Your company has a lot of important relationships; from employees to vendors, investors, and contractors, this is why IT is the most important of them all.
After a couple frustrating recent situations with prospective clients who really struggled to differentiate the value between “Break & Fix” providers of IT services and Managed Services Providers, I feel it should be articulated why IT is the most important professional relationship your business has (aside from customers). If you aren’t familiar with the distinction between the models, Break & Fix IT providers charge by the hour in a primarily reactive service relationship. Clients use them when they need them and keep the costs low, perhaps going weeks or months without spending anything on IT Support or service. Managed Service providers charge a static price based on the size of the environment, and are responsible for the management of the entire function of IT, essentially a bolt-on department. Over the past 10 or 15 years, technology has slowly edged its way deeper and deeper into the C Suite of business conversations, to where it is now considered a professional service like attorneys, accountants, and marketing & design firms. So why is IT the most important professional relationship your company has?
Researchers at the Oxford Martin School have reported, in a well-publicized study, that as many as 45% of American jobs could be automated in the next 20 years. Let that sink in. Most people immediately think of manufacturing assembly lines and articulating robot arms when they envision this new reality, but in actuality, a huge portion of these jobs will be white collar. Sales, logistics, administrative support, services & data processing jobs are all in serious jeopardy in decades to come. Many of these roles aren’t going to disappear, but instead, software and automation tools are going to allow each worker to get more done, allowing companies to run leaner than ever while providing a richer overall experience to the customer.
A business can have the best contracts and consulting advice, pay the least taxes or have the best digital marketing campaign, but there is only one discipline in your business that can help you keep up with this relentless pace of automation, and that is your IT department.
Why is this relevant to your business?
Every day your competitors, bigger and smaller, show up with the intent of providing a better value proposition than you. They can provide their customers with a better experience, or they can charge less for equivalent value to take your business. If they are able to use software tools to provide their customers with better information or data, superior responsiveness, more transparency, faster production or turnaround times than you are, they will eat your lunch. Using automation they can figure out how to have one person do the job of two, then three. Pretty soon they can charge less for equivalent or superior value.
Coming Full Circle
If you are not actively investing in technology as a platform to increase your competitive advantage as a business, you are stifling one of the only places in your business where you can both increase the value proposition to your customers and make your business more profitable through labor efficiency. Break & Fix providers will help you keep your bill low, but across town, your competitors will have C-level discussions on using software & systems to grow their business with a fraction of the workforce it would take you. A strong Managed Services provider can help you build a technology department with the horsepower to drive the key innovations to your business that will increase its value.
Does this value proposition sound worth a phone call or an in-person meeting? Get in touch with Upward Technology today and start making IT your competitive advantage!