This week’s blog features an article from Forbes about the many benefits of partnering with a managed service provider: How to Use Managed Services As A Solution To 2022 Business Challenges
For many businesses, the 2021 holiday season was a one-two punch: e-commerce sales skyrocketed with initial predictions suggesting $910 billion in sales while record-breaking labor shortages left companies with fewer options to manage the surge.
Furthering the challenge, organizations are still facing the increasing skills gap. In January 2021, a McKinsey study found that 87% of companies worldwide are aware that they already or will have a skills gap. As The Great Resignation continues, this gap will become increasingly notable, especially in IT departments.
While the IT skills gap could be lessened through more extensive training, this requires funds and time that many organizations may not currently have. As soon as an IT, enterprise resource planning (ERP) or e-commerce business solution is down, an organization is instantly losing profits. Efficiency and expertise are necessary in getting these solutions back up and running. Bracing for the storm of increasing demand and decreasing labor power, business leaders may feel stuck when making their next move. If this is the case, managed services could be a solution. Here are the factors to consider…
Don’t Mind The Skills Gap, Solve It
Though labor shortages should be top of mind to employers and business owners, there have been technological advances, such as the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) that can automate some tasks and reduce the impact of fewer employees. A Prudential survey (download required) suggests businesses would be better off to focus employee attention away from these rote tasks with nearly three-quarters of managers believing their teams would be more productive if they expanded their skill sets.
The IT skills gap, however, isn’t quite as easy to remedy as employing automation. Tackling the challenge in-house has the potential to create several long-term dilemmas such as lag-time, higher employee turnover and decreased revenue. When key business technology goes down, organizations don’t have the time to train internal IT teams to remedy the issue correctly. At best, they may find a quick-fix solution. A managed services partner is an option that will have the expertise needed to efficiently solve the issue the first time.
What To Look For In A Partner
When considering a managed services partner to fit your business, there are a few key characteristics they should provide:
- Cost savings. A managed services partner’s expertise and their ability to efficiently solve IT challenges, organizations should help you see significant cost saving by filling the skills gap and avoiding extended downtime, lag time and recurring IT issues.
- Increased productivity and employee efficiency. A partner is there to support your business and employees. So, ensure they are freeing up your internal IT, ERP and e-commerce teams so those teams can focus on other priorities and increase your business’s efficiency.
- Quick response time. You can’t increase efficiency if your partner isn’t available when you need them. Look for one that offers 24/7, on-demand service. Finding a service provider that uses the industry-standard JIRA ticketing system guarantees a consistent and reliable line of communication. Often, providers will categorize response times based on the severity of the situation, which will help efficiently address urgent issues.
- Access to resources and specialized expertise. Research and make sure your partner is staffed with service providers who have the expertise needed for your business’ ERP and e-commerce solutions. Spend some time looking into the areas of expertise offered by the providers you’re considering and check to see if they have certifications in your business’s technology like Infor Certification.
- An extension of your business’s IT department. Ensure that your partner acts as an effective liaison between your IT department and your ERP and e-commerce solution provider for the most appropriate solutions when it comes to bugs and fixes. This can be done by measuring the amount of downtime experienced before the provider solves the issue, how frequently issues recur and your team’s overall happiness with the service. Hint: if your team has been able to spend more of their time focused on business-furthering activity rather than solving IT issues, your service provider is a good fit.
Finding What Works For Your Business
Regardless of your organization’s unique needs, I believe there is a managed services provider that is equipped to best support you and your team. Understanding what to look for in this provider, as well as understanding the needs of your organization, are the first steps to establishing this successful partnership.
A partner that is optimized to support your organization’s ERP and e-commerce solution will allow you and your teams to step away from any IT needs and refocus your efforts onto other pressing business matters and find new ways to grow your organization.
Organizations are facing numerous challenges and risks as they enter the new year; compensating for the skills gap upfront can lead to smoother sailing throughout 2022. Those who use the resources at hand to support their teams will reap the benefits.
Of course, finding the best company to partner with for managed solutions isn’t always the easiest task. Some technology advisors have pre-existing partnerships in place that narrow your options and decrease your flexibility. Fortunately, that is not the case with Computers Nationwide. Computers Nationwide is a vendor agnostic company which means we are open to all viable and established solutions with the correct support infrastructure in place to meet your technological needs. This gives your organization an easier path towards personalized strategies that work for you.
As the premier Managed Service Provider (MSP) of the Midwest, it’s our duty to keep businesses like yours running smoothly and efficiently. We offer a wide variety of managed services for you to choose from. Managed IT can assist you with innovative remote management and monitoring capabilities. Managed SD-WAN will maximize your internet bandwidth. Managed Cyber Security keeps your SMB protected from malware and other cyber threats around the clock! We partner with trusted service providers to offer our clients a variety of cutting-edge, managed solutions.
Ready to tackle the skills gap, increase productivity, and take your business to the next level?
Partnering with the IT experts at Computers Nationwide is your best bet!