Overseeing technology and outsourced IT services is a challenging task for businesses. Managing technology often takes a back seat, unless there are costly technology problems. Companies want to focus on their core services, not the technology that enables it.
How Most Companies Gauge Technology Success
- We’re up and running
- No alarms are going off
- We have a backup
So, things are fine, right?
Well…that’s what most companies think as they’re cruising along. But, with technology, it’s often the silent bells that you have to worry about and these often go unchecked.
With the dependency on computer systems and hosted solutions, it’s not enough to assume things are going well. A “set it and forget it” mindset leads to problems and drives up costs.
Benefits of having this process in place include forecasting and budgeting for IT projects and eliminating last minute expenses.
Costly technology problems that are frequently overlooked
- The data backup isn’t being tested regularly
- Businesses have no idea of what they’re getting in terms of security for what they’re investing
- No ongoing process is in place when it comes to technology planning and budgeting in a proactive way.
Cost Saving Considerations When Using Outsourced IT Services
With the executive team, your outsourced IT services consultant or managed IT service provider should develop a strategic technology plan. This plan should account for your company’s unique business goals, ongoing operational needs and security risks.
Most companies only plan for system upgrades and required hardware replacements. Less planning is typically done with technology as it relates to business operations. Cyber threats can directly affect business operations. Consider how other areas of your business are handled in terms of planning and budgeting. A strategic technology plan will help to lower overall technology costs for the company. It takes into consideration all facets of technology for the entire company.
Questions Most Don’t Ask Their Outsourced IT Services Vendor
- When was our company’s backup last verified and tested?
- When a cyberattack occurs, what are the steps needed to recover from it quickly?
- Do we have all of the technology requirements met with our cyber insurance policy?
What’s Included in a Strategic Technology Roadmap
A strategic technology plan includes:
- Projects upgrades and costs
- Investments in new security tools
- A 12-18 month budget focused around the continuity of the company’s business operations.
An effective IT plan is based on:
- Your company’s individual key performance indicators (KPI’s)
- Risk factors
- A strong set of technology and cybersecurity industry standards
This plan doesn’t sit on a shelf or become a file never to be seen again. It is a working tool that is modified as an organization scales. It should also be adjusted for changes in operations or cyber threats.
The technology roadmap serves as a guide. Most important, it can make the difference when it comes to preventing and quickly recovering from IT problems or a cyberattack. Additionally, it helps save money and time.
3 Technology Planning Questions to Ask
- What does our company’s IT strategic roadmap look like?
- How often are we reviewing and revising it?
- Who should we involve in the IT planning process?
How to Evaluate Outsourced IT Services
Businesses must have a clear understanding of the process used by their outsourced IT services consultant. This type of process will prevent tech problems and identify red flags so they don’t go undetected.
This is a process not a one-time evaluation.
A specific set of industry standards along with technology best practices should be used as a guide. A technology review process evaluates your company’s current technology infrastructure and processes and aligns them with these standards and practices.
Then, the status is reported upon during scheduled meetings to provide updates to the company’s executive team.
As a result, the overall IT strategy is adjusted to allow for new projects or system changes. Decisions are based on what is found during the alignment process and new risks that are present.
In conclusion, with the ongoing reliability of technology, it’s critical for companies to have a clear understanding of their technology investment. An IT strategy will guide decisions around investing in technology, outsourced IT services and cybersecurity. It’s best not to assume things are “fine” without having a process to verify it.