What's the Day Job? Selecting an IT Managed Services Partner on Core Competencies

Dec 8, 2017 12:01:00 PM | By John Way

What's the Day Job? 

From a warning to amateur entertainers trying to break into professional theatre ("don't give up your day job") it's passed into business parlance as a description of what the business does best, and the real value it adds to its customers' lives.

The danger for business in general and IT services businesses in particular, is either not clearly articulating which of their activities are the day job - and in some cases not actually understanding it themselves!

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Here is a warning sign: "We specialise in all aspects of IT".

All Managed Services providers offer a range of services outside of the core competency, and that's great. It can be efficient to have a range of IT related things happening on one bill with one supplier to manage.

Today even small and medium enterprises can be complex environments, with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems on hybrids of cloud and on-premises infrastructure as they plough ahead with their process for Digital Transformation. Therefore the support requirements can be correspondingly complex.

As part of my series* on selecting an IT Managed Services Provider for SMEs, I invite you to focus on understanding the way the prospective MSP brings value to your enterprise. It is important to identify what really matters to your business operations and map those requirements to what the service provider does well.

For example: If your key business software applications are on Windows servers sitting in Microsoft Azure and email in Office 365, then you need to know that these technologies are core competencies for the MSP which is going to be managing them for you, rather than say a telephony specialist that does Windows "as well".

No amount of cut-price calling or dandy cloud PBX features will allow you to recover the loss of business and reputation that comes from a needless outage of the way you deliver value to your own customers.

Even SME's can be complex environments, with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems on hybrids of cloud and on-premises infrastructure. Therefore the support requirements can be correspondingly complex, but one set of conditions will form the core of your enterprise.

 

So what to do?

  • Identify the IT infrastructure elements that are key and core (or mission critical) in your business. You may need consulting help with this if your IT environment is complex
  • Select an MSP that supports what really matters to you as their day job, and understands the business value of their core competency, with specific reference to your immediate business needs and your business plan
  • Place the support of the other items elsewhere or (more effectively) also select for an MSP that can manage the efforts of others to outsource support of the non-core elements

I hope this will assist you in finding a good fit for an IT Managed Services provider, so you can stop worrying about your IT infrastructure and get on with your day job!

As always, feel free to reach out to me if you need help in selecting an MSP or want to find out more about our Continuous Computing offerings.

 

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* Other blogs you may be interested in: 
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John Way

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Way

John has led Designertech’s Continuous Computing division since 2013, and was instrumental in developing our Managed IT Services offering ContinuITy. Although he has 22 years’ experience in IT services, he originally trained to be an archaeologist.

  

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