In the space of a single generation, technology has transformed the way companies do business. Technology has revolutionized processes and communications. Information is gathered, shared, stored and analyzed at ever accelerating rates. So, why do so many companies have a functional disconnect between the management and Information Technology sides of the house?
Technology has ingrained itself into every facet of business operations. Yet, many companies do not directly involve their IT departments in their strategic business planning. Many IT decisions are made solely on immediate need, rather than as part of a strategic technical plan, designed to optimize the company’s technological tools.
Large enterprises have known the importance of IT’s strategic involvement for years, and they have C-level executives such as Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) or Chief Information Officers (CIOs). These executives provide expert input during business planning, and their input helps ensure that there is a technical roadmap to complement the strategic roadmap. This way, the company’s technology can keep pace with the anticipated changes in the company.
The thing is, only large enterprises can justify the costs of a full-time IT executive. Small and medium size businesses often don’t involve their IT personnel in strategic discussions because they weren’t hired with that skillset. But these same companies can certainly benefit from CIO or CTO level input. How can they close the gap and get those benefits?
The answer is, engage the services of a Managed Services Provider (MSP). This type of IT service company is set up to augment your existing IT staff on technical issues, as well as IT projects, such as migrations, upgrades and implementations. They also can provide the strategic link between the company’s management and the IT department. They can help implement ongoing processes to perfectly integrate your company’s technology with your business processes and strategic plans.
With this level of integration, you’ll spend less time replacing technology that has quit working – aging technology is cycled out before it fails, and prior planning ensures that the budget was already in place. Decisions regarding IT purchases (hardware, software and services) are made as part of a cogent plan, and not just to “put out fires”. The result is, an IT infrastructure that is much more reliable, and consistently up-to-date, which means lower operating costs, and better profits.