Hard Drives Saving Time Apple Employer-Employee Relationship Budget Vendor Management Automation VPN Facebook Hacking Customer Relationship Management Big Data Content Filtering Phishing Password Proactive IT Data Backup Law Enforcement Hosted Solution Computers User Error Marketing Collaboration Phone System Recovery Wireless Technology Money Office Tips Data Recovery iPhone Printer Antivirus Maintenance PowerPoint Shortcut USB Virus Social Encryption Analytics Gmail Router Work/Life Balance Government Telephony Office 365 Bring Your Own Device Lithium-ion battery Current Events Humor Administration Vulnerability Wearable Technology Tech Support Save Time Business Intelligence Outlook Data Protection Users Windows 8 Social Engineering App Data Security Cost Management Intranet Private Cloud Bandwidth Printer Server Politics Laptop Personal Information Point of Sale OneNote IT COnsultant Wireless Trending Computer Repair Education Unsupported Software Net Neutrality SaaS Cloud Computing Audit Google Drive HaaS Augmented Reality Internet Exlporer Social Networking Paperless Office Travel Internet of Things Data Storage Identity Theft Solid State Drive Update Customer Service Fax Server Biometrics Flexibility Sports Workplace Retail Virtual Reality Streaming Media Meetings Uninterrupted Power Supply Samsung online currency Wi-Fi Emails Artificial Intelligence Instant Messaging Emergency Applications HIPAA Entertainment Benefits Network Congestion DDoS Computer Accessories hacker Efficency Transportation Help Desk Mouse Compliance Computer Care Battery Robot IT Support Windows 10 Two-factor Authentication Managing Stress Automobile End of Support Excel Display Presentation Legal Data Loss iOS Virtual Desktop Managed IT Service Bluetooth Mobile Device Best Available Touchpad Lifestyle Adobe IT Technicians Managed IT Services Managed Security Scam Ebay Google Docs Hard Drive Computer Fan SharePoint Computing Licensing Employer Employee Relationship Uograde Microsoft Excel Images Dark Web Screen Mirroring Teamwork Worker Commute Operating Sysytem Busines Continuity PDF Networking Near Field Communication Scalability File Sharing Files Cast Text Messaging Windows 10s Safety Human Resources IT consulting How To Twitter systems Chromecast Nanotechnology Running Cable Upgrades Surge Protector Tablets Wiring Hard Disk Drive Training Reliable Computing Television Information hack Administrator Root Cause Analysis HBO Consultant 3D Printing Colocation Debate NFL best practices Bloatware The Blindside Of Company Culture Black Market Cortana Access CrashOverride IT Management Touchscreen IT Security Word data breach ISP Branding Cleaning Legislation Settings WIndows Server 2008 Distributed Denial of Service Experience Keyboard Blogging Avoid Downtime Windows Ink risk management Programming WIndows 7 Nokia Patch Management eWaste Storage Music Inbound Marketing Hiring/Firing Website Regulations Google Maps Data storage Commerce Regulation Books Value Smart Technology Cameras Video Games Software as a Service OneDrive Amazon User Document Management Advertising Sync Science Data Breach Co-managed IT Gifts Taxes Redundancy Microblogging Youtube Webinar Buisness Supercomputer Credit Cards Sales Mobile IT solutions Electronic Medical Records Tutorial Managed Service Provder IT Budget FAQ Webinar Professional Services Reputation Gift Giving Shadow IT Relocation Comparison IT service Specifications Domains Conferencing