If you provide professional services you need to back it up with professional IT.
Whatever service your business provides, you know that to keep your clients happy and using you as the provider of choice you have to augment your service with IT solutions which make their life and their relationship with you easier to manage. It’s no longer enough just to provide your core service – you need to add more value.
Businesses which are buying your services also expect:
- Clear and regular communications about what you’re doing.
- Content and information on your website and/or blog that can help them do their jobs better.
- Secure web portals where they can manage their accounts and raise any support requests.
- Your staff to know what’s going on with their account, whichever department they speak to.
Now while at one point that would have seemed like a really big ask, times have changed. Businesses now have access to the latest technologies through outsourced IT, so you can provide all of this without having to make any large capital investments – meaning your bottom line looks healthier as you have happier customers doing more business with you. And you have to make sure you don’t get left behind as technology moves on, as figures from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) reveal that by the end of 2013, over 75% of UK businesses will be using at least one cloud service formally and 80% of current cloud users will have increased their spend in this model of IT delivery.
Ideas for value-adding IT
Here are some ways different types of business can improve value to customers with professional IT:
- Accountancy Firms – now that the Cloud offers so many opportunities for secure access and transfer of files, through outsourced IT, accountancy practices can offer clients online portals to manage their accounts, rather than sending paper trails through the post. A study by Thomson Reuters has revealed that UK accountancy firms are lagging behind in cloud adoption so make yourself stand out from the crowd by bucking that trend.
- Recruitment Consultancies – with secure, hosted, outsourced IT solutions it is possible to enable employers and job seekers to manage easily the jobs they are advertising/applying for. Meanwhile the recruitment consultancy can present a professional and flexible face to the world, secure in the knowledge that data security regulations are being complied with at the same time.
- Financial Services – security and data compliance are of paramount importance in the world of financial services. But businesses in this sector don’t want to worry about these things. Outsourced IT can sort this so the businesses can get on with making more money for their clients.
- Training Services – providing great-looking and easy-to-use online training courses and communities no longer means lengthy and expensive bespoke development projects. Outsourced IT means that training companies can access the latest technology without breaking the budget.
These are just some of the benefits outsourced IT can deliver. Looking ahead, as technology keeps up its rapid pace of development, by outsourcing your IT you can also ensure that you can keep up. Your customers will expect more from you and unless you outsource, you’ll need to have the in-house skills to deliver it. This article from Information Week reveals that the cost and complexity of training staff in ever changing technology is becoming prohibitive for most businesses.
Things to think about:
- The standard of IT your clients expect from your business.
- How outsourced IT might add value to your business.
- How you are going to keep up with the latest technology in future.