Information technology is a critical department in any company. From eCommerce sites to florists, every business relies on computers and telecommunication systems. Yet it’s still common to see companies treat IT technicians as outside the business process, as their addition was an afterthought.
Whether you have your own IT department or work with a managed services provider (MSP), it is advantageous to align your business and IT strategies. Keeping these strategies in sync:
- Encourages everyone to work toward a common goal
- Maximizes efficiencies and minimizes costs
- Enhances collaboration between departments
- Improves data collection and analysis
- Opens the door for early-warning systems and operational dashboards
- Allows for quick and coordinated adjustments to your processes
But a word of caution: Too much alignment can be a disadvantage.
Too much of a good thing
In the digital era, change happens at the speed of a mouse-click. The challenge is for your company to spot new opportunities and quickly pivot strategies when something isn't working. To do that, you need to be agile.
When your business and IT strategies are too closely aligned, you run the risk of institutionalizing tunnel vision and inside-the-box thinking:
- Resources - In the face of business success, an in-house team might choose the safety of coasting rather than the opportunity to evolve.
- Routines - Creating good work habits make employees more efficient. But the danger here is that new and better habits may be overlooked.
- Achievements - Ironically, success can breed complacency, with an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. Change is resisted instead of welcomed as an opportunity.
Outsourced service provider vs. in-house
When it comes to out-of-the-box thinking, it actually helps to have someone provide the bigger perspective. This is why hiring an MSP can be more beneficial than creating your own in-house team. For example:
- For small and medium-sized businesses, an in-house IT team usually consists of a handful of people who are too swamped with their daily tasks to stay updated with the latest IT advances. MSPs bring with them their experiences with various businesses, and with larger teams they have more time to learn about new technologies and best practices, and have access to world-class tools.
- When an IT issue occurs, management will want to resolve it right away, and the in-house IT team focuses on that. MSPs will not only fix the issue, but also help you prevent it from recurring.
- If management rewards cutting costs, an in-house IT technician may recommend a cheap solution (e.g., a VoIP phone system) that does only the bare minimum. MSPs on the other hand may recommend a phone system that’s not as cheap but will allow for valuable opportunities for the company in the future.
A balancing act
For your company to remain competitive, you need to sync your strategies yet still allow for agility. This is especially true in the innovative economy of New Jersey. Your managers need to strike a dynamic balance as they shift between sticking to the strategy and innovating along the way. They should also be smart and socially adept to get people on-board with changes that can be unsettling.
If you decide to partner with a managed IT service provider like Online Computers, you'll have an entire team catering to your IT needs at all times, able to adjust to strategic changes more quickly than one or two in-house technicians can. Your MSP should be proactive with your IT needs, providing reliable IT support while mastering state-of-the-art solutions and outside-of-the-box thinking. And they should have a finger on the pulse of technology’s ever-shifting trends and innovations, so they can advise you properly on the whats and the hows of IT.
Your MSP should be able to help assess, adjust, and refine your IT strategies in relation to your business strategies. Because IT is a critical department in your company, choose your MSP wisely.
Managing your business is already difficult. We at Online Computers will be your dedicated IT partner, supporting you 24/7 and ready to grow with you. If you’re located in or near New Jersey, call us today, so you can run your business and leave the technology to us™.