The New Frontiers of Managed IT Services4 Sep, 2014 By: Eric Stavola, MCSE, MCSA, N+, CIDA+
We have all heard the rumors of the growing “paperless society” and that our current printing business is in a major decline. Xerox recently posted that they will have a ninth straight quarter of year-over-year decline in revenues. So what is this data telling us; that the copier and MFP will get passed up by advancing technology soon so will go the way of typewriters, VCRs, and MP3 players? Not so fast - the answer to driving business in today’s marketplace could be found in the Cloud.
Cloud computing, or in simpler shorthand just "the Cloud," also focuses on maximizing the effectiveness of the shared resources. Cloud computing allows businesses and IT Professionals a way to increase workload, add functionality without investing in new infrastructure, or licensing new software. Cloud computing involves any subscription-based annuity service that, in real time over the Internet, so extends IT's existing capabilities.
Our business is changing and adapting; however, it certainly is not dying. We are living in a very fluid time when it comes to technology, and we have not yet seen Cloud computing’s full impact on technology and more importunely business practices and opportunities. While cloud computing is still emerging as a computing style, we are starting to see its impact on changing how IT delivers value to businesses. In essence, cloud computing is changing how business and IT look at staffing, purchasing, and delivering technology capabilities to business.
For years we have accepted a stigma of the IT persona: reclusive, likes to work alone, and is a knowledge master. In a recent whitepaper by IDC, they state: “Cloud will cause the melting of barriers to IT innovation and adoption, which will cause extreme and unpredictable competition that comes from agility, and will also likely result in the rising sea level of business value and opportunity. In another study by a member-based advisory firm, CEB, nearly 80 percent of IT job roles will undergo transformation in the next four years. Thus, I see major potential in product offerings and selling expertise.
Many agree that cloud computing will become the key delivery model for computing by 2030. Two items every company can do in effort to take advantage of this current change in our marketplace are as follows:
- Define Your Product Portfolio:
By clearly defining what we/you sell will make it much more realistic to handle and teach your staff to adapt. It’s clear to me that the copier dealer today must streamline their product portfolio to offer:
- Applications/ Software (includes Document Management)
- Managed Services/Cloud Offerings
- Increase Your Offerings Through Expertise:
All companies delivering managed services and cloud offerings should have on staff, a VCIO. This individual will aid in driving the deliverables of annuity sales and be a key catalyst for driving your currently defined product portfolio. This person will assimilate cloud services into the existing IT environment, and work closely with business leaders, service managers and technology brokers. They should have a background in business as well as high technical skill-set in developing, deploying and maintaining integration solutions to match strategic business objectives.
Too often I see a common mistake with dealerships who employ a tech savvy person but who is a non-business minded individual in this position. Taking the time to hire this position correctly could mean the difference between opportunity and road blocks.
Don’t just think of the word “Cloud” as some nebulous new fad term similar to “Solutions and Workflow.” Cloud is changing business strategies from a technology standpoint. By embracing and truly understanding the potential in products and in expertise, one can see a bright future ahead in the Cloud.
Nearly 80% of IT job roles will undergo transformation in the next 4 years.
Eric Stavola, M.ED, MS.CIS, MCSE,MCSA, CDIA+, N+, is CIO /Chief Operating Officer, Witt-Company. Contacts: (619) 379-3009 (cell) or email email@example.com