Bringing it All Together – People, Processes, and Technology
In my last seven posts, I went into great detail about the areas where IT support companies often fail. To summarize, they include a variety of issues surrounding people, processes, and technology.
Therefore, if a failure occurs in any one of these areas, your IT support services will be negatively impacted. That is why you need to know their capabilities BEFORE you choose an IT support company. Without a doubt, it all starts with their IT maturity level.
Definition of IT Maturity Level
What is an IT Maturity Level? Simply put, it is the ability of an IT organization to deliver exceptional service and continuously improve its performance. Subsequently, there are several IT Maturity Models on the market. However, I think the one that best suits MSPs is the Gartner Self-Assessment Tool. Moreover, this model measures the IT maturity level in regard to infrastructure and operations. How? First of all, it ties together the three pillars of success: people, processes, and technology. Second, it transfers them into a mechanism for continuous improvement.
Unquestionably, you will receive better service with a company that is focused on continuous improvement. Therefore, why pay the same amount for a company that is just winging it?
How is the IT Maturity Level Measured?
Is the IT maturity level measured in years, processes, experience, or a combination? I have been in this industry for nearly 20 years. During that time I have seen many MSPs come and go in a variety of ways. For example, I have seen MSPs who went international, sold, stayed stagnant, closed their doors, and even a few who grew and shrank over and over again. Undoubtedly, it was clear to me, and others in the industry, why some were successful and others weren’t. Hence, it all had to do with where they were on the IT maturity scale.
Let’s take a look at the Gartner Self-assessment Tool:
- Level 1 Awareness – At this stage, the company is reactive and fighting fires all day long. They have no defined processes or technology tools to help them provide consistent service.
- Level 2 Committed – The MSP starts to invest in industry best practices and initiate formal processes. They start to invest in a robust ticketing system, network monitoring tools, and asset tracking.
- Level 3 Proactive – It is not enough to have the technology tools, the MSP must also program them for continuous improvement. For example, use the ticketing system to measure key performance indicators and implement processes to overcome areas of weakness such as preventive maintenance. In addition, there is a focus on hiring the right engineering talent that can follow processes, communicate well, and has great problem-solving abilities.
- Level 4 Service-Aligned – At this level, the MSP is a trusted business advisor. As such, they have all their people, technology, and processes in place. As a result, they are have improved customer support, talent utilization, and decision-making capabilities.
- Level 5 Business Partner – Finally, the MSP is at a stage where they are forward-thinking and they are discovering new ways to help their clients meet their goals through technology.
As you can see, the more mature the organization is, the better the service you will receive. Therefore, it is imperative to understand what stage the provider is at in the IT maturity model.
Why Do So Many IT Support Companies Fail
Unfortunately, it is not enough to have bright engineers. After all, starting an IT support company is expensive, and it takes years before they make a profit. The engineers know the right concepts, but without the tools, they can’t measure up. So, when an engineer starts their own business, they try to get by on a shoestring budget believing they are so smart that their clients will put up with it. They find the cheapest tools to manage, monitor and support their clients. However, in the end, the client gets cheap results. So, if you are wondering why your service levels are not consistent, this is likely one of the root causes!
INSI Has Invested in a Strong IT Maturity Model
INSI has invested in technology tools, processes, and people to deliver a higher quality of service. In fact, our main measurement of quality is client satisfaction. In addition, we used a tiered approach to deliver customized programs while decreasing 80% of the IT support costs. To find out more, click here or call us at 770-387-2424.
Click here to see a webinar on What a Mature IT Organization Looks Like and watch at your own convenience.
Do You Want To Learn More About IT Processes?
This information is part of what is covered in my book, IT Outsourcing Secrets. If you would like to know more about this topic and how it affects you, visit Amazon or Barnes & Noble for a copy of the book IT Outsourcing Secrets – A Small Business Guide to Comparing IT Support Companies.