WHEN ASKING IT FOR HELP JUST MAKES SENSE
July 2nd 2018
Below is an excerpt of John Bergin discussing IT Managed Services with Alex Meehan of the Sunday Business July 1st 2018.
It takes all kinds of resources to run a business in 2018, but you wouldn’t dream of trying to generate your own electricity or dispose of your own waste, so why worry about managing your own IT, asks Alex Meehan
As technology becomes more advanced, staying on top of it and making sure you’re using best-of-breed processes and procedures is an increasingly difficult task. Staffing and maintaining a full-time in-house IT team just isn’t a justifiable use of resources for many companies and the solution is to outsource the problem to one of the many companies that offer some or all the services needed.
That’s the essential commercial proposition behind the managed services industry. Managed services help companies cut their costs and control capital budgets, place some certainty on monthly spend and offer a way to stay on top of a regulatory responsibility that can be daunting.
According to John Bergin, managing director of IT Force, this is a good time to be in the Irish market with a managed services offering. The reason? Irish companies are taking their IT function more seriously than they have before and this has partially been driven by the need to engage with GDPR.
“This isn’t true of everybody, of course, but in general Irish companies are starting to take IT a little bit more seriously and in particular they’re starting to take the whole issue of data and compliance a bit more seriously. In some sectors we see a lot of companies that are heavily regulated by particular bodies and, of course, GDPR is having an impact there,” he said.
“Secondly, companies are starting to realise that engaging with a managed services provider is a tool that can genuinely help their business. It can help them gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. The result is that we’re seeing companies come to us looking not just for a managed service, but also for a serious partnership. We wouldn’t have found that maybe a few years ago.”
In the past, it was common for companies to look for a managed service provider to fix a limited problem rather than offer a strategic partnership.
“To be a proper managed services company you have to be both reactive and proactive. Reactive, because when something breaks you have to fix it and that’s fine. But the proactive piece is you have to be able to advise and implement best practices and be able to advise in a procedural manner,” said Bergin.
“You have to be able to advise companies as to what they can do next, what they can do after that and what they can do next after that so that they’re constantly improving security and compliance, and improving productivity which is what it’s all about really.”
As technology becomes more complex and the task of staying on top of all aspects of it becomes increasingly distracting from business, the benefits of working with a partner that takes that workload away are starting to become more appreciated.
“What’s coming to the fore more now is that companies are starting to realise that it’s more important to have a partnership approach, to have a trusted partner. They want to know: ‘what should we do? We’re X type of company and we’re facing Y kind of business issues, what should we do with our IT in order to help us meet these challenges?’ So that’s what’s being asked of us,” said Bergin.
While costs and budgets are always a concern, in Bergin’s opinion, companies either ‘get’ the concept of partnered managed services or they don’t.
“In some cases, money is everything and to be honest with you they’re mostly the people who don’t get it. They’re mostly the people who still think of managed IT services as ‘we want somebody to come and fix things when they break’,” he said.
“And then there are the people who would maybe be looking for value for money as opposed to the cheapest price. And they’re the people, certainly, that we tend to score more with. You generally know which you’re dealing with after talking to them for five minutes.
“You know if there is a fit and fit is actually very important.”