So as an IT pro, you might be asking, “What does my job look like as the technology industry and my company move toward managed services?" “Why would we use a managed IT company if the internal IT pro can handle it?” In the same way you may hire a maid to clean your home, or a gardener to landscape your lawn, you may hire an IT expert to handle basic chores for your business. The maid and the gardner afford you more time to dedicate to activities that are of higher value to you. Just like tasks around the home, technology tasks can also be broken down into those that offer you value and those that don’t. Those technologies that offer you value are said to have competitive advantage.
A technology that offers a competitive advantage is one that offers a higher value to the company, and helps outperform the competition. Technologies such as capacity planning and forecasting, customer relationship management, data mining, and enterprise resource planning are some of those technologies that can give a company an edge over what the other guy down the street is doing. They provide additional intelligence that allows the business to operate smarter and more efficient.
Those technologies that do not offer a competitive advantage include email, network monitoring, spam and virus protection. These technologies have become par for the course in today’s business climate. Today, all companies are expected to have a website, with an easy to use contact form and email. Their systems are expected to be up and working around the clock with no downtime. Using internal resources to maintain these technologies takes away from time that could be spent developing advanced technologies and processes that can further the company in the long run.
So to answer the questions above, IT pros should focus their time and skills on developing advanced technologies that offer the company additional benefits over the competition. A managed services company can then be leveraged to perform routine maintenance and basic services for the company, the “housekeeping” if you will, while the internal IT pro is free to further develop advanced skills. Their value to the company will be equal to the competitive advantages they can bring to the table, and in turn IT pros can secure their jobs. So instead of fearing the possibility of a managed services company, IT pros have the opportunity to further secure their place in the company by offering value that will far outweigh the cost of a managed IT provider.