The title

Tag: Trusted Advisor

Is Your IT An Investment Or An Expense?

In the course of our work with business owners and senior management of organizations with less that 200 staff we see many recurring issues.  We have been this doing since 1996 and over this time the same challenges continue to crop up. A common theme is this:

“We know that as an SME we need to use every resource available, and we also know that IT can be a key enabler in business development and productivity – but we don’t know how to do it….”


Critical Questions

 

  • How do we ensure that we are making the most of our IT?
  • How do we choose a technology direction and platform to support our core business direction?
  • How do we know what needs to be upgraded or replaced? [AND where and when?]
  • How do we ensure that our expenditure on IT is an investment and not just an expense?
  • How do we maximise our ROI in IT?

The Fundamental Issue

 

Because SMEs are too small to be able to afford a full-time IT Director the business owners do not have the knowledge and understanding of expected technology life cycles to devise and execute an informed strategy they are unable to make informed choices and decisions about upgrades and replacements.

The consequence of this is that they are exposed to the core business impacts of software and hardware failures. This is a major risk and exposure to their core business.


Virtual IT Director – the PASR solution

 

Business owners of companies with under 200 staff do not have access/budget to have an IT Director. We provide this as a virtual/part-time service giving the business owner appropriate advice for their business situation. If you would like to discuss this and what it could mean for your business, please get in touch.

Since inception in 1996, PASR Technologies has been providing SME business owners with a level of service and support to the SME business owner that is typically only directly available in very large organisations.

Servicing businesses from 10 to up to 200 employees, our clients range from local SMEs through to regional offices of larger MNCs, and include airlines.

At PASR Technologies, we solve your IT problems before you even realize you have one!

 

Who Manages Your IT?

A recent study which investigated IT in SMEs quotes a senior manager of an accounting practice:

“We have had trained IT staff once. Like in any accounting firms there is always staff turnover. In the past we had two very good people that were very knowledgeable about computers. I got  the management function of IT in the firm by default when they left”.

We work with business owners and senior management of organizations with less that 200 staff providing a one-stop shop for all their IT infrastructure needs. We have been doing this since 1996. Over this time we regularly come across the same, repeated concerns facing SME management. Regardless of business sector, the same challenges continue to crop up. One of the biggest issues is: “Who manages the company’s IT?”

For large companies with over 10,000 users it is easy – they have an IT Director with a fully staffed IT department to cater for all their IT requirements.

The challenge is that managing IT in an SME environment of under 200 users is not a full time job.

When you have 10 (or 100) staff, it’s a much more difficult question. So who actually does it?

As with the accounting firm mentioned above, it is almost certainly undertaken on a part-time basis by a manager or director with other responsibilities. But this approach carries risks and can have a detrimental impact on the business.


The business impacts of “part-time”/dual function IT management

 

Let’s briefly consider 3 typical scenarios:

[1] If, as an owner-manager, you do it yourself it takes time, and that means time away from building your core business. This also assumes that you fully up-to-date in the IT field, and staying up-to-date takes even more time – i.e. time away from your core business. Conversely, NOT staying up-to-date can also have a negative impact on your business. So the reality is that is a “catch 22” situation.

[2] If one your staff members does it, assuming they are sufficiently ‘up to speed’ with IT to provide support, they also lose valuable time and that distracts them and diminishes their core value to your business.

[3] Or, maybe like many companies, you have a guy who comes in as and when needed to deal with problems on a one-off basis. This can work out fine when dealing with the “known knowns”  – BUT [and this is a very big “but”] what about the “unknown unknowns”? For example, how do you deal with the problems that you don’t know about, like security, malware protection, data leakage?


If you would like to discuss this issue and what it means for your business, please get in touch. Since inception in 1996, PASR Technologies has been providing SME business owners with a level of service and support to the SME business owner that is typically only directly available in very large organisations.

Servicing businesses from 10 to up to 200 employees, our clients range from local SMEs through to regional offices of larger MNCs, and include airlines.

At PASR Technologies, we solve your IT problems before you even realize you have one!

 

The Qualities Of A Trusted Advisor

There is a lot of talk in consulting circles about the need for IT services providers to move beyond being excellent technicians and become trusted advisors.

So what does this mean in practise?

Business owners of companies with under 200 staff do not have access/budget to have an IT Director. However, by employing the services of a virtual IT director who acts as a Trusted Advisor the business owner can receive timely and appropriate advice for their business situation.

In this context, the virtual IT director will meet formally with the business owner on a regular basis to discuss strategy concerning technology platform and direction. The major benefit of this is that the business owner thus does not need to be IT-literate to make informed decisions about how to use IT to the best advantage in the business.

The alternative – and usual route for so many business owners – is to rely on one-off consultants and vendors who have the obvious agenda of wanting to push and sell their own products/services.


So what’s special about a Trusted Advisor?

Jason Haddock in his excellent blog “What does it mean to be a trusted advisor?” makes the excellent point that what lies at the heart of building a trusted relationship is TRUST!

In  Mick Cope’s book, “The Seven C’s of Consulting” he outlines a great acronym for trust:

  • Truthful
  • Responsive
  • Uniform
  • Safe
  • Technically Competent

According to a recent survey: first and foremost they are great communicators – “they communicate the invisible well”. They must also display superior creativity in “listening to client issues and creating a solution strategy that clearly shows how it solves the problem quickly and thoroughly”.

Another key quality is the ability to seize the initiative, Trusted Advisors “take ownership of the client more, whereas average performers take ownership of the problem”.

Putting the client first is another key attribute: “always seeking ways to provide a greater value to the customer.”

What Separates Trusted Advisors from Everybody Else?

Jim Alexander is founder of Alexander Consulting and he has conducted research with 80 senior executives to provide some direction in learning how trusted advisors act differently from others holding the same job description. Figure 1 below shows the seven most important categories of responses from 80 executives regarding the key behavioral differences between these trusted advisors and everybody else.

image002


What Does a Trusted Advisor Look Like?

As Jim Alexander says, the term “trusted advisor” is such a catchy phrase, but how do you really  know one when you see one? He suggests that you can recognize trusted advisors by these
characteristics:
  • Clients ask for them by name
  • They are sought out for advice that goes beyond their described expertise.
  • They maintain relationships that aren’t just technical.
  • They have such strong personal brands that outsiders seek them out for speaking engagements, writing articles, or special projects.

Read the full report: What Trusted Advisors Do That Others Don’t


How Can PASR Help You As A Business Owner?

 

Peter Rigbye is the Managing Director of PASR and acts as a Virtual IT Director for many of PASR’s clients.  Peter says:

“With 38 years in the IT industry, from supply, to service management, to service consumption, and with the prior 14 years in a banking environment, I am well aware of the issues that businesses face in operating, securing and protecting their IT assets. Specifically:

I diagnose your root causes rather than just fixing the problems as reported!

I specialise in solving IT issues for SME business owners… once and for all!”

 

partner-1024x352_opt


If you would like to discuss this, PASR Technologies has been providing SME business owners with a level of service and support to the SME business owner that is typically only directly available in very large organisations.

Servicing businesses from 10 to up to 200 employees, our clients range from local SMEs through to regional offices of larger MNCs, and include airlines.

At PASR Technologies, we solve your IT problems before you even realize you have one!

 

© 2016 PASR Technologies Pte Ltd

Terms & ConditionsPrivacy Policy

Support

Support Hotlines

Email: support@pasr.net

Skype: pasrsupport

  • Singapore

    +65 6340 1018

  • India

    000 800 443 0046

  • Philippines

    1800 1651 0800