Apr
7

Managed Services For Local Government: Because Little Brother Needs Help With IT Too!

Managed Services For Local Government: Because Little Brother Needs Help With IT Too!

April 7
By

When I think of government, I think of entities with first-class access to some of the slickest technology known to man. The fact of the matter is that government agencies must pay for their tech just like everyone else. And they too are challenged. Managing vital records, delivering functional citizen services, and getting a handle on mobile device integration has our public administrators bogged down with IT tasks that rival traditional workloads in complexity. For smaller local governments, these obstacles must be cleared within dwindling time frames on increasingly shrinking budgets.

A recent trip down to the city county office left me amazed at the display of mountainous file cabinets still housed in the building. As I waited around for copy machines to kick in and faxes to come through, it was clear to see that many municipal offices are in desperate need of solutions that streamline critical daily functions such as data entry, file management, and accounting. From content management systems to help desk applications, the right software can convert manual operations into automated processes that improve accessibility while reducing costs and minimizing the burden on staff.

The steady influx of new laws, regulations, and policies means IT requirements are constantly changing. Offices at both the state and city levels are in need of technology that not only holds up in the now, but provides continuous support as the economic landscape evolves. Government IT workers demand solutions that are flexible enough to scale seamlessly without having to make costly ongoing investments, implement entirely new systems, or mix and match individual tools from different vendors.

IT Solutions In Managed Services

Like a retailer or manufacturing company, government bodies must rely on reputable vendors they can trust to assist with their IT needs. Managed service providers can be valuable commodities here. From hosting critical office applications to providing capacity in the cloud, MSPs can help government unlock three key benefits:

  1. Low upfront investment and predictable monthly expenses
  2. Full access to an IT infrastructure complete with hardware, applications, and security
  3. Fully operational off-premises environment managed by seasoned IT professionals

By housing, hosting, and supporting their IT systems, MSPs can position government entities to greatly improve workforce utilization. Free of tedious infrastructure maintenance, both management and staff can focus on core competencies that drive communities forward.

Forging Lucrative Business Relationships

For service providers, a partnership with government clients translates to prosperous business relationships. IT is an ongoing responsibility, so the chance of a long-term contract is highly likely. But there are no guarantees. The managed services arena is highly competitive, bustling with hungry vendors vying for the affections of these high-profile prospects. In order to secure government accounts and retain them when renewals roll around, MSPs must go beyond merely housing equipment and providing IT services.

Flex your IT muscle. Whether it’s a long-time specialty or something you recently adopted, how well you provide a given service can make all the difference in locking down recurring customers. And the more experience you can showcase in accommodating high-level IT needs, the better.

Sell convenience. While there may be a need for an occasional face-to-face meeting, your technology systems should allow clients to remotely access connected systems and data from their office and preferably on the go. Convenience should be one of your main selling points.

Be awesome at support. The value of IT services soars through the roof when backed by phenomenal support. Respond in a timely fashion. Provide comprehensive training resources. Keep your software up to date. This is where clients are retained.

The IT leaders of local government are dealing with unique challenges in their mission to support a multitude of users and address issues across multiple agencies, departments, and offices. They need a hand, but are very selective about who they work with for good reason. Reputable managed service providers who can deliver cutting edge technology solutions that simplify IT in a way that consistently hits user, performance, and budget goals are the type of partners they’re looking for.

Photo Credit: ERNACT Interregional Management Committee via Flickr