What CFOs Need to Know About IT Services
Today’s CFOs are expected to have a much broader view of the organization than just its finances. Most modern CFOs are highly tech-literate and have a strong understanding of their company’s IT infrastructure, as well as how technology choices contribute to reaching the overarching financial goals of the business.
In this article, we dive into the concept of IT services from a CFO’s point of view. We’ll examine the benefits of partnering with a managed IT service provider (MSP) and how it can simplify the budgeting process for IT, while also discussing what CFOs need to consider when working to hire an MSP and how they can ensure they make the right choice.
1 – Proactive IT Services Provides Budget Certainty
Rapid technological advancements, increased competition, and mounting security concerns have resulted in year-over-year increases in IT expenditures for many companies. For CFOs looking to streamline their organization’s IT budget, MSPs are a proven and reliable option for stabilizing those costs.
For a consistent fixed rate each month, your organization gets a contractual guarantee of 99.99% or greater uptime and availability. Budgeting this way allows for more accurate planning, better resource allocation, and improved forecasting and risk management capabilities.
This is vastly more economical than dealing reactively with IT. Hourly IT consultants will ask for hefty fees, which you’ll have a hard time validating. In the long run, the flat monthly fee that you get with an MSP makes IT budgeting simpler, more predictable, while often cutting costs.
What’s better, the service level agreement (SLA) that the MSP provides will lay out specific contractual guarantees regarding monthly costs, service availability, and support response times. You’ll also be aware in advance of auxiliary costs, such as disaster recovery, license renewals, and software/hardware upgrades.
2 – MSP Partnership Enables Greater Worker Productivity
Over the past decade, businesses have transitioned away from on-prem infrastructure to cloud-based services. According to one estimate, nearly 70% of enterprise infrastructure today is hosted in the cloud. While cost savings are often touted as a key driver for cloud adoption, another powerful benefit is heightened workforce productivity.
Cloud technology allows businesses to innovate, scale, collaborate, and streamline their processes at an accelerated pace. What’s more, the cloud provides the necessary foundation needed for effective and secure remote work and BYOD policies to become reality.
Studies show that remote workers are measurably more productive than their peers who work in the office. Employees who work remotely not only report feeling more productive, but also more satisfied with their careers.
Working from home provides numerous benefits to employees, such as the following:
- Increased Flexibility – Employees have more control over their schedules and can work at their own pace.
- Personalized Workspace – Setting up a workspace that is customized to an individual’s preferences can help to make them feel more comfortable and focused while working.
- Reduced Stress – Working from home can help reduce stress and burnout, as employees don’t have to face the same distractions or pressures associated with traditional office environments.
- Improved Time Management – Working from home allows for more efficient use of time and better organization of tasks, making it easier to stay focused on the job.
- Shorter Commutes – There’s no need for long commutes to and from the office, freeing up time for other activities.
A productive workforce is essential for any organization looking to stay competitive and ensure its future. By working with a credible MSP experienced in cloud, BYOD, and remote work technologies, your organization can carve out a distinct competitive edge via highly productive employees.
3 – Stay Ahead of Market Changes and Trends
As a CFO, you likely have a keen appreciation for the dizzying speed at which technology is evolving. Each year, the progress made since the last is almost astounding as it is bewildering.
Not long ago, deploying enterprise server infrastructure was a complex and expensive initiative, requiring a significant investment of capital and many months of planning. Now, the cost to roll out a new server is measured in fractions of a cent, and organizations can go live with the click of a button.
The same is true for many other facets of technology, such as storage, data analytics, networking, and artificial intelligence. However, a notable hurdle lies in navigating the often-tricky waters of transitioning and migrating away from legacy technology stacks toward modern cutting-edge solutions.
Without the right team of experts steering the venture, modernization efforts often end up being over budget and underwhelming in results.
As an answer, many companies seek the services and advice of a vCIO.
A virtual chief information officer (vCIO) is a service offered by leading MSPs to help organizations keep pace with technology changes and trends. Essentially, an MSP is hired to act as your CIO to assist decision-makers regarding the direction of the organization’s information systems.
MSPs can provide comprehensive vCIO solutions for a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house CIO. Like a traditional CIO, the vCIO role is to help with developing and executing IT strategies according to the organization’s goals, mission, and budget. They are a source of knowledge and experience to help the business create, implement, and maintain technology solutions, while also helping to manage IT projects and oversee security procedures.
Going further, vCIOs help the CFO by providing realistic guidance when allocating funds for IT initiatives and identifying cost-saving opportunities, as well as predicting changes in the market that could impact the budget.
4 – Avoid the Catastrophic Costs of Cybersecurity Disaster
Many small and midsized businesses find themselves ill-equipped to tackle the ever-growing cybersecurity challenges they face. Without the necessary resources to build and maintain a secure, defensive posture, these organizations are left vulnerable to attacks from malicious actors.
Customers losing trust in a business due to cyberattack, downtime, or sensitive data being compromised can have detrimental results, leading to a poor public image that affects the company’s revenue and reputation.
But hiring good cybersecurity talent isn’t easy either. Not only is there the financial cost of high salaries and providing other incentives, but discovering top talent requires significant investments of time and energy in recruiting, hiring, and retention efforts. Your job as CFO is to allocate funds to fulfill these responsibilities.
The Ponemon Institute’s Cost of a Data Breach Report puts the average cost of a data breach at $4.24 million, with healthcare being the most costly industry ($9.23 million).
Working with an MSP can significantly reduce the complexity of budgeting for IT security, helping CFOs maximize their resources without guesswork or wasted time. But, of course, this all depends on finding an IT partner who can provide the insights you need consistently as your network evolves.
Far too often, the decision to outsource is made in haste, and red flags that should have been obvious aren’t realized until it’s too late. For this reason, it’s important to thoroughly vet potential vendors before making any commitments to ensure they have the resources and necessary experience to be of benefit to your organization.
Astute Technology Management – 20 Years of IT Service Expertise
Business leaders in Ohio have relied on the Astute Technology Management to streamline costs and bring certainty to IT chaos. If your organization in Columbus or Cincinnati is experiencing IT budgeting problems or wants to plan with more confidence, contact us at any time at 614 389 4102 or [email protected]. Our experts are here to help!