Friday, August 28, 2020
3 Signs That It’s Time to Consider Managed Services for Your Technology Platforms
Posted by Jeff Nichols
Today’s managed services models are becoming a popular alternative to traditional time and materials support for managing enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), financial planning and analysis (FP&A) and other critical business applications. Managed services for your technology stack allows you to outsource your day-to-day maintenance, support and enhancements to a trusted advisor and take a more proactive and strategic approach to manage your technology platforms.
They help you keep your solutions aligned with your internal technology roadmap to maximize your return on investment.
So how do you know if it’s time for your organization to consider a move to managed services? Here are three surefire signs to help you evaluate a time and materials approach versus a managed services model.
1. You’re in a reactive, fire-drill mode when technology platform issues arise.
When an issue happens with one or more of your technology solutions, it’s almost always an urgent matter. Although your IT team works hard to address problems quickly, they also have many other demands on their time, and often they don’t have the deep technical expertise needed to quickly address requests. The process to resolve the issue becomes an internal fire drill where everything else drops. Or even worse, your team is at a stand-still and unproductive until IT can get to the matter.
Managed services for your technology solutions from an experienced, certified partner ensures you have a dedicated team for on-demand issues. They have resources with deep experience and knowledge in your solutions, and it’s their full-time job to know the product inside and out, as well as best practices for using the technology so you can utilize it to its fullest potential. This is a powerful alternative to going it alone. Plus, effective managed services optimize your systems and address strategic issues before they slow down productivity.
2. Planning your IT budget for maintenance, support, training, improvements or updates of your technology platforms is like playing a guessing game.
It is almost impossible to predict exactly what your organization will need in terms of support, training or shifts in the business that require consulting from your vendor partner to align your technology platforms. Often IT budgets are subject to change because each issue, ask or engagement has to be quoted on time and materials.
Managed services offer a proactive, predictable pricing method that you can scale to fit your unique business processes and growth plans. You get to manage your IT budget using a flat services pricing model, which limits unexpected expenses. This model allows you to plan for a technology roadmap, training, process improvements and updates for a bundled lower cost.
3. You have multiple technology platforms and likely more on the way!
Your business is constantly changing, and your technology needs often change along with that. Whether you have an ERP, CRM, FP&A or an industry-specific solution, it’s likely the systems are integrated (or should be) and having one resource to manage multiple business software applications and environments requires multiple costly skill sets. Engaging with a team whose day-to-day role is to have deep technical knowledge in your systems saves you from having to hire full-time employees with specialized expertise.
When you rely on top experts to keep your business management technology environment running smoothly, you lower the risk of downtime and the resulting impact on your business and customers. Additionally, you can ensure your technology platforms are in alignment, your team is trained for maximum utilization and your growth path is planned.
Technology platforms need to grow with your business. With managed services, your trusted partner can continually work with you to evaluate your needs and determine the right path for your short- and long-term strategic initiatives. This gives you the flexibility to scale without needing to re-engage in a full-on new project.
Interested in exploring managed services for your business applications? Connect with the Armanino managed services team at experts@armaninoLLP.com
Jeff is a partner in Armanino’s Consulting practice, where he focuses on helping enterprise companies solve their toughest technology challenges and manage systems-related change. He has been implementing Microsoft solutions since 2001 and works with clients in a wide range of industries, including biotech, pharmaceuticals, high-tech, professional services and software.