I think that most of us are agreed that as a business we simply cannot do without our technology. Without going down the full techie route or commenting more on gadgets, I would say that in short a company’s basic needs in their technology are, PC, Software (spreadsheet, word processor, email client as the minimal), File storage, Backup of file storage, Security (firewall, V Checker etc), connection to the outside world and underlying support of some level. If I was to ask you to detail these costs for the last year, it may be easy. Potentially with a bit of work this could be done for the last 3 years or even further. The key question is what can you predict for the next 3 years?
· Do you take the last 3 as a guide?
· Do you presume prices are going down so reduce the budget by x%?
· Do you expect to spend on a system in the future as “something has to be done”?
· Do you have agendas or strategies outside of the above basic requirements?
If we take into account the current economic difficulties, you could also ask the following questions:-
· Should we put off planned spend to keep CapEx down?
· Should we try to “sweat” systems out for longer?
· Over and above the basic requirements, is there a specific ROI we can assign next to a proposed solution?
So where does this all leave you? If you are asking the above questions and to some extent struggling to fully answer them you could be in need of a managed service provider. Outsourcing your basic needs can lead to more time to work on your business which, after all, is what pays the bills in the first place. It can also put the onus of cost into an OpEx budget. If you plan to scale and really want to grow, wouldn’t it be better to defer that spend until the actual requirement is there?
Managed service providers will often offer a fixed fee for your specific needs. If something breaks or something does not work properly, it is covered. Also, spending can be spread and predicted for a fixed length of time. Strategies can be drawn up and aligned to your basic needs. Basically, it is covered
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