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managed It services

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Why You Need An IT Strategy

By | managed It services, Strategy

Planning and strategy are key components of any successful business. The best business leaders in the world are constantly looking into the future and planning for what will come. That rings true in all parts of the business, including information technology. IT strategy is more important than ever heading into the second decade of the 21st century.

Organizations with no IT strategy are not prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. If IT strategy is so important for businesses to compete, why doesn’t every business have a comprehensive strategy? Creating and executing an IT strategy is much more challenging than most businesses believe. There are many obstacles that prevent organizations from accomplishing this task.

Often businesses will start the strategic planning process, but then they become distracted by issues and tasks that they see as more urgent. Even if a business creates an IT strategy, they often fail to execute the vision presented in the strategy. Some teams will put the IT strategy on their shelf and will not refer to the strategy again until it is time to update the document.

 

What Is An IT Strategy?

An IT strategy is more or less an action plan that details how an organization can utilize all of their IT resources to support business objectives. IT strategy can also be referred to as technology strategy. An IT strategy is generally detailed in a comprehensive document that describes all of the factors that affects how an organization invests and uses technology. This document is an important piece to a business’s overall strategy to meet its goals.

Your organization can use this document as a strategic roadmap for using IT to create business value and a return on investment. An IT strategy should be designed to be flexible as technology is rapidly changing. Many organizations have to continually adjust their strategies when the unexpected occurs. For example, companies had to scramble during the COVID-19 pandemic and completely move many processes online in order to enable employees to work from home.

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Why Do I Need An IT Strategy?

An IT strategy will help ensure that everyone in your organization is on the same page when it comes to information technology. Technology is more important than ever in the business world. Many organizations are going through digital transformations where manual processes are moved into the digital world. Companies now rely on various technologies to improve service offerings and better serve their customers. An IT strategy will help ensure that all IT technologies will help add business value.

When your organization goes through the process of creating an IT strategy, your team will have a chance to assess all parts of your business that are affected by information technology. Strengths and weaknesses can be identified throughout the organization and action can take place to address them. An IT strategy can help you identify areas in your IT department that need investment. Your team can justify capital investment in key IT areas by showcasing them in an IT strategy document.

Now that we have an understanding of IT strategy and why it is important, let’s jump into how your business can create an IT strategy.

 

How To Write An IT Strategy or IT Assessment

There are many methods that companies employ to create an IT strategy. The way an organization goes about creating the final document will largely depend on the size of your business, what industry you operate in, and several other factors. The final IT strategy document your business creates will likely look different than any other business’s document. However, there are some commonalities that many IT strategies have, which you can base your IT strategy on.

Most IT strategy documents will contain the following elements:

  • A comprehensive list covering all of the personnel and infrastructure that is currently available to the organization, as well as future needs.
  • A forecasting budget that details an estimate of capital expenditures, infrastructure costs, personnel salaries, and other costs for multiple years.
  • A list of important current and future IT projects that will impact the organization.
  • A list of internal and external forces that will affect IT personnel and resources over the next few years.
  • The cybersecurity outlook of the organization and what needs to be more secure in order to prevent data breaches.
  • The current best practices that the IT department utilizes.

There are many more elements that your IT strategy could contain, but these should help your business get an idea of what should be included in your final IT strategy document.

Whether your business operates with little IT infrastructure or robust IT infrastructure, an IT strategy is key to meeting business goals.

Your team may feel overwhelmed with the idea of taking several weeks or months to develop an IT strategy. There may be no one in your organization that has experience developing this type of strategy. Creating an IT strategy that does not accurately portray and assess the IT situation in your organization could prevent your business from reaching its goals. In that case, your organization may need some help creating and executing an IT strategy. Thankfully, the experts at BACS are here to help.

 

BACS Can Help Your IT Strategy

BACS can help your organization develop a comprehensive IT strategy that meets your unique needs. No matter if your organization has one location or 1,000 locations, our team can help you create an IT strategy that will cover all of your bases. We will ensure that your strategy will help your business meet your end goals

Reach out to BACS today to learn more about how we can help you create and execute an IT strategy. Our team can guide you through the entire process of developing an IT strategy and ensure that you have the resources and dedication necessary to execute the strategy. BACS is more than happy to help, as well as answer any questions you may have regarding IT strategy and why you should invest in one.

 

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Building the Framework for a Better IT Experience

By | managed It services

In an era where technology often drives business growth, efficient and reliable IT performance is more critical than ever. To remain competitive, you need an IT service provider that not only understands the technology landscape, but also is focused on helping you solve business challenges, drive efficiency and build lasting value.

Understanding what IT capabilities your business needs to reach its goals is essential. Knowing how to get it done ―the planning, strategy and execution―is equally important. A results-focused, customer-centric approach to IT service requires close collaboration between the client and the IT consultant.

That’s why it’s important to choose an IT provider that not only has superior technical skills, but is also focused on delivering exceptional customer service. Finding the best match for your unique needs will help ensure you get the results you want and can set the stage for a high-productive, long-term relationship. Following are some key customer experience attributes to keep in mind as you evaluate your IT service provider.

 

  • Effective onboarding: Becoming a company that delivers excellent customer service requires many things to be done well. One of those is effective onboarding. Your service provider should take the initiative to set clear expectations from the start. Your goals should be clearly outlined and backed by actionable deliverables. One of the things we do at BACS to help ensure the relationship gets started on the right track is to hold an initial kick-off call. The call is important because it helps ensure everyone is on the same page and sets the tone for the rest of the engagement. It’s an opportunity for us to get to know more about the client, their challenges, their priorities and the dynamics of their team. We make sure the client understands who their main point of contact is going to be, set up a communication schedule, and identify some initial goals going forward.

 

  • Regular feedback: Businesses often have little time to focus on the routine functions of infrastructure management and day-to-day tasks. That’s where your IT provider can deliver superior service value. The best providers are continuously soliciting client feedback and seeking ways to enhance the service experience. One of the things that sets BACS apart is our persistence and commitment to listening to what our clients have to say. We ask questions. We take the temperature of the relationship. Where are your biggest struggles? How can we provide better service? We review our processes and remove any communication barriers. We hear what our clients have to so, but we also brainstorm with our internal team about opportunities, potential roadblocks, and what competitors are doing. Ultimately we use the feedback to improve the client experience and make it an integral part of the improvement process.

 

  • Fast response: Most IT organizations are stuck in reactive mode, continuously putting out fires and rushing to resolve the latest crisis. That’s why fast, efficient response from your IT provider is more critical than ever. Not only should our provider be available 24/7, but they also need to be able to respond quickly to critical issues. Ideally, our provider should have the ability to remotely monitor and manage your IT infrastructure. When action is required, alerts can trigger your IT team or your service provider’s help desk to initiate the appropriate response. Your IT provider should provide a clearly-defined service-level agreement (SLA) that outlines in detail the specific scope of services provided, standard response times and performance expectations. Your service provider’s ticketing system should be easy to use and focus on communication and customer satisfaction. It’s not enough for a system to ease the intake process―it must actually assist the IT team in quickly resolving issues. Ideally, all parties should be able to track issue progress. At BACS, once tickets are received, they are logged and sorted according to type of issue, automatically triggering requests to the appropriate resources or expert. Tickets are automatically tracked from start to finish to help ensure no request gets overlooked and is promptly resolved.

 

  • Exceed expectations: One of the keys to successful customer engagements and higher levels of satisfaction is empathy. Empathy means understanding the client from their perspective rather than viewing the situation as an outsider. At BACS, we work closely with our clients to understand their overarching vision and develop a defined roadmap as part of an ongoing “alignment” cycle. Recurring checks and ongoing follow up help make sure our recommendations are delivering results and are aligned with the client’s business goals. With daily reporting, quarterly reviews, personalized training, and additional support, your team can focus on strategy and growth instead of stressing over routine maintenance tasks.

 

  • Consistent performance:  It’s been said that all things being equal, customers will choose to buy from a friend. Establishing this kind of familiarity with clients requires consistent, personalized service throughout the client engagement. It requires diligence in keeping clients updated on our procedures and informed about ongoing performance and support issues. At BACS, our consultants are well-versed in the importance of integrating IT into your overall business strategy. We help you take full advantage of the opportunities a proactive IT approach enables, whether it’s growing revenue, capturing market share, or enhancing the customer experience. Our expert consultants understand the complexities and challenges of technology deployment and work ensure your solutions align with your priorities and will scale appropriately.

To help ensure your results are aligned with your business goals, our team will work with you to:

  • Develop a strategic IT plan and review it with you regularly to make sure we stay on track.
  • Address any gaps in your IT support needs recommend updates to address fast-changing IT and business performance needs.
  • Review your security practices and note any deficiencies.
  • Advise you on how best to optimize the performance and resiliency of your IT infrastructure
  • Establish an ongoing process that we’ll use to initially get your IT infrastructure and support processes aligned and then keep it aligned over time.

 

Reaping the benefits of superior IT service

It may not sound exciting, but one of the key ingredients to keep customers happy is consistency. It today’s era of rapid change, it’s easy to lose focus on what’s important. That’s where working with a customer-centric IT provider can deliver substantial value. By outsourcing ongoing support tasks to a trusted partner, businesses can focus on more strategic priorities with greater peace of mind knowing that their IT operation is running smoothly and efficiently.

Everything To Know About Managed Service Providers

MSP 101 – Managed Service Provider

By | IT Support, managed It services

Managed service providers are becoming more and more popular. Replacing or supplementing traditional IT teams with an MSP can improve the quality of a company’s IT infrastructure. Companies all over the world are taking advantage of all the benefits that come with working with an MSP.

Still, the concept of a managed service provider may be confusing to interested parties and could keep them from utilizing an MSP. Understanding the basics of what an MSP is will help businesses stay ahead of the curve.

 

What Is An MSP?

In order to better understand managed service providers, a bit of history of how they evolved could be useful. Managed service providers have a history dating back to the 1990s. During the early 90s, many IT companies only provided repair services to various technology pieces. That began to change as the 90s evolved and the industry rapidly evolved.

Internet speed was rapidly improving throughout the 90s until it reached a point where software applications could be deployed from a central location. This enabled the development of software that could manage and control a computer from a remote location. Innovative software solutions could be developed and deployed to a number of customers all at once.

The early 2000s marked the beginning of the managed service provider industry. IT consultancies began to create companies filled with computer engineers that could create comprehensive IT frameworks for other companies. By the 2010s this process had become much more robust to the point where an MSP could manage nearly all of another company’s IT software, strategy, and infrastructure. The rise of the cloud has only accelerated this trend.

MSPs have recently exploded in popularity with the rise of cloud services. The cloud allows services and software to run through the internet, instead of on your local computer network. This enables your business to access software, applications, and data anywhere in the world. The cloud has opened the door to various improvements in company productivity, but there are some potential drawbacks.

Managing this complex cloud environment can be extremely challenging. This is one of the key reasons why companies have turned to managed service providers. MSPs can manage the entire IT infrastructure of a company, including the cloud infrastructure. Many companies use an MSP to help take their company into the cloud environment. Managed service providers can also keep software applications up to date, database maintenance and setup, data analytics, cybersecurity, and more. Even with all of these services, some businesses are still hesitant to utilize a managed service provider.

If you could bring all of your IT infrastructure in house, why would you want to pay someone else to do it? Trusting and relying on another company to manage your IT infrastructure and data can be a scary proposition. Many companies want to do everything themselves, but the benefits of MSPs vastly outweigh the risks.

 

Why Do You Need An MSP?

Managed service providers create a ton of value for companies that they work with. If you have not switched to an MSP then you are likely falling behind your competitors. Here are a few reasons why you need a managed service provider.

 

Take Stress Out Of Your Life

Your expertise is likely not in the area of IT. A managed service provider will make your life much easier. Your business can call your MSP anytime to repair any issue that is affecting your business’s IT infrastructure. Your website and IT infrastructure will have significantly less downtime, so your employees will not have to wait around while repairs are made. Instead of worrying about managing an IT department, you can focus on the bigger picture. Your team will have extra time to focus on projects and keep your customers happy.

 

Cost Savings & Scalability

Many businesses believe that hiring an MSP may be out of their budget, but that is not the case. Managed service providers reduce the costs that businesses are responsible for. Companies will no longer have to worry about paying expensive IT employees or investing in IT infrastructure. MSPs will handle all of those costly endeavors. Additionally, as your business grows you will need to add additional IT infrastructure. A managed service provider can help you scale your business easily. Your business can easily increase server space and install additional applications to improve productivity.

Use Their Experts

Managed service providers are full of IT experts that can improve your IT infrastructure. Your team can use an MSP expert to work on a project that will improve your processes and productivity. Instead of having to hire an expensive consultant, you can work with your MSP to finish the project. This is extremely beneficial from an HR perspective as well. Your HR team does not have to manage additional employees and worry about key team members leaving the company. Your team can simply rely on your MSP experts to help out on any projects.

 

How BACS Can Help

Whether your company has 10 employees or 1,000 employees, BACS can create a customized solution that will meet your unique needs. Your business can take advantage of all the benefits that working with us comes with. From cost savings to less stress, your business will be able to focus on the core competencies that drive revenue.

 

BACS can answer any questions you may have about managed service providers and how we can benefit your organization. Reach out to BACS today to learn more about our services and offerings. Our team can develop a comprehensive, customized plan that will make your life easier and help your business grow.