3 Ways IT Outsourcing Helps SMBs Thrive in a Competitive Market

Growth. Both motive and end-goal, it looks decidedly different at each level of your business. From employees to teams to departments, it's difficult to maintain individualized growth benchmarks while identifying and implementing the tools needed to achieve them. That's where outsourced expertise comes into play.  

Here's how outsourced IT helps companies grow smarter, from top to bottom:

Intelligent Productivity Platforms for Your Employees

There are multiple ways to measure growth at the employee level. The most obvious is also the most literal - an expanding workforce with diversified project experience and specialization. However, for those companies not actively on-boarding, there are ways to optimize your employees' productivity and output. By working with a Managed Services Provider, you can get a better sense of relevant tools that are on the market, or underutilized platforms that your company's already paying for. For example, if your company is leveraging the Office 365 suite, your employees have access to two commonly overlooked platforms: MyAnalytics and Power Automate.

MyAnalytics Dashboard

Image courtesy of Microsoft.

Microsoft has been investing heavily in Machine Learning and AI to improve the in-office experience. MyAnalytics is one such application - a dashboard that shows how employees spend their time, identifies frequent collaborators, projects in process, and upcoming events. With this information readily available, employees can better organize their time. MyAnalytics allows users to set "quiet hours" to deter interruptions, and plan out their work week. Microsoft Power Automate takes a different approach to productivity, offering employees tools to automate repetitive tasks. Users can automate everyday processes, such as emails, by building custom workflows. Power Automate provides cloud-based data loss prevention, identity, and access management services to safeguard workflow content. And with these workflows securely running in the background, your employees have more time to pursue higher level goals. 

Collaboration Tools at the Team Level

For your teams to grow together, they need resources that foster collaboration and accountability. But even the most promising platforms can face resistance. In fact, a lack of employee advocacy is one of the top reasons digital transformations fail. As a way to avoid this pitfall, our consultants often work with designated teams to run pilot programs. For example, one of our clients recently implemented Microsoft Teams - an intelligent collaboration platform. However, given the size of their organization, they wanted to verify Teams' compatibility before rolling it out to all employees. Our consultants designed a pilot program for their Marketing department, and received some very exciting feedback. 

Microsoft Teams Store DashboardImage courtesy of Microsoft

Not only did the team welcome the platform, they become internal advocates for its adoption. This happened for a few reasons. First, by leveraging outsourced help, they received customized Teams training. Their employees were able to ask questions about workflow, bots, and other features that would effect them on a day to day basis. Second, our consultants were able to provide guidance on how to leverage Teams integrations that would meet specific departmental needs. For example, the Teams store provides integration with tools that marketers use everyday - such as Salesforce, MailChimp, SurveyMokey, etc. This customization was crucial to the pilot's success. Now, Teams has been implemented across the company, and all their employees are reaping the benefits of secure document share, searchable chat, video and meeting conferencing, and Voice-over-IP in lieu of traditional phones.

Strategic Spend for Limited Company Budgets

Those overseeing growth at the company level have different challenges to contend with - namely supporting employees and staying within budget. And while platforms such as the cloud are often touted as money savers, many businesses are overpaying on their subscriptions. This happens when companies don't differentiate between frequently used and occasional cloud resources. They overpay for underutilized applications, rather than scaling down. However, by working with an MSP, you can get a clear view of your resource usage, and allocate budget accordingly. 

What does proactive, predictable IT spend look like? Check out this quick video:

iCorps Encompass Program-IT Support (TW)

 

Outsourced IT also provides a predictable, rather than ad hoc, framework for spend. Programs such as Encompass are focused on proactive measures to secure your employees for the long-term. By avoiding reactive IT spending, our clients are free to pursue other IT projects - such as a Teams roll-out, improving their regulatory compliance, or leveraging big data tools for more informed business decisions. If you're interested in learning more about the benefits of outsourced IT support, reach out to us for a free consultation

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