Modern businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on managed IT support consultancy services. The rapid evolution of technology has meant even the most experienced IT professionals do not have all the relevant skills they need to navigate today’s digital landscape.
When partnering with a managed IT support consultancy service, it’s essential to establish clear communication channels, service-level agreements (SLAs), and expectations to ensure a successful collaboration.
Additionally, the services provided should be tailored to your organisation’s specific needs and adhere to the compliance and regulatory requirements within your industry.
But the crux of using a managed IT support consultancy service is to optimise your company’s IT infrastructure, improving efficiency, enhancing security, and addressing technology-related challenges.
This article details what you can typically expect from reputable managed IT support consultancy services.
IT Assessment and Analysis
A thorough assessment of your existing IT infrastructure, systems, and processes is required to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.
The primary objective of IT assessment and analysis is to identify potential IT-related risks. These should include security risks and potential network failures that could result in a loss of productivity and profit.
In addition, an IT assessment and analysis involves a comprehensive examination of your current IT infrastructure, systems, processes, and strategies.
The goal is to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of your IT environment, identify areas for improvement, and develop a strategic plan to align IT technologies and strategies with your business objectives.
Outsourced IT professionals will initially evaluate your IT infrastructure. This should include a review of your hardware and software applications together with licenses in use, including operating systems, productivity suites and specialised software.
You should also expect a thorough examination of your network architecture, topology, and configurations to identify potential bottlenecks and optimise solutions that open up opportunities for enhanced efficacy and/or growth.
Analysis of data storage, backup, and retrieval processes is also necessary to ensure data integrity, security, and compliance with data protection regulations. We will go deeper into this a little later because it warrants its own category of expectations you would want to see fulfilled.
Customised IT Strategy
When you work with an outsourced IT Consultant, you should expect to develop a clear vision of your IT strategy that aligns with your business objectives. If an outsourced IT support team is trying to push services on to you that you don’t needs, the service they are providing is not a customised IT strategy that serves your best interests.
Depending on where you are in your journey, a customised IT strategy may include key factors such as digital transformation, technology trends, market opportunities and IT investments that align with your business objectives.
But the most important aspect of developing a tailored IT strategy is that the roadmap is aligned with your business goals and objectives. The strategy should ideally be clear on the short-term plan but also outline the long-term plans for technology upgrades and enhancements once certain targets are met within any given timeframe.
Compliance and Regulatory Guidance
Compliance and regulatory guidance involve ensuring that an organisation’s information technology practices, policies, and procedures align with relevant industry regulations.
For UK businesses, compliance and regulatory guidance should include GDPR and data protection laws, cybersecurity standards, and legal requirements.
Compliance is essential for protecting sensitive data, maintaining the trust of customers and stakeholders, and avoiding legal consequences. The first step is to identify which regulations, laws, and standards are relevant to your business.
When you reach out to managed IT support consultancy services, you should expect them to conduct a comprehensive assessment to evaluate your current IT practices and determine whether they meet the regulations and standards that have been set for your industry. This gap analysis helps identify areas where your company may fall short of compliance requirements.
Where there is a shortfall, the IT support provider is responsible for creating or updating IT policies and procedures that align with regulatory requirements that are not currently being met.
Effective Cybersecurity Solutions
Implementation and management of robust cybersecurity measures, including firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection, and data encryption, to protect your organisation from cyber threats.
However, it should be noted there is no single set of solutions that resolve your cybersecurity compliance obligations. The Information Commissioner’s Office demands that reasonable steps are taken to protect sensitive data, but they also recognise that companies can only do so much within the budget they have available to them.
Effective cybersecurity solutions involve a combination of technologies, processes, and best practices designed to protect digital assets, data, and information systems from a wide range of cyber threats and attacks.
These solutions are crucial for safeguarding sensitive information, ensuring business continuity, and maintaining the trust of customers and stakeholders.
Reputable IT support professionals ordinarily begin with a thorough risk assessment to identify and prioritise potential cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities. This helps you understand your specific security needs and allocate resources effectively.
The next step is to develop and enforce comprehensive cybersecurity policies and procedures that outline security expectations, incident response plans, and data protection measures.
It should be noted that cybersecurity is an ongoing process. Regularly review and update your security measures to adapt to evolving threats and technologies, and foster a culture of cybersecurity awareness throughout the company.
For more information about how to implement an effective cybersecurity strategy without blowing your budget read our article: Cybersecurity Solutions Don’t Have To Be Expensive.
Cloud Services Integration
By leveraging cloud services, you can avoid the capital expenses associated with purchasing and maintaining on-premises hardware like servers and software packages out of the box.
Integrating cloud services is a cost-effective solution that gives you access to a wealth of resources on a subscription or usage-based model. The key benefits are the reduction of upfront costs and potentially lowering overall IT expenses.
When you work with an IT support consultancy service, you should expect them to provide cloud integration solutions that make your operations more agile, productive and efficient.
For example, cloud services allow you to easily scale your IT resources up or down as your needs change. This flexibility is particularly valuable for businesses with fluctuating workloads or those experiencing growth.
Adopting the cloud can also help you resolve server and access issues your teams encounter when working in remote locations. Cloud storage makes it easier for work colleagues to share, collaborate and access files and tools they need to perform their work effectively.
IT support for technology procurement involves the planning, acquisition, and management of hardware, software, and technology services. This process plays a critical role in ensuring that you have the right technology resources to support its operations and strategic goals.
A managed IT support consultancy service should conduct a comprehensive assessment of your technology needs, develop a budget that outlines the financial resources available for technology procurement and clearly define the technical specifications and requirements for the technology products or services.
You should also expect outsourced IT professionals to research and identify potential vendors or suppliers that offer the technology products or services you need.
Be warned that most managed IT support companies sign up to big tech brands like Microsoft, Google, Apple and Amazon so will ordinarily recommend their affiliated partners. However, you do not have an obligation to opt-in for the recommended service if you prefer other options.
Scalability and Flexibility
Scalability and flexibility are closely related but not interchangeable. Scalability focuses on accommodating growth and changes in resource demand, while flexibility encompasses a broader range of adaptability requirements, including technology, operational and potential financial aspects.
Together, scalability and flexibility enable businesses to handle growth efficiently and adjust their strategies and operations as needed to remain competitive in an ever-changing business landscape.
In IT, for example, cloud computing offers both scalability (through the ability to scale resources up or down as needed) and flexibility (by providing a variety of services and tools that can be rapidly adopted or discontinued).
The interplay of these attributes allows your business to optimise relevant IT infrastructure and respond to changing business requirements effectively and efficiently.
IT support consultancy services should have solutions that enable you to scale easily with minimal disruption. This primary objective is true whether you need to scale your business growth or de-growth, or if you need to adapt to new technology requirements as they enter the marketplace.
There are several types of scalability strategies that you should expect a managed IT support consultancy service to address.
Horizontal Scalability involves adding more identical resources or nodes to a system to handle increased load. This often involves distributed systems and load balancing.
Vertical Scalability requires increasing the capacity of existing resources, such as upgrading server hardware or adding more memory to a single machine.
Elastic Scalability is the ability to automatically and dynamically scale resources up or down based on demand. This is common in cloud computing and virtualised environments.
Flexibility, or agility, refers to an organisation’s ability to adapt, pivot, and respond to changing circumstances, requirements, or opportunities. It’s about being nimble and versatile in operations and decision-making.
Again, there are several types of flexibility that you should expect a managed IT support consultancy service to address in your initial conversations.
The ability to adopt and integrate new technologies quickly and effectively, how to implement them, how to roll them out and provide training.
The capability to adjust day-to-day operations in response to changing conditions, such as market fluctuations or unexpected events such as a natural disaster.
Having access to resources or funding options that allow your company to weather financial uncertainties or invest in new ventures may require you to consider a new IT strategy.
IT support consultancy services can play a significant role in helping to optimise your IT costs. A reputable consultancy firm does this by identifying opportunities to reduce expenses, improve resource allocation, and enhance operational efficiency.
You should expect a managed IT support consultancy service to conduct a thorough assessment of your existing IT expenditures. This will include hardware, software, cloud services, and IT personnel costs.
The next step is to analyse cost trends and patterns to identify areas where you can increase your budget deficit by optimising costs on asset management and inventory.
Micro Pro do this by implementing robust asset management practices to track hardware and software assets accurately. This enables us to identify underutilised or redundant assets that can be retired or repurposed to save costs.
We also review cloud service usage and spending to ensure resources are provisioned appropriately. We recommend implementing cost controls and governance policies for cloud services to prevent overspending.
This also includes assessing vendor contracts and agreements to identify opportunities for negotiation and cost reduction. There may also be an option to consolidate costs by switching vendors with software licensing models that are better aligned with your company’s needs and budget.
Energy efficiency, process efficiency and outsourcing specific IT functions to managed service providers (MSPs) can reduce overhead costs and gain access to specialised expertise.
Assessing security technologies can also ensure a balanced approach between protection and cost. There are plenty of cost-effective security solutions available without compromising on protection.
You should expect a managed IT support consultancy service to develop IT budgets and forecasts that align with your organisation’s strategic goals. Create contingency plans for unexpected expenses or economic downturns.
Cost optimisation is an ongoing process and should be managed by IT support professionals who have experience with budget management. Micro Pro have a multi-disciplined team that keeps tabs on the latest developments and potential changes in the future landscape so that you can prepare cost optimisation in advance and execute your plans at the earliest convenience.
Managed IT Support Consultancy Services in London
By working closely with managed IT support consultancy services, it is possible to gain valuable insights, recommendations, and strategies to reduce IT costs while maintaining or enhancing the quality and effectiveness of their technology operations.
Our managed IT support consultancy services in London provide a proactive approach to assessment and analysis so that we can provide you with a customised IT strategy that is cost-optimised and geared to help your business grow.