A Publication of WTVP

Technology can be frustrating enough on its own—your customer experience doesn’t have to be.

What are organizations doing to optimize productivity and manage their information technology needs in a world in which the technology is ever-changing? Looking to the future, the trend is increasingly moving toward companies outsourcing part, if not all, of their IT demands. This is known as the “IT as a service” model, or ITaaS.

Think about it this way… We pay a monthly bill for electricity and gas to power our homes and businesses. In the winter months, we increase the temperature with a thermostat to accommodate the need for more heat. Managed technology services offers the same scalability options as businesses expand or contract their technology demands. Under the ITaaS model, businesses can purchase the skills and technology expertise of Fortune 100 companies with a set budget, and scale it according to their needs.

Regardless of the size of your company, having an in-house IT department is less and less the norm. In fact, maintaining an IT department within the organization’s walls has become extraordinarily costly, draining revenue and human resources away from the core mission of the business. Meanwhile, according to the IT research firm Gartner, global spending for IT outsourcing was projected to reach $287 billion in 2013.

When it comes to technology, there is no “one-size-fits-all.” So when selecting a managed service expert, it’s important to find someone who will take the time to fully understand your immediate needs, as well as where your business is heading in the future. They should be able to guide you on both short- and long-term planning, providing for all of your technology needs so your business can meet its goals.

“It’s difficult to find all of the talent you need in one person,” says Lance Lelm, CEO of Heart Technologies. “Make sure the company you decide to use has the certifications and experience in all of the different technologies that make up your network.”

There are a variety of basic certifications you can ask about when looking into managed service providers. Microsoft and Cisco, for example, offer excellent certification programs that test technicians for knowledge in their products and general networking. Among Microsoft certification levels are the MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate), MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert). Cisco certifications begin with the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) for network installation, operations and troubleshooting, and CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate) for network design. Many other networking certifications are available for additional technologies that might exist in your business environment, from VMWare and HP to Meru and Meraki.

Bottom line: make sure you are working with a reputable company that takes the time to work with your short- and long-term goals and always makes time to handle your needs. Technology can be frustrating enough on its own—your customer experience doesn’t have to be. iBi

Christine Bare-Kemper is director of customer relations for Heart Technologies.