Blog & Opinions
Our Guide to an Effective IT Managed Service
In this five-part series ‘Our guide to an effective IT Managed Service’ we will cover the entire managed services lifecycle.
1. Three steps to building a business case for an IT Managed Service
2. Three considerations when defining your IT Managed Service
3. Five steps to running an end-to-end RFP
4. Three key steps to a seamless service transition
5. Getting the most value out of your Managed Service
In part one we focus on building your business case.
Three Steps to Building a Business Case for an IT Managed Service
You are tasked with one of the most critical jobs in the company – keeping it running. You may not have a title starting with a ‘C’, but rest assured, the responsibility is huge.
The responsibility sitting on your shoulders to the business, your colleagues, every piece of hardware and software, whether it sits with IT, or was purchased by another function (Shadow IT), keeps you awake at night. Not only do you have to maintain all of the above, but you also must deliver the strategic initiatives handed down to you by the CIO.
No mean feat considering you currently have a recruitment freeze and a CIO who’s promised the delivery of these strategic projects to the board in very tight timelines.
You know that your team are more than capable of delivering the strategic priorities and they understand the business far better than any consultant. You also know that given the increased volume of support tickets over the last two quarters and the future expansion plans, you’re going to struggle to maintain the quality of service built up over the last few years – the continuity of service will ultimately begin to suffer and affect not only the day-to-day, but also the future objectives.
You know that the best solution for your company would be to hand over the undesirable and time-consuming tasks associated with keeping IT functioning and always on, to a Managed Services Provider (MSP). By defining clear and robust SLAs and KPIs, the provider could maintain the current IT Service Desk, Infrastructure and Network support services your function provides, scale and grow with the business and allow your team breathing space to get on with the long-term strategic project delivery.
Not only will this benefit the business and slow down the development of grey hair, but it will also help your CIO keep their promises to the board – it’s a win-win situation, however…
Your CIO remembers when IT Managed Service Providers called themselves IT Outsourcing Services and scarred on their mind are the poor service levels and the scripted robotic voices on the other end of the phone. But most of all, they remember the good reputation and foundations IT had built internally, destroyed by a poor service put in only to reduce costs.
So how do you convince your CIO that this is what you should do?
1. It all starts with some self-assessment
Ask yourself these questions and be brutally honest with your answers.
This exercise will allow you to understand your IT Maturity level, compare your internal costs and capabilities to the business needs and a provider’s ability to deliver against them.
- How many support tickets and incidents are you handling?
- Are you meeting your KPIs?
- How much time is this taking?
- What time have you left to complete other activities?
- Is IT delivering strategic value or merely keeping systems running?
- Are your skill sets matched to the lower level of your tasks or better aligned to the strategic objectives?
- What technologies are you using now and what are you likely to require in the future?
- Would a resignation or retirement affect your ability to support legacy systems now and in the future?
2. The Discovery
From the information you gathered in the self-assessment, you can now document the high-level needs and the effort that will be required.
Your answers will tell you:
- What the true cost of support to the business is
- Plot where current skills sit compared to tasks
- The skill sets and resources you are missing to deliver the business goals now and in the future
- The time and skill sets you have available and how long the strategic activities really take to deliver.
- The potential security and compliance risks to the business if service levels aren’t maintained
- Determine the cost-benefit to validate the rationale behind using an MSP
- What else you require from your managed service provider:
- IT Asset Lifecycle Management
- Industry experience – de-risk
- International presence
- Advanced Analytics
3. Define the service, document and deliver
You should at this stage have a clear understanding of your requirements. You’re ready to move forward and communicate your solution to your CIO.
You should also be able to define the service and wider requirements enabling you to go out to the market and short-list MSPs.
- Document your requirements
- Demonstrate the ROI (return on investment) for each element of the required service – cost savings, efficiencies, processes, people and technology
- Spend time with your executive team to establish buy-in for change
- Qualify a shortlist of MPSs based on your requirements
- Deliver your business case to your CIO
At Allied Worldwide, we understand that having a genuine need for a service isn’t enough to turn it into a reality.
It goes without saying Allied can provide you with a full Managed Service Solution to fit your needs but what’s more, we can guide you through these three steps to help you build a compelling business case to take to your CIO or IT Director.
In part two of "Our guide to an effective IT Managed Service", we highlight three considerations when defining your IT Managed Service.
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