MSP + Business = M-BiTS
Professor and prolific author in the field of Leadership, Lee Bolman (Ph.D. in Organisational Behaviour) knows a thing or two about helping C-level executives get a better handle on what’s going on, see more possibilities and achieve their goals. He’s also partial to coming up with an inspirational quote to get his point across – one such gem is: “A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.”
If we frame this in the context of outsourcing IT, a common vision comes into view for many businesses: to benefit from a service that both supports daily operations and delivers effective change. To turn this vision into reality, a holistic business strategy must be established; one that facilitates an IT strategy that also considers the organisation as a whole – not just technology. This demands the confluence of traditional Managed Service Provider (MSP) functions and a contemporary business-focused IT service, to form a comprehensive framework for delivering innovation and success.
Managed Service Provider
Broadly speaking an MSP is: “an outsourced third-party company that manages and assumes the responsibility of a defined set of day-to-day management services to its customers.” In terms of IT, this includes: network, application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, external data centres (hosting), or in the public cloud.
These suppliers of vital day-to-day IT services have the potential to save your business time and money by adding value to the daily operation of the IT department; while also increasing your skills, knowledge and vigilance. However, in isolation, an MSP might lack the foresight required to harness technology’s potential to act as part of the business as an enabler. Instead, it remains a cost centre: an essential department that doesn’t directly add to profit but still costs the business money to operate.
Enhancing the MSP offering
Imagine your business could engage with an IT partner that offers the complete package: IT services that address common day-to-day technical pain points, while also considering the impact technology has on the entire business and its growth strategy – the perfect mix of technical know-how and business acumen. If you think about the bigger picture, you will find yourself on the path to discovering a partner that does just that – AKA a Managed Business IT Service (M-BiTS) provider.
Selecting the right partner
After reviewing each potential provider’s MSP credentials and track record; take the time to explore their values, goals and willingness to embrace your business strategy to find the right M-BiTs provider:
- Ensure cultural compatibility
- Ensure they understand your business’s goals and how your IT strategy can contribute to achieving them
- Review each providers ability to integrate with you at the business level
- Review each providers ability to help you innovate
Managed Business IT Service
M-BiTS is a holistic approach to managing IT operations and implementing organisational change that adds business value.
It recognises that there is more to IT and digital transformations than just technology – but does not lose sight of the need to support IT services that facilitate existing business processes. With the core function of the IT offering in safe hands, an M-BiTS provider can also focus on the building blocks within a business that need balancing to manage IT operations effectively and deliver innovative change.
To identify and – most importantly – understand these building blocks, let’s refer to a framework for managing effective organisational change that was first created by Harold Leavitt in the 1960s – a pioneer in the field of organisational behaviour and psychology. Originally called the People, Process, Technology framework, it has changed with the digital times and now includes data:
Whether your business is engaging with existing IT systems or exploring new ones, an M-BiTS approach considers the interactions of people at every stage of the process – from the suppliers to the users and management. This holistic approach recognises that each building block (data, process, technology) is underpinned by the human element.
With people as its foundation, an M-BiTS provider can implement a comprehensive strategy that delivers relevant IT services within the context of the business – not just from a technology perspective. This forward-thinking mindset enables them to go that extra mile by working with your business to add real value; rather than keeping things ticking along as they were. We think Professor Bolman would approve.