On the whole, this is what most organisations receive from their IT provider or internal IT dept.
You might get a bit of monitoring and a few software patches applied, but usually not much else. Except of course, advice on what they need to buy! Which is obviously ‘commercially tainted’ as the provider makes profit from their own recommendations. This model is undoubtedly broken; it's reactive in nature and is a far from the ‘trusted partner’ relationship we all want from our IT dept/provider.
So, what else do organisations need from their IT provider?
Honest business practices
The modern approach to IT uses unbiased, board-level, strategic direction, with clear, open book pricing and business case recommendations - transparency is essential in business today.
A road map...
...and budget for the next three years is also a key component to a truly integrated IT provision. The last thing businesses want is unexpected IT costs - IT should not be a 'black hole' of expenditure, it should be predictable spend as per the business plan.
Results based metrics and KPI’s
These focus on productivity improvements, and not just the old, standard ‘time to respond’ type SLA’s (very reactive!). Are the number of IT 'issues' affecting users trending 'down' over time? If not, why not and what's the plan to ensure this improves month on month?
Risk assessment and cyber planning...
...is also nowadays an absolute must. This has never been budgeted for before by most organisations, but the threat out there is now so serious and 'business impacting' that funds have to be set aside to go towards ameliorating this very real risk to business continuity.
This new way of efficiently delivering IT is of course overhead hungry. However, the productivity gains cover the extra cost in your business not only comfortably, but substantially; especially compared to the old ‘IT Support’ model.
The 'Old' IT Support Model
"Is this what I currently have?" I hear you say... well, unfortunately it's highly likely. The new era of effective, business IT is most certainly here, however sadly it still isn't the norm' and most companies are still being subjected to poor business practices often without knowing they even have a problem!
How can that be?
Although initially appearing cheaper, the old IT Support Model is less than honest:
The cost shortfall is covered by the larger margins charged by the supplier on products and services.
- AKA unpredictable IT costs!
The reason a new technology success partner is much more effective than the traditional IT support model, is that the new partner will not make any profit if their methodology does not deliver effective results for the client.
This means that if the key performance indicator of success is a more productive client workforce, the only way the new style IT partner can achieve this is by being even more efficient in how they deliver the service. They can’t rely on overcharging for IT kit and services as they have an ‘open-book’ policy... so they simply just have to be really good at what they do!
How do they do that?
Process, process and more process!
Including but not exclusively, strict adherence to:
- a set of detailed practices for IT service management that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business.
ISO9001 & ISO27001- an quality management & information risk management system as per the international standards.
Cyber Essentials Plus, IASME Gold
- a verification and certification of your cyber security is carried out independently by a Certification Body.
...to name but a few. However, these standards are still not enough... what you need is a cultural focus not on what profit can be extracted from you (the customer), but instead the rigid application of a results driven methodology.
This is the true definition of a Technology Success Partner.