Make IT a Driver of Enterprise Growth

Make IT a Driver of Enterprise Growth

Have you tried turning it on and off again?”
– Said every IT person


This classic statement represents the old way of thinking about IT. Back in the day (actually not that long ago), technology didn’t permeate through an entire business as it does today. It used to be acceptable in a business to employ someone on staff who’s only job was to check to see if everything was working. In the new digital world, IT people are no longer just there to keep desktops running – instead they have become critical to the success of a business and its operations.

Facing Pressure from IT Budgets

If you have been working in IT for as long as I have, you know that IT budgets are always tight. This has a tendency to create challenges within a business that cause some of us to cut corners or make somewhat risky choices. I’ve worked with companies that have tried to get one person to do the work of five just to cut costs. Although it might seem like a short-term solution to someone in a bind, that decision just resulted in five jobs being done poorly and one severely overworked individual.

Decisions like this, made to save a few pennies, end up costing you more in the long run. Think about all of the unforeseen costs of stretching someone too thin, like human error, time delays, and poor morale. This is why the old way of thinking about IT is no longer valid. When there is no strategy to drive growth or manage new technologies in the business or marketplace, this is the result:

  • Your business is left in the stone age by not adapting to new technologies like mobile and cloud
  • Your IT department can’t be agile when it comes to development and deployment
  • Delayed time to market for products that are held back by lack of strategic IT support
  • Inability to innovate
  • Customer perception

IT budgets are not uniform. Some dollars go towards hardware and facilities, other go to email and local area networks, and others go to maintaining enterprise applications like ERP. But there should still be some dollars left to allocate towards new innovations to drive business agility and enhance the customer experience. With payroll, compliance, and taxes needing to be updated on a regular basis, businesses in this modern age recognize the importance of allocating budget to hiring IT professionals to keep their critical systems up and running. IT is no longer a cost center that needs to be trimmed or a subjective place to put strategic dollars. Technology and information have transformed the way businesses compete and adapting to these new technologies requires a commitment from both business and IT managers and a fresh look at IT spending.

Consider The Value of IT Staff Resources, Not Just Their Costs

It’s time to start rethinking IT and how you use your IT resources and staff. Your IT department should be responsible for more than just fixing hard drives and setting up new email accounts. Your IT staff should be the innovators of your business, driving the strategic direction of IT and coming up with better ways to serve the strategic mission of your business. They represent an opportunity that could bring your business more customer-facing, revenue-generating projects that result in increased revenue growth and agility.

So, how do you get started? You really have two options: status quo of ‘keeping the lights on” or hire your own experts. And seeing as how “lights on” mode doesn’t allow you to do anything competitive or strategic, we will just focus on hiring a team of IT experts in-house or outsourcing a team of IT experts on a pay-per-need basis.

OPTION 1: Hire Your Own In-House Team

In order to hire full-time qualified IT experts, you need to know who to hire and how much they cost. The key to understanding IT labour costs is to identify all of the moving parts. There are some obvious costs you need to factor in like salary, benefits, and training. It takes about 4 to 5 full-time employees to run an enterprise application with multiple servers and complex database and storage requirements. Here are the average annual salaries of some of the critical administrative roles you will need to consider for this team:

  • Computer Support Specialist – $51,470
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator – $77,810
  • Computer Programmer – $79,530
  • Database Administrator – $81,710
  • Computer Systems Analyst – $83,800
  • Information Security Analyst – $90,120
  • Computer Network Architect – $100,240
  • Software Developer – $100,690
  • Computer Hardware Engineers – $111,730
  • Information Systems Managers – $131,600

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Building your own team of in-house support is going to cost you a lot of time and money upfront when you consider recruitment, salaries, training, benefits, turnover, etc. In the example above, administration of a core system is important work and a business can’t run without it. However, tying up your full-time employees with administrative duties like this will take away from their time spent on the strategic interests of your business. The question is, is this the best use of your budget?

OPTION 2: Outsource to Managed Services Experts

You can accomplish that same thing for a fraction of the price, by leveraging the expertise you need on a pay per need basis. Outsourcing IT infrastructure enables you to reallocate IT staffing resources to projects that serve the strategic mission of your business.

There is some concern over the cost of outsourcing and finding a provider who fully understands your company’s system and needs. In reality, if you are a small business with a limited budget and IT resources, outsourcing is your one stop shop to supporting and protecting your critical business processes. Let’s look at a small business with a single, dedicated IT manager. This manager can leverage IT outsourcing to become more like a large business. This allows people with intermediate skills to utilize the expertise of someone more certified, without having to employ them full-time. This IT Manager can save money by having that outsourced firm help redefine their IT strategy, audit current systems, and review and recommend ways to improve. With fixed fees for managed services, you can hire a company who has already taken the time to build an experienced IT team and pick and choose what you need.

Alternately you meet in the middle, employing a smaller in-house group to work as a coordinator of sorts, and then get access to professionals that would otherwise be cost prohibitive.

The End of the “Keep The Lights On” Mentality

If spent strategically, your IT budget can be stretched to meet all of your needs while adding value to your business – you just need to rethink where you invest.

Take a look at your current IT structure. Is there room for you to reallocate your staff to projects that impact the company, like mobility or cloud? If you are trying to grow, your best option is to test the waters with a company who can handle all of your needs, from ERP to SQL to infrastructure.

Rand Group Managed Services offers a one-stop shop to businesses like you. Our team of experts manage the day-to-day so you can get back to focusing on strategic, competitive drivers. Our Infrastructure Managed Services Solutions can’t help you balance your budget, but they can give you the time and resources you need to do it on your own.

Here are some of the benefits of hiring Rand Group Managed Services:

  • Expert administrators and developers including a dedicated delivery manager assigned to your team who are familiar with your company, industry, and processes
  • Fixed fees
  • Implementation Assessment
  • 30+ Support team
  • Guaranteed response times
  • Business Advantage Support Portal for total access to your support cases and history

Don’t trust your critical support issues to just anyone. Contact Rand Group for a free assessment.

– Software Delivered as Promised. No Surprises.

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Lorenzo Fife

Insight written by Lorenzo Fife

Director, Infrastructure Services at Rand Group

Lorenzo Fife has over 12 years’ experience helping organizations plan and manage their technology platforms to leverage them for success. He has helped several organizations grow exponentially through the application of better IT strategies, infrastructure planning, and performance optimization. He has also enabled companies to significantly reduce overall IT expenditures while improving management, end-user, and client side satisfaction.

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