IT Services Upskilling: Delivering Stellar Customer Value
It’s no secret that the pandemic disrupted how and where we work. It also accelerated digital transformation and, in the process, laid bare a glaring skills gap. How can any organization keep up?
Well before the pandemic, upskilling across all sectors was a topic of discussion. “In the micro context,” according to a 2019 Forbes article, “it refers to the process of individuals learning new skills. On the macro level, it describes a tectonic shift in the workplace caused by technology.”
For IT service providers, like Logicalis, upskilling means better understanding our customers’ needs so we can translate our deep technological knowledge into their business outcomes. In other words, we need to “skate to where the puck will be” as hockey great Wayne Gretzky put it.
Cybersecurity attack: Not a matter of if, but when?
A great example is security. Most organizations dispatch a collection of security products to the perimeter and end up with a patchwork of products stitched together by a thread of hope.
But what happens when there’s a ransomware attack?
Consider the case of Colonial Pipeline. Their CEO—not knowing the full extent of their ransomware attack—immediately decided to shut down pipeline operations and pay a $4.4 million ransom. Because Colonial provides 45% of the transport fuel oil to the East Coast, the downstream impacts were considerable.
No organization is immune. “We always thought that we were small potatoes, I mean who would pick a single library out of the world to attack,” said Denise Robinson, Director of the Brownsburg Public Library. “That just goes to show that it can happen to anybody.” Even a public library in a town of 27,000 people.
Even the largest and most mature organizations cannot find, let alone afford, top-notch security talent to ensure that they can detect and prevent a ransomware or other attack. In addition, the threat landscape is constantly evolving, making it nearly impossible for most IT teams to keep up with the latest threats.
A cybersecurity attack, therefore, is not a matter of if, but when.
How a skilled IT professional services provider can help
An IT service provider can help by working with you to develop a best-practice approach to your security strategy that includes:
- Continuous network monitoring, such as Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services, so you can detect the threat and take action before it does damage to your network.
- An incident response plan to help the IT team detect, respond to and recover from network security incidents, and
- Continual security awareness training and testing, based on best practices, to keep employees from clicking on phishing or other suspicious links.
A security strategy takes time, expertise, investment, implementation, monitoring and continuous testing. If that’s not an in-house skillset—or if it’s too expensive to retain or hard to find—consider an IT services provider like Logicalis.
Forrester: The need for specialized expertise in uncertain times
Forrester Consulting conducted a study of IT decisionmakers and found that “as organizations evolve and shift to new digital business models, IT leaders are looking more to IT services providers to help them get the most from their technology so they can stay relevant and competitive.” They found that:
- 74% cannot meet their organization’s demand for IT expertise with internal resources only.
- 71% believe that help from IT service providers reduces risk when deploying new technologies.
- 54% said they are working with IT services providers to enhance their strategic-level planning.
- 45% are seeking technology solutions that can be delivered via flexible consumption and/or as-a-service models during times of change.
It’s not hard to see why. As they struggle to keep up with numerous people, process and technology challenges, many IT leaders discover (much to their relief!) that specialized IT service providers can address specialized infrastructure needs better than their teams can.
What kinds of services do IT decision makers typically seek? Security and cloud services were rated as “very/extremely important” by 82% and 80% of IT leaders, respectively. Lagging farther behind were AI/automation (66%), data management (65%), infrastructure (61%), end-user devices (55%), edge computing (53%) and telco/5G (50%).
Logicalis: Delivering greater value for our customers
As Architects of Change™, Logicalis not only helps our customers respond and adapt to change, but we also continually respond and adapt to change ourselves. We’re currently on a months-long journey to upskill our services teams so we can deliver greater value in the areas that matter most to you—security, cloud, AI and automation and more.
We’ve specialized in bringing deep technological knowledge to our customers and enabling them to solve their business problems by thinking of technology in new ways. And we’re good at it!
But we want to further develop our services portfolio by truly understanding, from a business perspective, what you go through on a daily basis. We want to know what hills you have to climb and how we can help with some of the day-to-day burdens so you can concentrate on delighting your customers and driving revenue.
I mentioned earlier that a security attack is not a matter of if, but when. For that reason, we’re undergoing our own security assessment to learn more about what the experience is like for you, our customers, and how we can improve on it. In essence, we’re changing the wheels on the bus while the bus is going down the road (we’re pretty agile!).
While we’re known for our award-winning services, now is not the time to become complacent. Our ultimate goal is to deliver the services you need to help you navigate change and achieve the desired outcomes across your IT environment.
Nick Whiting is Manager of Professional Services/Collaboration & Modern Workplace for Logicalis, responsible for working with sales teams and technology practices to enable value creation with our customers by focusing on business outcomes and fantastic customer service.