You may have decided that managed IT services are the way to go, but selling the idea to your CFO can be the first hurdle toward making it happen. Here are eight tips for getting your company’s finance team as excited about outsourced IT as you are.
- Calculate the costs. Managed service providers using different pricing models. Some charge for monitoring only. Others charge by the number of users or the number of devices. The most popular is the tiered-pricing model in which a company can buy a bundle of services. Some providers sell an “all-you-can-eat” package in which they provide 24/7/365 support. Know from the beginning what the service will cost, and make sure you’ve included every expense in your budget.
- Think like a CFO. That means compile all your data into meaningful insights. Use it to make decisions. Show (don’t just tell) how a managed IT service provider will create value through business growth and expenditure reduction.
- Consider the what-ifs. What if we drag our feet? What if our competition outpaces us in technology? What if an outsourced firm can enhance our uptime? What if we decide to go back to an in-house solution? What if we have a serious technology problem that impacts our customers? What if there’s a data breach we can’t solve alone?
- Explain the non-financial values. While a CFO is charged with financial management, he or she is also a personnel manager and a team leader. Talk about the effect of an outsourced company on morale, workload, expertise, and data security. Make sure to present the whole plan, not just the financial aspects of it when talking with your CFO.
- Consider portfolio-management principles. What are portfolio-management principles? According to Strategyex, there are six of them: align strategy, align governance, close projects confidentially, lead actively, embrace risk, and be transparent. How can you use these to build a case for your IT managed services plan?
- Get the CFO to sign off on the terms. By bringing your CFO on board the process, you can develop a better understanding of the fine print in the contract you are considering. Your CFO may have excellent suggestions for strengthening the relationship between you and your IT provider.
- Explain why you want to keep some things in-house. If you’ve decided to go with a hybrid model, prepare to defend your choice to keep your in-house team. In general, a hybrid model lets you accomplish more at a lower cost than either a fully outsourced or fully on-site team will do.
- Show how you will measure success or failure. In any project, monitoring and evaluation separate success from failure. Remember the old adage that what gets evaluated is what gets done? Show how you plan to evaluate your managed IT services so the CFO can visualize effective outcomes.
Supplementing your on-site IT team with a managed services provider can be a big money-saver for your enterprise. Do your homework, present an organized plan, and watch your CFO’s eyes light up.