Maximizing Business Potential with Outsourced IT
Streamlined Operations and Enhanced Security
Businesses navigate a complex digital landscape, and IT’s role has transcended into an essential driver for success. The importance of safeguarding digital assets and harnessing the potential of technology has led to strategic solutions like outsourcing IT. On this page, we’ll dive into the significance of outsourced IT, address internal management challenges, and uncover the benefits when businesses create partnerships with external experts such as TenisiTech.
Outsourcing is more popular than ever due to the global work environment that has emerged in the past two decades. Businesses can now look beyond their local staff to hire outside experts for various operational needs. Outsourced IT refers to partnering with external professionals or companies that handle information technology needs. A wide range of services, including implementing robust cybersecurity practices, building reliable infrastructure, CIO-level oversight, and modernizing systems, may be included in these partnerships.
The Importance of IT
The importance of outsourced IT management can be summed up in four categories:
- Security. Every business requires IT security for many critical reasons, including protecting data and guarding against cyber threats. Robust cybersecurity programs help protect your reputation and ability to continue business operations. Security is paramount in maintaining the integrity of your organization. Are you regularly monitoring and reporting on antivirus and encryption? If not, consider partnering with the experts at TenisiTech. Modern, simple solutions mean stronger security.
- Compliance. Compliance is a more nuanced space that varies by industry. Regulatory authorities demand compliance, and companies may face hefty penalties for not adhering to regulatory requirements within their space. There are endless examples of compliance standards, but a few popular ones that TenisiTech often supports include HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) for organizations in the healthcare industry, SOC 2 for those in technology or offering business platforms for customers, and ISO27001 for manufacturing or service providers.
- Service. An outstanding IT service provider can build an IT strategy aligned with business goals. They will communicate effectively as part of your executive team with CIO-level oversight and support staff by answering questions, responding to requests, and assisting with any problems. Managing network infrastructure, the application, and server environments and implementing and maintaining IT security should also be included.
- Productivity. IT tools and features can boost productivity by tightening operational deficiencies and making day-to-day work easier. But what tools are necessary for your business? And importantly, how much do they cost? These expenses should be monitored and managed. TenisiTech brings a wealth of experience with different vendors and can help you choose and manage the right cost-effective tools for boosting productivity in your team.
When partnering with a reliable managed service provider like TenisiTech, you can expect ongoing deliverables that cover these four pillars. A monthly scorecard will provide insight into open and closed tickets from the helpdesk, important SLAs such as how fast tickets are answered, and all IT-managed assets. This scorecard also provides valuable ongoing insights into security, such as servers needing a reboot, workstations with no antivirus, and failed OS patches. Critical monitoring alerts that system admins should tackle are also included in a monthly scorecard.
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The Challenges of Managing IT
Organizations often struggle with technical complexity when managing IT internally. Challenges can include difficulty keeping up with ever-evolving tech, potential disruptions, glitches and bugs, limited resources, or minimal in-house expertise.
Business leaders know how important it is to leverage technology because it leads to enhanced productivity and competitive products or services. An in-house IT team is attainable for any business but be prepared for the hurdles that come with it. If you lack CIO or CTO-level expertise, it will be difficult to gauge the talent coming in through the HR pipeline. There is a never-ending stream of technical talent in today’s marketplace, but not everyone will have the broad range of skills needed to lead your IT team.
Most CEOs and human resource departments are uncertain about evaluating highly technical skills, which can lead to some understandable discomfort. That’s why partnering with a reputable managed service provider like TenisiTech is essential. IT experts know what to assess in IT teams and can provide frank evaluations of skills and solutions that can lead to peace of mind.
An experienced managed service provider, such as TenisiTech, will be in high demand and have considerable experience in a diverse range of ongoing projects. They will not only be well-versed in modernization or digital transformation projects, such as cloud migration, to simplify infrastructure and reduce costs but can also help with large foundational projects that your internal IT team may not have the breadth of experience to tackle correctly. Outsourcing IT can also help you gauge cost-saving situations, such as when it makes sense to migrate from on-premise hardware to software as a server solution or consolidate redundant applications.
IT Roles on Demand
One of the many benefits of outsourcing IT with a trusted managed service provider is the ability to attain talent as it is required. Staffing up an entire IT team is expensive and time-consuming. IT Directors in the United States have base salaries ranging from $200,000 to $300,000 per year, and those numbers don’t include bonuses or benefits.
Here are a few of the essential IT roles that an experienced managed IT service provider like TensiTech can provide:
- IT Leadership. This includes roles such as CIO or IT Director. A leader must oversee a business’s strategic use of technology systems to achieve business objectives and drive innovation. TenisiTech’s CIO advisory is everything your organization needs in strategic and tactical support.
- Systems and Network Architects. These roles design and implement IT environments and solutions. They are more experienced roles that administrators develop into.
- Systems and Network Administrators. Administrators maintain a business’s networks, servers, applications, and cloud environments. They are also responsible for maintaining an environment’s security and ensuring a smooth operational process.
- Service Desk Operations. This team includes remote helpdesk technicians and desktop administrators. They provide technical assistance and troubleshooting computer hardware, software, and additional devices that fall within the purview of desktop support (also known as “helpdesk”). All helpdesk agents at TenisiTech are HDI-certified for standout customer service, and IT knowledge rolled into one.
Tap into these particular areas of expertise when you need them without the hassle of hiring and onboarding. Additionally, avoid the stress of layoffs if and when these roles become redundant. You likely don’t need to fill all of these roles full-time, and it’s an expense that can be avoided by outsourcing IT.
Embracing outsourced IT empowers businesses to harness specialized expertise and comprehensive services, enabling potentially epic reductions in operational costs and unwavering, round-the-clock professional support. This strategic move will not only liberate your organization to direct its energy toward pivotal priorities but also affords you the confidence that comes with enlisting experienced and battle-tested IT professionals.
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IT Strategy and Managed Support
With the power of external expertise, businesses can unlock new pathways to growth and navigate managing complex IT budgets. All companies must decipher strategies that drive progress, ignite innovation, and prepare the groundwork for a resilient and future-proof business environment, but you can’t do that without IT’s support.
Strategy is a business initiative that requires an experienced IT leader to guide and support. You may have a well-oiled engineering team and high-level technical leadership but need IT to collaborate with them. Some companies expect engineers or other organization members to provide IT services in addition to development, but that is a mistake. It’s important to understand that engineers, while very important to a company, are not IT professionals. Additionally, CTOs should not perform the same function as a CIO. A technical team is not the same as an IT department, and any company lacking IT cannot be technically strategic.
Another mistake businesses may make is placing leadership responsibility on tactical IT professionals who need more experience to handle strategy. Perhaps you’ve had the same IT leadership that has grown within your scaling business for the past fifteen years. That loyalty is a beautiful asset to any organization, but IT leaders who have worked for your company for many years likely only understand what is right in front of them. By growing within the company, they have lost learning opportunities at other enterprise-level organizations that may have given them the experience needed to scale new technology to meet business goals.
As organizations scale over time, their reward is necessary modernization or digital transformation. Your scaling business may have started small, as many do, with in-house systems to maintain. Now that you’ve grown over the last decade, you’ll want to consider cloud migration seriously. But do you have the necessary combination of leadership and IT resources to make that move?
Three Crucial Steps for IT Strategy
There are three crucial steps for a scaling business to consider in its future-oriented IT strategy:
- Inventory. This first step is a comprehensive inventory of the existing IT environment. Hardware, software, applications, and infrastructure must be carefully cataloged. After taking stock, there should be a clear understanding of the environment’s strengths and areas where improvement is needed.
- Identify Outdated Systems. During the inventory phase, outdated or legacy systems should be identified. These systems may have served you well in the past, but now they can hinder efficiency, pose security risks, or hinder scalability. This phase of the strategy will help you determine where intervention is necessary.
- Evaluate Options. This step explores options, such as migrating to modern platforms or upgrading legacy systems. There are many options, and you should take time to weigh factors like compatibility, security, cost, scalability, and, most importantly, alignment with your long-term business goals.
These steps can help streamline operations and position your company for growth in an ever-evolving tech landscape. However, it’s important to note that you have not finished once you complete this process. IT strategy must be an ongoing initiative in your business. When you move to the third step of evaluating options, an essential factor to consider is futureproofing. Upgrading systems can be exciting today, but what about a year from now? What about two or three years from now? Technology begins to erode the moment you implement it, and you must consider the future of your business. We recommend that you ensure any application you upgrade remains effective for at least three years.
The Benefits of Cloud Migration
The cloud has revolutionized how organizations handle their IT infrastructure and services. For companies who have been in business for a while and have worked with in-house servers for the past decade, cloud migration should be a business imperative for a multitude of reasons we’ll outline here.
Cloud migration is the process of shifting a company’s digital assets to remote cloud servers. Digital assets often involve data, workloads, and data in on-premises infrastructure. The transition offers many benefits that can enhance scalability, security, and operational efficiency.
Resource allocation is one primary advantage of cloud migration. Businesses can quickly upscale or downscale their resources based on demand. Performance is then enhanced, and unnecessary costs can be mostly eliminated. Cloud environments enable geographically agnostic teams to collaborate seamlessly. Companies no longer have to limit themselves to hiring within a specific location or region. You can tap into a larger talent pool in the global workplace if you leverage cloud technology.
For some business leaders, the cloud may feel like a trendy, untouchable unknown that can lead to unnecessary doubt and anxiety surrounding migration. However, there is no need to worry. The cloud is now a tried and trusted ally of businesses everywhere. Upgrading to AWS, Azure, or GCP should provide relief because conglomerates like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google spend more money on security in one year than most businesses will over a lifetime. It’s time to let go of those old fears. The cloud is a very tangible and necessary asset to your organization.
Outsourced IT in Cloud Migration
Outsourced IT can play an essential role in the success of any cloud migration project. Experienced external providers bring specialized expertise and knowledge to guide businesses through the complicated process.
As discussed earlier, outsourced IT will implement the three crucial steps of IT strategy: inventory, identifying outdated systems, and evaluating options. Following these steps, an outsourced service provider can develop a plan tailored to your business. External experts have the technical experience to assist you in selecting the most suitable cloud service model for your organization.
Outsourced IT will manage data migration, system integration, and application refactoring complexities. This level of support will assist in ensuring there are minimal disruptions to your data integrity and operations. External support also provides compliance adherence and hefty security measures to help protect your sensitive information during migration.
Best Practices for Successful Cloud Migration
Cloud migration requires careful planning and execution. Here are some important considerations and best practices:
- Comprehensive Planning. A detailed roadmap should outline strategy, resource allocation, and timelines. Technical aspects must be in alignment with business objectives.
- Security. Access controls, encryption, and authentication mechanisms to protect sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access should be prioritized and implemented.
- Data Management. Categorizing data based on sensitivity is vital and will inform data backup strategies such as implementing encryption and organizing data transfer mechanisms.
- Testing and Validation. Before deployment, all applications and workloads should be rigorously tested in the cloud environment. All issues can be identified without causing any disruptions to day-to-day business operations. Once problems are identified, they can be fixed before going live.
- Change Management. All stakeholders should be well informed about a migration plan’s implications. Training and support should be provided to users directly impacted by the migration.
- Monitoring and Optimization. Cloud performance metrics must be closely monitored once implemented to ensure optimal results.
- Cost Management. Cloud-native tools can be leveraged to monitor usage and manage costs. Who doesn’t love saving money?
Cloud migration, especially when supported by outsourced IT experts, can empower your business to unlock the full potential of modern IT infrastructure. Flexibility, security, efficiency, and scalability offered by cloud environments will help your company stay competitive in the contemporary business world. By utilizing best practices, companies can confidently maneuver cloud migration while minimizing disruptions.
The Simplicity of Cloud Services
Here’s a visual comparing the complexity of on-premise servers to a cloud-based one.
Complex on-premise IT infrastructure requires more management time, resulting in less resiliency.
The use of cloud services simplifies IT management, generating savings and better resiliency.
Budgeting For IT Strategy
Every business leader is concerned with the bottom line. You may have read our steps for IT strategy and immediately balked at the potential price point of such an undertaking. IT projects can be expensive, especially during a phase of digital transformation. But it’s important to remember that the money you’ll save on the power, cooling, and security of on-premises systems, outdated hardware, maintenance, and licensing will often pay for a modernization project. The experts at TenisiTech can help by taking inventory of current and potentially expensive systems to ensure they are necessary. Often, businesses pay for IT support they simply don’t need without even realizing it. It’s time to offload those outdated expenses and put that money toward modernization.
You may be using a costly layer of software or application that you no longer need, such as virtual desktops. Your organization will save money by moving to cloud services. If you’re already a cloud-native company, how do you create an infrastructure that provides compliance, security, service, and productivity? Applications can do various things, and you may be using ones that don’t serve your business strategy. Cutting out technology that no longer helps your operational efficiencies will undoubtedly save you money in the long term.
Budgets should also factor in the End of Life Cycle, a period of time when the technology your company is using is no longer actively supported, maintained, or updated by the manufacturer. You’ll want your company to upgrade to newer technologies at that time for many reasons, including security. The cost of new products, maintenance, support, and upgrades over time should be considered during budgeting. Upgrading is non-negotiable if you want your business to continue to scale.
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HDI-Certified Managed IT Support
As companies navigate modern technology, there is an increased need for responsive and knowledgeable assistance. Outsourced HDI-certified helpdesk services provide a multifaceted experience where technology meets exceptional customer service to elevate IT support.
Helpdesk services encompass anything related to an employee’s working experience. Whether the employee is struggling with an application or their computer has stopped responding to them, the helpdesk can provide an immediate and professional response. Employees can’t know all the ins and outs of IT, as it falls out of the scope of most of their job descriptions. A good HDI-certified helpdesk agent should be able to troubleshoot most issues and educate the employee, thus enabling more productivity from your team.
Some organizations may choose to build an in-house helpdesk team, but outsourcing provides a greater breadth of experience across applications. An outsourced team is working across multiple environments and will be better able to jump in on multiple levels of support with great confidence and skill. Your helpdesk agents are on the front lines of your IT team. They are the technical professionals who will help keep your employees productive by assisting and educating them, and they may be the first to catch more significant issues to escalate to tech leaders.
HDI (Help Desk Institute) certification is provided to individuals working in technical service roles. HDI certification ensures representatives are highly adept at necessary technical skills, customer service, and best practices. While certification is not a requirement to become a helpdesk agent, it conveys a higher standard of IT support. All of TensiTech’s helpdesk agents are HDI-certified.
We all know that good customer service is about listening. A helpdesk agent who doesn’t understand the problem won’t be able to articulate a helpful solution. There are many outdated stereotypes about technical professionals using fancy jargon to condescend and demotivate employees. Nobody wants to call a helpdesk if they feel the agent won’t take them seriously. At TensiTech, you can expect our certified helpdesk agents to be courteous, friendly, and empathetic on every call.
Proactive Managed Everyday IT Solutions
TenisiTech doesn’t believe in reactive IT, and neither should you. That’s why comprehensive and exceptional day-to-day support is required for undisturbed business operational harmony. Here is what you can expect from a partnership with TensiTech.
- Helpdesk & Desktop. As discussed, all TenisiTech’s helpdesk agents are HDI-certified. These services include account lifestyle management and hardware and software support for end users.
- Monitoring. TenisiTech provides remote monitoring and management agents installed on computers, servers, and networking devices to track system health and scan for vulnerabilities and alerts.
- Maintenance. Infrastructure support, server and workstation patching, application and firmware upgrades, and layered secured management are included in TenisiTech’s offerings.
- Administration. TenisiTech’s talented experts will build and maintain application matrices, manage applications and licenses, and provide hardware and software asset management.
- Vendor Management. TenisiTech will provide an audit of your vendors to ensure that you are not paying too much, monitor SLAs, and manage renewals.
- CIO Advisory. Creating an IT strategy, roadmap, and budget, developing policies and procedures, coordinating compliance initiatives, and developing business continuity and disaster recovery plans are truly unique offerings from TenisiTech.
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Finding the Right Managed Service Provider For Your IT Strategy
As you search for the right managed service provider to partner with for your business, there are many factors you should take into consideration.
- Expertise and experience with modern technology informs speed to resolution. Just as your IT leaders may have grown up in your company and thus lack the necessary knowledge for modernization, the same can be true for an outsourced IT provider. You’ll want to ensure you’re dealing with a provider like TenisiTech that can supply enterprise-level experience across a broad set within various organizations to ensure speedy service that doesn’t get in the way of your day-to-day business operations.
- Outsourced IT should be proactive, not reactive. Unfortunately, many outsourced IT providers wait for you to call them for help. There is no ongoing monitoring of systems and security. TenisiTech believes in being proactive about IT, and there are no hidden or extra costs associated with service. A good managed service provider will tell you when there’s a problem, not vice versa.
- The bottom line matters. Many outsourced IT providers will deliver Tier 1 level support; any “extras” require additional payment. TenisiTech does not believe in unit billing. All fees associated with the service are presented upfront, so there are no surprises later.
- Do you want to trust a long-term contract with a new partner? Many service providers ask clients to remain loyal for at least a year, sometimes two or three years. But you’re not psychic, and you can’t know what feels right for your business today will be right tomorrow. You won’t truly understand what it’s like to work with a partner until you start working with them. TenisiTech does not impose any long-term contracts because they want you to stay with them because you want to work with them, not because you have to.
- How easy is the service provider to work with? TenisiTech prides itself on being every day, personable people who just happen to love IT. You will never have to worry about tech-heavy jargon or condescending explanations.
- Experience with compliance frameworks will help IT support necessary business functions. Most managed service providers don’t have extensive experience supporting compliance initiatives. At TenisiTech, IT professionals can provide expert-level support on SOC 2, ISO, PCI DSS, and even industry-specific regulations such as HIPAA.
- Vendor and platform experience is necessary for outstanding IT. There are a million vendors and platforms to choose from that do many things, such as compliance sets and integration with security tools and the cloud. TenisiTech comes to the table with a best-in-class toolset necessary for IT and can make recommendations about operational and compliance-related platforms currently at the top of their game.
- Audits are a necessary evil when it comes to IT. Everything must be audited, from systems functionality to operational processes and everything in between. Are you doing everything that you say you are? A great MSP like TenisiTech can help you prepare for an attestation review by conducting internal audits. TenisiTech can also help with strategy by auditing application inventory and cost-cutting by reviewing everything billed to IT in the past few years. Did you know you can save tens of thousands of dollars in an IT billing audit? And that is yours to keep. TenisiTech will never demand a percentage of that savings. Think of all the exciting new projects you could potentially fund with that money.
- Do you need CIO-level advice? Many outsourced IT providers will not evaluate talent and systems or provide a list of recommendations and a path forward. TenisiTech is more than a helpdesk. You need an actionable strategy supported by enterprise-level experience for your business. TenisiTech can provide that.
- An emphasis on security is non-negotiable. Robust cybersecurity measures are no longer nice to have. They are critical essentials. TenisiTech goes above and beyond and provides a 137-layered security assessment that includes physical security, network security, identity and access management, email and productivity platform security, application management, server management, policy management, inventory management, security awareness training, and endpoint security.
- Naturally, you’ll want a good IT provider to understand what good IT oversight looks like. That means focusing on excellent security and best IT practices, centralized management consoles for IT tools, well-defined written policies and procedures, holding IT team members accountable, clearly understanding ticket trends and frequent requests, and periodic employee feedback.
When looking for strategic long-term partners for your business, shopping around for the best fit is important. However, TenisiTech stands apart from the pack with its proactive approach to IT, CIO-level strategy and insight, enterprise experience across a broad range of technology, vendors, and platforms, and collaborative, friendly approach.
Now that we have dived into the multifaceted layers of outsourced IT, revealing its impact on streamlining business initiatives, enhancing security, and nurturing productivity, you understand how important it is to strategically partner with an industry leader like TensiTech.
Cybersecurity and compliance play critical roles in protecting your digital assets and ensuring mandated adherence. An experienced managed service provider can conduct a symphony of visionary IT strategy, a wide range of technical expertise, and future-proofing. We’ve demystified cloud migration as much more than simply the latest trend and spotlighted the importance of HDI-certified helpdesk services, where technology converges with exceptional customer service.
But the story doesn’t end here. It’s time to transform and scale your business to the next level of organizational evolution. Embrace the power of outsourced IT, fortified by security, compliance, productivity, and service.
Reach out to TensiTech today, your trusted ally on this transformative journey.