How do you know if your ICT managed services contract is delivering the best available value for your organisation?
In the first three parts of this discussion we covered:
- What delivery model is your managed services provider (MSP) using? Dedicated, shared, on-demand?
- Part 2 dealt with improvements and innovations your MSP is proactively bringing to your organisation.
- Then we talked about whether your MSP is helping your organisation optimally exploit the alternative application, compute and storage platforms: data centre, on premise and cloud.
Now let’s move on to cover the way your MSP engages strategically, tactically and operationally with your organisation. The key question is “how often does your MSP engage with you to understand your business objectives, strategy, challenges and opportunities?”.
There’s no one correct answer to this question, because it depends on each organisation’s preferences, needs and environment.
But in the connected, networked, online world, ICT is more than ever an essential resource for many organisations. More services and products are being procured and delivered online, both B2B and B2C. Organisations’ online, digital presence is now their “front door” to the world, their prospective and current customers, partners, their staff and all their stakeholders.
So, it makes a lot of sense to ensure that your MSP is tuned into your organisation’s business plans and priorities, so they can add maximum value from an ICT perspective.
Ideally, your MSP is proactive in this regard; at an operational level you should be engaging regularly to review services and maintain at least a 90-day outlook of your business priorities and the ICT projects in the pipeline.
A strategic and / or tactical level engagement process also makes sense: business and industry changes, threats and opportunities are appearing at an increasing pace, as are technology choices, features and benefits. So, ensuring that your MSP is appropriately aware of your 12+ month horizon plans and priorities is beneficial to both parties. You should expect your MSP to proactively respond with proposals and a roadmap to drive ICT investments.
Just one other, closing point. If your MSP genuinely seeks a long-term relationship focused on your organisation’s business outcome then you should expect them to give you impartial advice on technology investments. This can be a dilemma for some MSP’s: many derive significant revenues from re-selling hardware, software and platform services, and will incentivise their representatives accordingly. But not all MSP’s actively pursue reseller revenues – something you should consider when selecting your MSP.
Frontline Services provides impartial “CIO as a service” advice to our clients, including ICT planning, product and services selection, and procurement. If you want help with these or other ICT topics, please contact us via www.frontline-services.com.au .
Stay tuned for the rest of Steve’s Series, published weekly here and on his LinkedIn page.
About Steve Richards, General Manager
Steve is an experienced General Manager with over 35 years’ experience, and a demonstrated history of delivering outcomes. He bring extensive experience to the Frontline Services Executive team, particular in the information technology and services industry, as well as Finance and Oil & Gas. Skilled in Sales Management, Change Management, General Management, Program and Project Management, Steve’s breadth of knowledge makes him a welcome leader for our expanding team.
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