Once we've identified those 'must-do' immediate fixes and solutions at the prioritisation stage, it's time to give birth to what will become a living, breathing project plan, mapping out your journey from where you are now with your IT services, to where you want to be: a business with well deployed, fully functional, managed IT systems that comprehensively enable your business to meet its goals and supports your continued growth.
Planning For The Future
We're in it with you for the long-haul, not just to sell you a specific package and then head for the hills!
We encourage businesses to think of us as the holistic health professionals for their business: the guys with a swiss army knife of tools, techniques and strategies up our sleeve to cure whatever it is that ails your business.
Consequently, a typical, client roadmap will plan ahead, up to 5 years in to the future.
If this seems extreme, it's worth remembering that many businesses are tied in to pre-existing solutions, or more commonly have invested sizeably in certain hardware(s) and need to balance the need for growth with justifying past expenditure and getting value from legacy investments.
As a small business, we absolutely get that, and are there to support you in working justifiable business cases into each stage of the journey.
We're also conscious that it's often cost effective to tie in certain pieces of work with others. For example, if a cluster of hardware is due for replacement within 6 months, it's often prudent to also roll out upgrades or new firmware at the same time we're planning to be on-site anyway.
It may be that the first 2 or 3 years activities of a client's proposed roadmap focuses on bringing business solutions and infrastructure up to scratch in a way that fosters productivity and efficiency, and matches their ambition and growth.
Subsequent years often concentrate on maintaining the systems put in place, with an eye on new, emerging technologies that may aid their continued growth and efficiencies.
Knowing How Bad You Have It
"You Could Have It So Much Better", sang noughties indie rock band Franz Ferdinand....
The interesting thing about IT is that an individual's perception of how well their systems perform is skewed very much by their personal frame of reference.
If your backups / email / printing / WIFI etc have 'always' been slow, how would you necessarily know it could be any different? It's all relative to your personal experiences and expectations.
Fortunately, as your managed service provider we've got our finger on the pulse when it comes to reasonable expectations and what you can expect from industry standard solutions across a wide range of IT services. In short, we'll let you know if your existing systems suck, whilst adhering to our internal motto in never, ever recommending you any solution or upgrade you don't need, or that we wouldn't be 100% comfortable using within our own business.
A great rule of thumb for judging the efficacy of any IT solution is to ask whether the users reliant upon it even register that the backend system exists. Think about it.... Users only ever talk about the network if it's slow and unusable, not to shout its praises from the rafters. Can you recall the last time a colleague exclaimed "the speed with which this printer processes the print queue in exemplary?
On the other hand, It's much more likely that you'll hear exclamations of frustration and fists being banged on desks when things aren't working.
IT exists in the workplace to enable your business to function optimally: that's its job. When it works properly, it may as well be invisible.
A BUDGET CONSCIOUS BLUEPRINT
The bespoke roadmap we develop for your business is essentially a comprehensive plan broken down into sensibly structured chunks of work based on priority, risk cost and timeframes.
Much like your business plan, it's also a fluid, ever-changing venture, influenced by internal and external factors such as profit, changing internal budgets, shifts in prospective costs as specific technologies becomes more affordable (or less so), changes in priorities and focus, and new developments in both technology and your particular niche industry.
As your managed service provider and technology partner, we work with you to ensure your roadmap remains relevant to where your heading.
With your roadmap in place and timeframes sorted, the next thing is to make it happen! Usually, this would be a sit-down discussion with us to identify what this process really looks like and what things it might affect along the way.
We put measures in place to make sure there is as little business disruption as possible during the implementation stage.