IT Stewardship

Overview

Most companies tend to have an in-house IT Director or manager and contract for desktop support and other lower paying tasks. We noticed that most small to medium businesses can not justify the cost of an experienced, skilled Director so end up settling for someone without all the skills and experience to do a good, complete job. For these companies we offer what we call IT Stewardship. Basically, we act as a part time IT Director to help you evaluate your current IT infrastructure, prioritize projects, set budgets and make policies. Small to medium companies can now get all the expertise of an experienced IT Director for a fraction of the cost.

This service has been received by the SMB market quite well. Usually there is an initial expenditure as we work to stabilize and address any immediate issues but after that clients have seen their IT expenditures cut by 25-50% as well as benefit from reduced network downtime, a regular planned expenditure schedule and identification of new functionality to improve on the existing methods. This allows most of our SMB clients to be truly proactive for the first time by addressing technologies and tools to help them work more efficiently.

How It Works

The first thing we do for prospective Stewardship customers is to do a site survey. The site survey inventories and documents the systems, applications, equipment and procedures currently in use. During this process we also try to understand on a basic level what the company does and the workflows used to accomplish that. For most SMB companies this survey takes 4 - 8 hours and the end result is a documentation packet along with a prioritized list of suggested improvements with their urgency. This allows clients to quickly assess what we feel are the largest current issues they are facing. For many clients this is the first comprehensive documentation they have on their network and for others it almost always provides some missing pieces.

Once the survey is completed we meet with the client to go over the findings in as much depth as they wish. From there they can either task us to handle the issues or take the list and choose other contractors. As with our other services we try to provide all documentation and support materials needed for another qualified person to come in and assume the position with minimal transitional issues. We go out of our way to not lock clients into our service but are pleased when they continue with us do to the ongoing quality of our work. We've had IT Steward clients for more than 8 years now (which is almost as long as we've offered this service).

Summary

This service might seem strange and is different to the conventional method of contracting or consulting and it requires a considerable amount of trust. We've found, however, that for a relatively small investment, the cost of the site survey, both potential clients and ourselves can get a pretty good feel for how each works and whether this is a good fit or not. If you are interested in more information or wish to schedule a site survey please contact us.