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How To Optimize Investments in Tech as a Small and Mid-sized Business

As an SME, it’s important to make the most of your investments in technology.

As a small or mid-sized enterprise (SME), you are likely always looking for ways to optimize your investments and get the most bang for your buck. When it comes to technology, there are a lot of options out there and it can be difficult to know which ones will offer the best return on investment.

One way to make sure you are getting the most out of your tech investments is to partner with a managed services provider (MSP). MSPs have the expertise and experience to help you identify which technology solutions will have the biggest impact on your business. They can also help you implement and manage these solutions, so you can focus on running your business.

Recognize what’s a commodity (and what’s not).

We all know that when it comes to technology investments, everything is not created equal. As an SME, you need to be strategic about your investments in technology. You can’t afford to waste money on unnecessary or non-essential tools and services. So, how do you identify what’s a commodity for managed services outsourcing and what’s not? Here are a few things to think about:

The size of your company. If you’re a small or medium-sized business, managed services outsourcing may be a more cost-effective option than if you’re a large enterprise compared to hiring for the needs.

The complexity of your IT infrastructure. If your IT infrastructure is relatively simple, managed services outsourcing may not be worth the investment. However, if it’s complex and/or constantly evolving, managed services can help you keep up with the changes and avoid potential problems.

The nature of your business. If your business is highly dependent on technology, managed services outsourcing can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your IT is in good hands. On the other hand, if technology isn’t a core part of your business, managed services may not be necessary.

Your budget. Naturally, managed services outsourcing will only be an option if it fits within your budget. Be sure to consider the long-term costs as well as any upfront investment required.

By taking the time to consider these factors, you’ll be able to determine whether managed services outsourcing is right for your business. And if it is, you can be confident that you’re making the most cost-effective investment possible.

Take the time to evaluate and calculate the ROI.

It’s important to remember that not all of your tech investments need to be big ones. Sometimes it’s fruitful to experiment with new technologies or tools, even if they don’t have a huge impact on your business right away. By experimenting, you may find new and innovative ways to use technology to boost your bottom line. Not all managed services are created equal, so it’s important to find ones that fit your specific needs. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to ensure you’re getting the most value for your investment:

How will this solution improve business efficiency and productivity?Would a cloud-based solution help reduce the time it takes to process orders or get new products to market?

How will it help better serve customers or clients? What tools are available to automate and streamline processes to free up staff so they can focus on improving the customer experience?

What are the long-term savings or benefits? From quick implementation and the flexibility to scale up or down based on overall usage to economies of scale and comprehensive training, how will increased efficiencies and added time focused on strategic tasks impact the overall performance of the company?

What are the current needs? Be mindful of future trends and needs when making decisions. What may work well now may not be sufficient in a few years.

Choose the right partner.

There are a lot of MSPs out there, so take the time to thoroughly research and understand the different managed services models before making a decision about which best fits your needs. When evaluating, be sure to look at the company’s:

  • Level of experience
  • Industry expertise
  • Service offerings
  • Pricing structure
  • Reputation and client case studies

Once you’ve chosen an MSP, make sure to establish clear expectations and communication channels from the start. This will help avoid any misunderstandings down the road. Here are a few best practices we’ve leveraged for outsourcing managed services:

Create a service level agreement (SLA) that outlines specific performance goals and expectations. This will help ensure you both are on the same page when it comes to meeting objectives.

Monitor the relationship regularly. This will help you identify any potential issues early on and prevent them from becoming bigger problems down the road.

Build a good relationship and communicate. Good communication is essential for any relationship, but it’s especially important when outsourcing to build trust.

Don’t be afraid to make changes. If you’re not satisfied with the level of service you’re receiving, don’t be afraid to make changes. There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship, so don’t be afraid to adapt as needed.

As an SME, it’s important to make the most of your investments in technology. By working with an MSP, you can optimize IT spending across everything from network security to software updates. But it takes being intentional and decisive to optimize investments, get the most out of technology budgets and enjoy the benefits of top-notch technology solutions.

Previously published in Newsweek.