One of the most important aspects of a managed service provider’s offering is the “Strategic IT Guidance” of the VCIO. There are myriad solutions, products, directions, options, etc. The technology changes so quickly, it’s difficult just to keep up with the new buzzwords.
As a small businessman, it’s often difficult to separate fact from fiction. If your IT support provider’s pedigree came only from the SMB marketplace, often times the solutions recommended don’t have your best interest or budget in mind. Not only are the least expensive low end solutions usually not the best fit, but enterprise grade high end solutions are not necessarily either.
Here is an example: we had a customer that had been advised to purchase an enterprise grade Cisco Catalyst switch for their network. Here was a 40 user network, with a $30,000 network switch designed for thousands of users. At the same time they had mission critical servers that were out of warranty and operating systems out of support. We ended up marketing the Catalyst switch on EBay for $15K, purchasing an appropriate network switch, and upgrading the business critical servers and operating systems with funds to spare. That is the value of good strategic advice!