Overcoming internal IT organizations' fear of outside help

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 7, 2015 11:08:00 AM

Internal_IT_organizationsWhile it might not come as a surprise to IT services firms, a new survey confirms their suspicions about internal IT organizations.

Well over half—61 percent—of the IT professionals responding to a survey from Innotas, a provider of cloud portfolio management tools, admitted they did not have enough resources and staff to manage the demand for IT projects within their organization.

As a result, 37 percent said they were challenged by resourcing for those IT projects, while 26 percent said they had issues with prioritization. To make matters worse, 38.7 percent did not have a project management office, and 25 percent said they lack any formal methodology to score and prioritize projects.

Reluctant to ask for IT help

The painful irony here is that many of those same IT professionals still won't seek external help. More often than not, they justify taking on projects themselves because of the fees they might have to pay an IT services provider, even though doing it themselves almost guarantees the project will be completed after deadline.

In fact, a recent survey of 1,300 IT professionals conducted by Spiceworks, a provider of IT management tools, found that even though most of the respondents are facing a pressing end-of-life support deadline for Windows Server 2003, a full 77 percent said they would manage the migration process in house.

Naturally, a lot of the attitude of the internal IT organization comes down to job security. Many of them are afraid their jobs will be outsourced to an external IT service provider, so from their perspective, hiring an IT services firm is often seen as the first step toward the unemployment line.

Given that attitude, it is little wonder that many IT services firms try to get around the internal IT organization. It's also not surprising to find line-of-business executives inside an organization who are frustrated with their internal IT organization.

Finding the right executives

The challenge is that IT services firms have to search for these line-of-business executives. In fact, for that very reason we’re starting to see distributors such as Ingram Micro reach out to directly stimulate end-user demand on behalf of their IT services partners.

Individually, most of those IT services firms don’t have enough of a marketing budget to make a real impact in this way. But as a multi-billion dollar organization that has access to marketing dollars provided by vendors, a distributor such as Ingram Micro can generate thousands of leads that can be closed by its IT services partners. Perhaps one day, line-of-business executives will even have enough awareness of the capabilities of their local IT services firms to even reach out directly.

None of this means that internal IT organizations are inherently working against the interest of IT services firms. Many of them have established working relationships with IT services firms they have come to trust. But there are still far too many IT professionals operating from a place of fear. Until that changes, there will always be a level of tension between the internal IT organization and an IT services firm, and that doesn’t really serve the best interests of anyone involved.

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Photo credit: Peter via Flicker.com. Used under CC 2.0 License.

Topics: MSP Marketing, IT Services Trends

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