Organizations Should Get Full Value from IT Investments

Cost cutting is an obvious concern of CIOs and IT managers. So why do so many cheat themselves by choosing not to implement or use helpful features they pay for anyway?

In our last article we talked about what is probably the biggest opportunity organizations have to improve IT’s overall effectiveness and reliability while driving down IT costs. That is by adopting a managed service model (MSP) commonly referred to as “full-time availability while reducing costs.” Rather than hire a team of full time developers, database administrators and other IT staff, hire an MSP service that monitors your operation around the clock, never takes a vacation, is always there on weekends, and won’t leave or retire someday, taking all his knowledge of your system and applications out the door with him/her. And the best part is that although the MSP’s coverage is full-time, the rate is only part-time because the MSP spreads the cost across all its clients. So, you get fulltime coverage at a fraction of the cost of a full time employee.  And, furthermore, you are able to increase the amount of services required when special needs arise.

Just like in-house professionals, the MSP’s IT experts will also provide senior level consulting, including helping users determine the best solution to best meet their needs or ways to use IT more effectively to resolve issues, achieve business goals and develop solutions for solving business issues that may occur. The MSP can also advise you regarding the latest features included in the software upgrades you are probably paying for anyway — not just that they are available or what they do, but also how these features (both existing and new) can make your organization run better, faster, and cheaper while making end-users happier.

Service your Organization’s Engine

So, here’s a mystery. Why don’t more organizations take advantage of the features they already pay for? Granted, not every organization needs every feature. Value isn’t about the number of features you use. It’s about whether your people are working harder than they have to; whether they’re missing important information they need in order to make key decisions; and whether they’re wasting money on products and services they don’t need. Letting software get out of sync with your current business needs and challenges is like driving a car that never gets routine service. Yes, it runs and people may not notice things getting a little worse every day. But over time costs mount, the experience loses its appeal, and the risk of disaster mounts. Routine and proactive attention to the engine powering your car — or your business — generally costs much less and is less disruptive.

The key is to get in the habit of routinely talking to your MSP — about issues like:

  • Your organization’s current business challenges and opportunities
  • Issues that end-users are having in their jobs where IT can help
  • Recently added or upgraded features and how those also might help

Here’s the bottom line. Just like organizations may not be taking full advantage of the software they buy, they also may not be taking best advantage of their MSP whenever the MSP is needed. So, the business actually overpays twice, while still becoming less efficient and competitive.

If you are an IT manager, end user, or chief financial officer, then having a discussion about how to get more value from your application software has obvious benefits. Making sure you receive those benefits is a key part of our job as a true IT partner. We can do much more than just keep the lights on, and you can too.