Outsourcing Your IT — What to Look for When Choosing an IT Provider
ROI differences in the managed IT service providers approach
As we discussed earlier, a reactive managed IT service provider focuses on keeping the day-to-day running. The ROI comes from the speed at which tickets get solved without your staff’s involvement, knowing what hardware to replace each year, and software license to renew. They are focused on the tactical doing of the work.
On the other hand, a proactive managed IT service provider focuses on helping the business run more efficiently. The ROI comes from the substantial (8x) reduction in issues, so your staff stays working. ROI is also seen in the guidance on all things technology, including business applications so you can (most quickly and cost-effectively) accomplish your business initiatives. The continual identification of risk and productivity improvements will keep your business protected while doing more with less. Proactive managed IT service providers are focused on the strategic, operational, and tactical of the work. The real difference in ROI here is the impact on the annual revenue that can be supported per employee. Proactive approaches allow companies to support $20,000 more in annual revenue per employee, per year than the same business with a reactive approach.
Cost differences of managed IT services
You might be thinking, “What kind of costs can I expect to pay for managed IT services?”. As you can imagine, the cost of simply fixing what is broke takes significantly less time than the combination of fixing what’s broken, preventing issues from happening, and guiding a successful IT strategy. So it is good to understand the ballpark costs you should expect.
In a reactive managed IT service model you can expect to pay around $100 per computer user per month. The average computer user with a reactive IT approach has 1-2 tickets per month equaling about 1-2 hours per month when it comes to IT. This leaves little room in the budget to pay for tools and not enough to pay for proactive prevention or strategic guidance.
In a proactive managed IT service model you can expect to pay around $150 per computer user per month. The average computer user with a proactive IT approach has 0.25 tickets per month equalling about 15-30 minutes per month for IT. This leaves room to pay for tools, proactive prevention, and strategic guidance. In fact, 90% of your $150 budget is now focused on proactive IT and meaningful ROI including preventing issues, keeping your people productive and guiding strategic improvements across all your business technology.
Delivering managed IT services
As you have learned there is a vast difference in approaches and results between reactive and proactive managed IT service providers. Managed IT service providers focus 100% of their time on delivering the same result across all their clients in a repeatable way. All processes, best practices, and roles are created to fulfill either reactive results or proactive results—not both.
Other anomalies to look for are managed IT service providers that provide multiple plans. A truly proactive managed IT service provider has one plan and 100% of their clients are on it.
Another question to consider is: what is the percentage of a company’s revenue that is focused on delivering proactive managed IT services? Are they really a project company first and managed IT service company second? Or a copier dealer first and a managed IT service company second?
The pain of switching providers
The idea of changing IT providers is daunting for most small to midsize business executives. The current provider knows all your passwords and how to install your software. In reality, we find that there are just staff members at the reactive managed IT provider who knows this information and switching isn’t as stressful as you may think.
Here’s what switching from a reactive IT provider to a proactive IT provider looks like.
In week 1 security information is captured and in week 3 it is published into an electronic portal for all members of the proactive IT service provider to use and update.
Additionally in week 3, documentation to set up and deactivate users and set up new computers or printers is created. This process is repeatable which makes it easy for your time, every time.
The real-time commitment needed of business executives are:
- What is your business plan?
- Who can make purchasing and security changes?
- Do you have vendor contact info?
- 30 to 60 minutes each month, in structured forward-looking IT planning.
In the onboarding phase, your proactive IT provider will work with you to make a smooth transition.
- Week 1- Gather Info
- Week 2- Install Tools in Silent Mode
- Week 3- Build Documentation
- Week 4- Tools and Support Go Live
Once onboarding is complete, you’ll have around-the-clock support moving forward.
- 24/7 support to get users back working when there are issues.
- 24/7 management to monitor the network for issues and implement patches to help protect it.
- Proactive audit and alignment to best practices to prevent issues from arising.
- Guidance and direction on an IT plan and budget for what to do next to help your business do more with less.