Looking to new tech to help your business grow? You’re not alone. But without giving your IT team the right support, you may find the road ahead tricky. Simon Pollard, Product Category Lead for Mobility Solutions at Virgin Media O2 Business, explores how specialist support can help you get the best bang for your buck.
Responsible for employing over 7.5 million people and turning over almost £1.4 trillion a year, medium-sized businesses are the engine of our economy. Despite the economic turbulence of 2023, SME owners remain optimistic. Recent research has found that just under half (47%) expect their revenue to increase this year.
What’s driving this growth? A large factor is the rapidly improving slate of technology available. Cloud-based solutions such as Unified Communications (UC) are transforming what these businesses are capable of.
It’s likely why Virgin Media O2 Business’s research report, ‘Medium businesses: Fuelling the UK’s economic engine’, found that 65% of medium businesses see technology as the biggest driver of their growth.
This means that the remit of IT teams is expanding. For medium businesses, these teams often consist of just one person, or a small number of people with a range of additional responsibilities. Yet 48% of medium businesses are looking to their IT team to help drive their business ambitions.
Without the specialist knowledge and support of a third party, an unsupported IT team can find themselves under pressure, and become a source of bottlenecks. This can cause challenges for senior leaders striving to equip their organisations for success.
How can you ensure that these teams have the right support to thrive? How can you free up their time to focus on business growth? And how can you ensure you get the best value out of your investments?
The risks of going it alone
When it comes to implementing new technology, it’s not just an issue of ensuring you have the right training and troubleshooting to prevent issues. Shockingly, many businesses buy but then don’t activate all their cloud solutions.
It may be a problem of investing in the wrong solution for you. Or it may be an issue with implementation. Either way, these needless costs can also occur beyond the point of investment.
Poor training of your employees can see them frustrated or disengaged with new systems, reverting to less efficient legacy tech that can reduce their productivity.
And without the right advice, you may find that you’re not getting the most out of every new feature. With solutions becoming more advanced by the day, there may be a whole suite of capabilities within your new investment that you’re unaware of.
The good news is that accessing this specialist support doesn’t always mean spending more. In fact, a good supplier will be willing to offer you this advice free of charge to ensure you can make the right choices for your business.
Having those conversations when considering your next investment is an effective way of starting your journey with the support that will help you flourish.
How can freeing up your IT team deliver value?
Of course, it’s not just about the employees using the new tools you’ve invested in.
Far from adding an additional burden to your IT team, the right support when implementing new technology should free them up to focus on delivering value for your business.
It takes specialist knowledge to make the most of innovative new technologies. Your IT team may not have that speciality, or the freedom to dedicate resources towards gaining that knowledge without compromising their productivity.
What’s key is that third-party support shouldn’t just be about implementation. It should start before the point-of-sale and extend all the way until your investment starts delivering value.
Tasking your IT team with doing the research to find what you need to help your business grow can be a costly distraction from their regular tasks. Instead, a third-party expert can identify your specific needs and the solutions that are right for you.
What does best-in-class support look like?
With the ever-growing range and complexity of solutions, finding what’s right for you is no longer a simple task. The right partner will be able to guide you to the solutions that best fit your needs and make sure that the solutions you purchase work in harmony together.
After making your investment, support can become more extensive, and more effective. Often it is entirely dependent on the solution you have invested in, so you should look for experts who have experience with the systems you’re implementing.
For example, at Virgin Media O2 Business, we have a network of partnerships that provide experts from the very ecosystems that you’re looking to implement and protect your business with specialist endpoint management.
That means a Virgin Media O2 Business engineer who specialises in Microsoft solutions can get you set up on your Microsoft suite – it just makes sense.
What’s important is that the level of support each business needs is different. It can look like anything from troubleshooting and onboarding support, to dedicated account handlers and teams of experts that can get everything set up and optimised for your business.
The journey from consultation to success shouldn’t be a difficult one – the right support is out there to help you get the best value out of your new tech.
As new solutions optimise the way we do business, getting technologically savvy is necessary to maintain your momentum on growth. And this is where relying on your partners can help.