By David Kirk, Chief Technology Officer, MTM Technologies
Most people agree that improving customer experience results in greater customer retention and revenue. Likewise, improving employee experience can certainly yield greater engagement, productivity and profitability. Yet, the types and numbers of new technologies that both customers and employees would like to see implemented may cause the inverse to happen as your IT team struggles to deliver and maintain it all.
Consider just a few of the new technologies that have been adopted by enterprise organizations over the past few years alone, as well as some of the up-and-coming technologies just around the corner. Migration of the data center to the cloud, new cybersecurity tools and technologies, mobile technologies like Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, blockchain, the internet of things (IoT), robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). These are not just wish-lists or “nice to haves” anymore; for many organizations, they have become the “must haves” that customers and employees both want and expect to access within the enterprise or via a phone or tablet app.
The question for IT teams is how to improve both customer experience and employee experience while simultaneously pushing the envelope and developing new revenue streams – and doing it all without spreading your team too thin. CIOs and their IT teams want to know, “Am I getting the functionality that I need, and am I getting it with performance that I’m comfortable providing for my end users?”
From my perspective, there are three criteria that CIOs and the IT teams they lead must weigh when considering how to improve customer and employee experience: cost, expertise and time. Let’s examine the impact of each:
- The most common and obvious driver for many organizations is cost. Organizations will look at what they’re doing currently compared to what they would like to be doing in the future, as well as how they’re doing it now and what they need to reach that future goal. Then, they will assess whether it can be accomplished more affordably by turning to an outside provider. By examining how they can pay for the increased capabilities that will deliver improved experiences, it will become clear whether they might be better off shifting to a model that can provide greater efficiency, increased expertise and better processes and tools without needing to own those expensive capabilities in-house. In this way, savvy organizations are clearly looking to secure better outcomes for a lower investment.
- Consider the list of current and new technologies detailed earlier. How do you locate IT staff with the right expertise, keep them up-to-date on these new technologies, keep them happy working on interesting projects, all while maintaining current technology so the business continues to run smoothly without interruption? The question some CIOs ask is, “Should I maintain an internal IT staff with expertise in every one of these areas when my organization’s core business is not technology?” In many cases, the answer is a resounding “No!” For many CIOs, a better solution has been to leverage managed service providers (MSPs) to deliver a more robust customer and employee experience by monitoring, anticipating and proactively providing support at the moment it is needed most. For many organizations, using an MSP can be like employing highly-trained, critical staff resources, but only paying for them as they are needed. It is expertise delivered on a utility model, on demand. And the reason it’s attractive is not just because it’s cost effective, but because it provides a deeper, more skilled level of technical capability for a fraction of the cost it would take to corral all of those skills full-time in-house.
- The final piece to this puzzle is time. It is the one non-renewable resource that organizations must control or forfeit. To improve customer or employee experience at a global organization, for example, videoconferencing might be the perfect time- and cost-saving technology. However, once it has been deployed and end users have been trained, it can become a service that could be operated by an MSP, allowing the organization to refocus its internal IT team elsewhere. Or consider all the valuable hours dedicated to “eyes on glass” – simply watching to make sure that nothing breaks – is this how you want your best IT resources spending their time? This is all about freeing up and refocusing the deployment of strategic resources to help the organization “get back time,” or at least spend time where it has the greatest value.
Cost, expertise and time provide a series of criteria to use when considering the necessity and the impact of improving customer and employee experience within your organization. And these three criteria can be used to determine if a managed service provider is the missing link in your evolving IT strategy.
Some organizations use MSPs strictly to reduce costs associated with repetitive, but critical activities. Others use MSPs to provide much-needed certified technicians for specific tasks. And some rely on MSPs to simply free current staff from mundane tasks, allowing them to focus on more strategic work that is core to the business, such as developing new apps or working with line of business (LoB) peers to define evolving technology requirements.
In every case, the smart use of managed service providers can give a better way to manage IT costs, more effectively direct the expertise you do have in-house, and take back precious time for your organization that otherwise would have been lost.
MTM Technologies has over 30 years of experience delivering secure, virtualized workspaces and enterprise networking solutions via managed services. Contact MTM Technologies for a no obligation assessment to learn more about how our Citrix Managed Services approach can improve the enterprise technology experience for your users.