With the recent launch of Greystone’s IT Director as a Service (ITDaaS) we sat down with Ben McDougall, Director of IT Services to discuss why he developed the service and how it is helping his customers.
What is ITDaaS?
The IT Director as a Service (ITDaaS) provides businesses with a flexible outsourced dedicated IT Director who has a deep understanding of the business objectives and strategically supports operational activity to help them get there.
Why did you create ITDaaS?
We predominately work with SME organisations providing them with Managed IT Support Services and Digital Transformation. Many of these organisations do not have an internal resource solely responsible for their technology strategy. With businesses relying on technology now more than ever to ensure productivity, efficiency and growth, we have seen requests outside of the traditional break / fix support have increased dramatically. We also can’t downplay the effect the recent pandemic has had on technology. Many of our customers fast tracked their IT projects and this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing. When coupled with the current digital skills shortage, many SMEs have been left with big ideas but with no resource to design, develop and execute them!
Another factor playing into the development of this service has been the increased focus on compliance and regulation, increasing the level of support required from our team. For example, the introduction of GDPR effected all businesses processing data and for some customers, this became a pretty big headache. There has also been a significant tightening of belts when it comes to disaster recovery, business continuity and information security policies, with some companies opting for Cyber Essentials or ISO accreditations. We have actually seen several occasions where companies have lost out on business simply because they have not been able to put robust strategies in place.
Who have you developed ITDaaS for?
This service is suited to SMEs of up to 100 employees across multiple industries. All have one thing in common – a big reliance on technology without the means to appoint a full time IT Director. In some cases, these businesses have a firm plan on where they want to go but don’t have the skills to get there, and some businesses are starting with a blank piece of paper and need help in planning their strategic IT journey. This service is 100% tailored to the individual needs of the business, working with Senior Leadership Teams, MDs and CEOs to research, design and develop the right IT Strategy to meet their objectives.
What are their pain points?
All businesses are unique and depending on their objectives, they will have differing pain points. That said, there is a high degree of commonality across the projects we work on. In SMEs, the simple lack of time and resources is a driver to call in extra help. Often, already maxed out, members of the leadership team are assigned additional responsibility for the IT Strategy, taking their focus from their primary role. Those organisations who recognise they need additional help, do not have the budget to employ a dedicated resource and in most cases don’t know what skills they need to recruit for.
To add to these internal pressures, external environment such as compliance red tape, cyber security concerns, and data handling has a huge impact on the psyche of SMEs. They are often left with many unanswered questions and in a state of uncertainty on how best to meet guidelines and not fall foul of regulations.
How does ITDaaS address these pain points?
The average IT Director salary starts at £80K – that’s a big investment for any organisation. With ITDaaS, customers benefit from all the experience and strength of an IT Director without the hefty price tag. It offers complete flexibility, meaning customers can dial up or down the amount of support they need depending on current requirements.
Our exposure to a vast range of operating models allows us to cherry pick the best processes and tools specific to each project we work on. We can pull on decades of experience, across multiple disciplines and industries to deliver a tailored solution exclusively to meet individual company goals.
Something we celebrate at Greystone is our culture and ethos, which aligns closely with all the organisations we work with. It’s our purpose to help our customers grow, ploughing all our efforts into helping our customers to exceed their business goals.
This is not just a service looking after the front line. With ITDaaS we are providing a proactive strategic view on where the organisation is, where it wants to be, and how the business can get there. We also look beyond immediate goals to include long-term future proofing strategies.
How do companies engage with ITDaaS?
With roots firmly in Manchester we are best placed to serve SMEs based in the North West. This close proximity allows us to be responsive and on customer premises with ease allowing for the full IT Director experience.
For anyone considering using our ITDaaS we offer an initial IT audit to help businesses clarify their current technology position, review their requirements, and provide a strategic IT plan based on industry best practice. From this we can tailor a package that fits with the business requirements for ongoing strategic support.