Are they good or bad
I have always heard how everyone wants to be your one-stop shop for your IT solutions in my career. As you know, Amazon WebServices, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google want to be your one-stop for IT Solutions. To the point where nothing they do is good or excellent.
You know the 80/20 rule where 20% of what you do causes 80% of the outcome. So if you are too thin, 20% of your work will generate 80% of your problems. We see this a lot. Microsoft early on bought out all of its competitors when they did what we saw a lot of flawed applications. I remember watching Bill Gates trying to demonstrate the new Windows 95 at a conference, and it wouldn’t even work for him.
We all heard of the devaluation of Facebook a few weeks ago, where they lost $230 Billion in one day because of a declining user base. But Mark Zuckerberg’s plan was always that he wanted you to stay on Facebook longer and longer, so they bought Instagram because they were a threat and created Reels to compete with Tiktok.
Amazon also keeps creating more and more tools for IT Enterprises so that they can be your end-all beat-all IT solutions for Cloud Services. They do a reasonably good job with server reliability of 99.99999999999%, but in December of 2021, they had three significant outages of one of their Northern Virginia Datacenters. Some of their clients did not see that reliability last year.
I could go on, but I think you see where I am going, and I am sure we all have stories like this. Still, people believe a one-stop shop for IT solutions is a way to do it. It isn’t necessarily.
What about using multiple cloud IT solutions and the complexity of it all?
Businesses will see this a lot, and it makes sense, but it is more harmful than you think. Let’s say you are a small to medium-sized company with an outsourced IT solutions team. Your sales manager wants a CRM tool for the sales group. You have no money or budget, so the manager opts for Hubspot. A free web tool where your data gets stored on their server.
Next, your accounting team uses an accounting package that offers a free cloud if you keep all your data on their servers. Your payroll team wants to use a different cloud for payroll, but this cloud needs to talk to your accounting package, and since the sales team is on a base plus commission plan, their CRM tool needs to speak to both payroll and accounting clouds. Are they all compatible? Are they all secure? How would you know? If you are a company that needs to be sure the data is safe, and yet you have no input into how these other clouds operate, how do you know what’s going on?
To ensure your company continues to operate and your data is secure, you must eliminate single points of failure in you IT solutions.
There is no easy solution for reducing the single points of failure. The best way is redundancy, and cloud solutions are great for that. You can set up your cloud servers to mirror each other or the ones you have on-site. Still, for on-site, you need redundant internet connections, and how does all this fit in with all the cloud tools your departments are signing up for so that you have no control over their redundancy?
In addition, redundancy is costly as you need two of everything from internet connections to servers, switches, and hubs. Redundancy can be cost-prohibitive for most small businesses.
Selecting Managed Services Providers Can Be the Same Way.
There are many Managed Services Providers (MSPs) out there. Some claim they can be your one-stop shop for IT solutions as well. They will offer you upsell billable services such as Project Management services, Cybersecurity solutions, backup or other software solutions, and Fractional or Virtual CIO Services. You might find that they do some of these things well and other services not so much.
How a CIO can help make those decisions.
How do you weed through all these decisions between multi-cloud or single-cloud, adding complexities or eliminating single points of failure?
The role of a Chief Information Officer is to help you with all of this. The CIO will research and help you identify risks and manage them accordingly. The CIO can help with budgeting the future state of your IT infrastructure and managing your vendors to ensure you have the right vendors doing their best jobs.
You probably don’t need a CIO all the time as they are costly, starting at around $180,000 a year plus benefits. Your best option might be to hire a Fractional CIO and pay them for a set amount of monthly hours and no benefits. They can act as an executive officer working on day-to-day issues, processes, and future planning.
At JAYCO CIO Services, we don’t do anything besides CIO services. Right now, we are offering 50% off our CIO Assessment. The assessment is an excellent way to get to know us. We will work with your executive officers, stakeholders, and IT solutions team to show you where you are deficient and supply you with a report to increase your understanding of where you need help.