Recently, I had a discussion with an employee of a large company who had shared with me their concerns over an IT project that impacted numerous areas of the company where they’re employed. In short, the project would be a significant investment and there would need to be the internal staff to maintain the systems after the project wrapped – something they lacked. This person wasn’t sure if the solutions proposed were something completely bloated and unnecessary for their needs as they were relying on the potential IT solution providers for this information. (Hello, potential upselling trap!)
Unfortunately, this exact scenario isn’t uncommon for many mid-size to large companies; especially those that are looking to have some or all of their IT infrastructure upgraded. The story is all too familiar: they’ve been relying on the same tech systems/stack to get the job done for many years and employ only the bare minimum of headcount to keep it functioning (in this case it was a single person who wore another hat) as anything else wasn’t needed.
I can certainly understand why the employee is worried. This company who is soliciting the work is already at a disadvantage. There is a lot of trust being placed on the vendors and while we all like to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, business is as they say, is still just business. IT consulting companies are no different – they are in it to turn a profit. Any salesperson knowing the background of this particular company would immediately see an easy opportunity for a win. The ill-intentioned ones wring their hands, while dreams of unknowing clients and endless change orders dance in their heads. It may not be their job to educate the client on what they absolutely need, but the companies with true integrity will (and do).
I learned that the company had already looked at a few IT consulting firms, all who proposed using their team of experts to do the job. While this solved one issue, it still left one portion of the company’s problem unresolved – having the qualified staff to maintain the systems at completion and handoff. Sure, the company could hire the necessary people after the project wrapped but there is another option that most businesses don’t know about and could potentially present the perfect solution for their needs: Managed Development Teams.
What is a Managed Development Team?
A Managed Development Team is a team of IT professionals, built to spec that operates with or without a defined SLA (Service Level Agreement). These teams use development methodology you specify to execute the work or, use an agile approach (known for its transparency and predictable costs).
Teams consist of IT talent and a project manager (or managers) who steer the project for its duration. What sets the Managed Development Team apart from other approaches is the client has the option to hire the IT talent once the project is complete!
Who better to manage the systems of a significant IT investment than the people brought in to do the work? While many IT consulting firms cannot or will not offer their clients such an approach, there are those that do. If you’re a company also facing such an upgrade to your infrastructure, ask your IT consulting firm if they offer such a service. A Managed Development Team from an IT Solutions provider who offers to partner with their clients on their projects and provides a thorough explanation (and reasoning) for their proposed solution in terms anyone can understand may just be the solution you’re looking for.
Post by: Anne E. – tech talk for the non-tech types