Proactive IT consulting is a major part of managed services. It’s not enough just to maintain a status quo – your provider should always be looking forward, with the aim of guiding your IT strategy and ensuring it aligns with your business goals.
At MyITpros, one of the ways we continually provide proactive support is through routine, in-person meetings with clients. During these meetings, we utilize a technology roadmap comprised of three main parts: the technology review, the IT asset inventory and the budget review.
The technology review
The main purpose of the technology review is to compile a list of all the technology a client has, then apply one of three grades to each item:
- A red X means there is a problem that needs immediate attention
- A yellow exclamation point signifies concern; although replacement isn’t urgent, it would be beneficial
- A green check means there are no problems and the technology is working well
So, what’s the difference between a yellow grade and a red grade? Let’s say a client has a scanner that does not include a particular feature. Once we’ve looked at the issue and deduced that it is not possible to incorporate the desired feature into the current model, we would rate the scanner as yellow to show that although it is functional (meaning replacement is not an urgent matter), it does not meet the client’s needs. In order to access the desired feature, the client will need to replace the scanner. Meanwhile, a red mark would be used for unencrypted work stations or a similar issue that poses an immediate threat.
This review is one of the most critical and proactive things we do at MyITpros. Its consultative and forward-thinking nature provides a chance for us to give feedback on the technology a client already has in place, as well as highlight potential issues and suggested fixes. In addition to providing the graded list, we also get to ask the client, “Is this technology still working for your business?” This prompts an interactive conversation during which we can dig deep for potential issues and flag them before they become a problem.
The IT asset inventory
The second part of the MyITpros technology roadmap is the IT asset inventory. The inventory is a record of every single computer, server, switch and hardware owned by the client, when it was purchased and, most importantly, when it needs to be replaced. The main idea here is to help the client stay on top of update and replacement schedules by proactively alerting them to upcoming needs, sometimes a year or more in advance.
Armed with the asset inventory, the technology review and the suggestions that come out of our related conversations with the client, we are ready to create the final part of our technology roadmap.
The budget review
During the budget review, we audit the client’s IT expenditures over the previous 12 months and formulate a list of one-time project costs, service price changes and new recurring costs, such as those associated with adding a new encryption service. We take that information, combine it with the expenses we know will be coming thanks to the inventory and technology review, and paint a general picture of what the client’s budget should be over the next 12 months. What we do not do, however, is give a defined number. Rather, this budget review gives us a chance to talk through the expected IT expenses for the next year and help determine how to factor in new costs or price changes.
MyITpros’ three-part technology roadmap is a huge factor in maintaining proactive IT consulting. Utilizing the information and recommendations detailed here is a surefire way for businesses to effectively identify their current IT needs and what they need to do to maintain success in the future.