A call that any managed IT services company does NOT want to receive from a client goes something like this – “Just calling to make sure everything will be set up in our new offices next Monday.” And the managed services provider says – “What new office?”
The scramble that happens next is bound to cause problems and frustrations for both the managed service provider (MSP) and their client. This scenario could have been totally avoided if the MSP had been in the loop regarding plans for the upcoming office move.
This is a pretty drastic example of what happens when your managed IT services provider is the last to know about changes that you’re making in your business. If your MSP offers the services of a vCIO to work with you to create IT strategy, you can avoid situations like this, but you have to pull them into your strategic discussions and include them in your planning process.
What Happens During an IT Strategy Meeting
IT strategy meetings take place on a consistent cadence. Quarterly works well for many businesses but if there’s a lot of growth and change in your organization, more frequent meetings may be necessary.
During this meeting, your virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) will meet with executives and your IT manager, if you have one. You’ll talk about progress that has been made along your IT roadmap including status of current projects and where you are with your budget for IT improvements.
The fun part of your IT strategy meeting is when you talk about technology trends, operational pain points, and future plans because these present opportunities to use technology to fuel your growth and goals. This is the part of the meeting that relies on you to bring essential information to the table.
What Your vCIO Wants to Know
You can prepare for your IT strategy meeting by taking a few minutes to gather the information that will help your vCIO understand what’s going on in your business.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get started as you anticipate the changes that may happen in your business in the next three to twelve months.
- Are there plans to move or expand to another facility?
- Do you plan to acquire another company?
- Do you anticipate your employee count to grow?
- What are the technology trends that you’re hearing about in your industry?
- What operational struggles are causing pain? (duplicate data entry, manual processes, missed steps in workflows, etc.)
- What are your priority goals? (Enable sales, increase customer satisfaction, revenue growth, etc.)
Related: What's a vCIO and Why Do I Need One?
The Outcome of IT Strategy
When you’re strategic with IT, you not only avoid frustrations like the one described at the beginning of this article, but you turn technology into a driver for operational improvement and growth. These are outcomes like:
- Increased productivity and capacity.
- Effective management of cyber risks.
- Increased employee and customer satisfaction.
- Improved communication and collaboration.
- Speed ahead of your competition.
IT Strategy and Managed IT Services for Baltimore Businesses
Our clients work with us because they want an IT partner and not just an IT provider. We work alongside companies to bring them more know-how, more ideas and more commitment so they can use technology to up their game.
Ready to up your game? Get in touch to schedule a meeting.
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