Let’s face it: All SMBs need a CIO

We want our clients to know that we’re in their corner, and we aim to provide a much higher level of service and advisement than the baseline.” In working with WingSwept, we knew this was a focus of their business and asked them to share some ways their company provides that service. See what they have to say.

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For most modern businesses, technology plays an extremely important role in their operations, whether it’s serving as the backbone in the background, or front and center in their offerings.  Every small and medium-sized business may not need what most people think of when they hear “CIO” – a full-time, six-figure executive with the nicest laptop in the company. However, every business owner needs to know that someone serving their company is “in the know” on both their own technology and the IT world at-large, and this must extend beyond just handling the day-to-day support needs of the business.

 

stethoscope on keyboard indicating technology health

Why an MSP?

We believe that an MSP is the best fit for that role. Working service tickets, budgeting for workstation and server replacements, engineering for uptime and reliability… these things are par for the course for an MSP and it’s what many business owners have come to expect as a baseline. We think an MSP can and should bring more value than simply producing a warranty report for IT assets. An MSP should help their clients think strategically about the growing risk that aging equipment creates and build a plan together to address that risk in the context of the other IT needs of the business.

 

image says budget next to computer

The Value of Budget Forecasting

Let’s consider ABC Company. They are on a consistent four-year replacement cycle for most standard laptops and desktops, and they replace their engineering workstations and conference room computers every five years. They have complex local infrastructure that consists of multiple virtual servers and shared storage. With some investment in data quality in Lifecycle Insights, we saw that this company is going to have an extremely heavy year of IT expenses in 2022 due to several intersecting replacement and migration schedules. We now have the opportunity to discuss a three-year project plan with the business owner that helps them spread their costs over a longer period and it will prioritize the highest risk items. We are also able to deliver this to the owner prior to their 2021 budget planning so they can incorporate these projects into the overall budget plan for the business next year.

In addition to forecasting for normal equipment replacements, Lifecycle Insights also gives us the ability to plan out projects and software upgrades over time. When we have a client that is moving from an on-premise Exchange server or G Suite to Microsoft 365, we build a plan to roll out the many features of Microsoft 365 Business Premium over the course of 6 to 18 months and we prioritize security, productivity, and/or collaboration as the organization’s needs dictate. Conversations around the security functions of M365 open up other discussions around multi-factor authentication, email security, security event monitoring and much more. With a platform like Lifecycle Insights, we can easily work all of these ambitions into a long-term budget forecast for our clients that they can take to their board or leadership team.

  

a person looking ahead past an arrow

vCIO Services to Support Our Clients

We want our clients to know that we’re in their corner, and we aim to provide a much higher level of service and advisement than the baseline. Whether we call it “vCIO” or not, that’s essentially what we’re doing. We are the trusted advisor, the one running the reports and doing the math, and the one looking ahead. We want to be sure that when SMBs are looking for an IT service provider in Raleigh, NC, that they see WingSwept as a business partner that does much more than just help them keep their computers running. Lifecycle Insights helps us get there.

 

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