The prominence of the IT Department has increased significantly across all shapes and size of company. Information, and the ICT systems that drive and support it, have become an increasingly vital part of any modern business. The importance of the CIO role looks set to grow further, according to CIO.com’s annual State of the CIO survey, which shows that 85% of CIOs said their role is becoming more central to their business. But how can they focus more on delivering strategic value while overseeing day-to-day tasks of ensuring the organisation’s infrastructure is running smoothly?
A typical CIO or Head of IT can add value to a business in many ways, including: enhancing business processes, developing software to aid customer acquisition and retention, as well as identifying or developing applications that drive efficiencies in certain functions like finance or sales. But to do this effectively they need to be free from day to day ‘keeping the lights on’ tasks like ensuring the organisation’s infrastructure is operating at peak efficiency.
By outsourcing certain elements of the ICT department, the IT team can focus on delivering on the strategic goals of an organisation. This is a trend we’re seeing more and more of in Northern Ireland, particularly the outsourcing of an organisation’s network. And it’s not just among large organisations. Medium-sized companies are recognising the many benefits of managed network services, where a dedicated team of experts manage and monitor your network 24/7, ensuring it is operating at peak efficiency and minimising the risk of downtime. This is a critical factor for all businesses now that they are so reliant on their network not only for their website and communications but increasingly, mission critical applications are sitting on the network. As a company grows, so too will the demands in complexity of the network and putting this in the safe hands of a trusted specialist who understands it really well means they can stay on top of changes.
Northern Ireland companies reaping the benefits of managed network services
Over the past two years some of Northern Ireland’s most successful home-grown companies have adopted the managed network services approach and are reaping the benefits. Take Chain Reaction Cycles for example. As the company expanded from a family run bike shop to the largest online bike retailer in the world, its CIO Michael Murdock recognised the advantage of outsourcing the day-to-day management of its core network.
“I wanted my team and I to be completely focused on using our skills and knowledge to add real value to the business. The network is a utility like electricity, which in itself doesn’t add value to a business; however, if it isn’t functioning properly it causes issues. That’s why I outsourced the management of our network to eir Northern Ireland; they’re experts at what they do, they monitor and maintain our network, making sure I never have to worry about it. This frees me and my team up to do what we’re experts at.”
Chain Reaction Cycles isn’t the only company that has seen the light when it comes to outsourcing their network. Acheson & Glover, one of the largest manufacturers of concrete products in Northern Ireland and Balloo Hire, specialists in tool and plant hire with depots throughout Northern Ireland, have recently outsourced their network to eir Northern Ireland.
“A robust network is the foundation on which many successful businesses are built on. With the internet playing such a huge role in all businesses, a reliable network is critical. By outsourcing network management to a local team of experts, dedicated to pro-actively monitoring and managing your network 24/7, your IT team can focus all their efforts on creating real value for your business. It’s a win, win for any organisation,” concludes Matt McCloskey, Sales Director, eir Business Solutions Northern Ireland.