Traditionally, organisations look to IT managed services to meet demands for IT support from business users within their organisations and other key stakeholders, as well as providing IT infrastructure management. This is often a reactive response to help provide tech support when internal teams are struggling with capacity and resources.
Typically these requirements revolve around managing and resolving incidents, delivering repeatable support (for example setting up user accounts, performing backups etc.), and managing the IT assets such as networking monitoring and upgrading software. The value of this IT service to the business is that it reduces downtime caused by incidents, lost passwords and other technology-related issues, and frees up key staff to focus on their core competencies. This IT managed service solution also delivers cost savings to the business, providing 24/7/365 support that could be prohibitively expensive to do in-house.
How To Calculate ROI On IT Managed Services
Calculating the ROI an organisation derives from this level of service is a simple question of knowing what it would cost the business if they didn’t have it, and had to provide sufficient cover internally. The cost of downtime varies depending on the incident, for example an IT outage affecting the entire organisation will result in a significantly larger cost to the business than a single individual unable to access the system because of a forgotten password. However, these costs – big and small – add up. In fact downtime costs UK businesses £6.5 billion a year, according to the EMC Global Data Protection Index.
The cost of providing 24/7/365 support internally is also a significant factor. On average IT managers’ earn £40,000 + per year, but depending on the size of the organisation and IT requirement, one IT role may not be enough. Factor in normal working hours, holidays, unplanned absences and other staffing costs, and it becomes clear why the decision to use IT managed services is often driven by cost considerations.
But can IT managed services be more than just another business expense that allows organisations to operate effectively? With the right level of service it is possible to move from purely a reactive solution to a proactive and value adding strategic solution.
How Can IT Managed Services Add Value?
One key area that can deliver real value to organisations, although not an easy element to measure, is customer focus. If your business users are happy with the level of IT support, it can have real benefits to the organisation. Good relationships mean that business users will get more out of the service – they’ll be more likely to contact the IT service desk early ensuring that incidences are dealt with in a timely manner, and they’ll be better at communicating their requirements, ensuring understanding on all sides.
The service team will also gain more insight into the organisation that will allow them to be more proactive, such as by pre-empting demand for services and managing capacity. This allows them to also look at continual service improvement and spot opportunities to help the business increase productivity and profitability.
Building on these strong client relationships, IT managed service providers can become a strategic business partner to enable an organisation to fulfil its’ business objectives. IT takes on a commercial role, impacting on the bottom-line and adding value to the business that can be converted into profit.
IT solutions can help businesses become more agile, allowing them to respond quickly to change and scale their operation accordingly, as well as creating opportunities for innovation. No longer are IT managed service providers just focussed on disaster recovery and business continuity, but also on aligning IT with business strategy and support our clients’ goals.
If your existing IT managed services are only reactive, dealing with the day-to-day tasks and incidences with no eye on the future and the organisation’s overall business vision and goals, it’s time for a review to see whether service improvements could deliver better ROI with a more business-centric approach.
You may also like to read this post on customer focus: The Importance Of Customer-Led IT Service Desk Teams