What Should OACBDD Members Be Looking For In IT Services?

OACBDD members face so many challenges in their daily work – that shouldn’t include managing IT.

Non-profits — such as those in the Ohio Association of County Boards of DD (OACB) — struggle with many challenges that traditional enterprise-based corporations do not, given that they often operate on the bare minimum of resources, staff, and volunteers.

While you’re grateful for every last person who gives of their time and talent to assist in the organization’s efforts, they don’t always have all of the skill sets you need to successfully run the operation. This often means that you have to pick up the slack – but everyone has their limitations.

Non-profits, like all businesses, run best when they have people heading each department that are experts in their fields.

That’s not easy to come by when you are dependent on volunteer labor and have a small budget. More than that, you have a lot of places you need your money — and personnel — to go. Unfortunately, technology and IT employees are sometimes the last things to be considered in the budget.

What Are The Three More Common Painpoints?

All of this means that OACBDD members can often run into the same challenges:

  1. Finance: Every dollar you spend on IT services and solutions is a dollar you can’t devote towards your purpose as non-profit. That means every dollar (no matter how few) has to count.
  2. People: It can be difficult to hire expert team members when other industries offer larger salaries, better hours, and more benefits.
  3. Mobility: Staying mobile means investing in new technology, and refreshing it every few years – that takes time (and, again, money).

What’s The Key To DD Industry IT Services?

It comes down to one simple idea: bang for your buck.

When you don’t have any extra dollars to spend on additional features, surplus services, or other things enjoyed by for-profits, then you have to make every single penny count.

Fortunately, modern models of IT services and the technologies delivered therein offer an economy of scale. Put simply? Instead of having to pay outright to purchase and own something, you pay a fraction of the cost on a regular basis for full access to it when you need it.

It’s all about capital expenditures (CapEx) vs. operating expenditures (OpEx). Whereas with CapEx you pay everything up front and see the costs returned to you over time (which certainly comes with benefits for those that can afford it), OpEx allows you to simply pay as you go.

It’s this model that will get you the best results per dollar spent.

What Are The Three Must Haves Features of Managed Services?

So, in theory, an economy of scale is all well and good – but what can you really get access to through modern managed services?

  1. Outsourced and Fully Managed IT Support
    Weigh these two options right now in your head: hire internal IT staff, or outsource a full team for a monthly fee. The choice should be clear, but if not, just consider what it costs to hire and manage even one person internally:

    • Employee Expenses
      An in-house network administrator can cost a lot to have on staff. To be effective, IT service and support requires up-to-date skills and expertise. A worthwhile IT technician will be expensive to hire.
    • Benefits, Sick Leave, Vacation Costs
      There are additional expenses on top of salary to consider. For example, holidays, and the coverage while the IT staff member is away. When you consider all of this, just one IT staff member can cost you even more than a standard salary.

The math is simple on this one – paying a flat monthly rate for all the IT support work you need is much easier to budget.

  1. IT Expertise
    The right technology combined with true expertise can achieve ideal results. Properly implemented IT will help you streamline operations, increase communication, encourage collaboration, and boost efficiency, resulting in new levels of productivity. However, without sound, professional knowledge, and experience in technology, many organizations miss out on these opportunities to improve their business.

    Many managed IT services providers can deliver expert consulting services to help you get the most out of a given investment in IT. Implementing new technology is a good start, but by educating you on how to best use those tools and the role they play in your company, we can provide you with the understanding necessary to better utilize those solutions and maximize the return.

  2. Enterprise-Level Technology
    Let’s be frank – you can’t afford to build, configure and maintain a data center. Obviously.

    Few businesses outside of the Fortune 500 can. That’s why it makes so much more sense to pay a small monthly fee and get access to the server space you require in a professionally maintained data center. Benefits include:

    • Off-Site Safety: By storing your hardware off-site, you gain a valuable contingency against any on-site emergencies.
    • No More Upkeep: Managing an IT infrastructure isn’t only expensive, but time-consuming as well. Upgrading and other forms of maintenance are necessary to ensure the servers are in optimal condition, so why not let an outsourced team see to it for you?
    • Comprehensively Certified Management: An outsourced data center team has the certifications necessary to ensure that the foundation of the IT environment is supported and maintained in optimal working condition.

Why Are Managed IT Services The Most Cost-Effective Option?

Members of the DD industry have much more important things to spend money on, rather than internal IT staff, expensive training and education, and outlandish capital expenses like server farms and data centers. Managed IT services provide an economy of scale that will not be beaten by any other model, simple as that.

Like this article? Check out Are You Scared of the Cloud? 12 Things About Windows 10 You Don’t Know – And How They’ll Change The Way You Use It, and Psst… Do You Want to Know a Secret? to learn more.

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