How Covid-19 Caused an IT Support Issue

Business Management | Change | Coronavirus | Covid-19 | Digital Evolution | IT Industry | IT Infrastructure

How Covid-19 Caused an IT Support Issue

Business Management | Change | Coronavirus | Covid-19 | Digital Evolution | IT Industry | IT Infrastructure

The jury’s in, and it’s good news for tech: Coronavirus gave everyone a great big shove and now everyone’s online for almost everything. It was always going to happen eventually, but Covid-19 made the transition of the next five years happen In five weeks. Consumers and business, Enterprise and SMEs, commercial and public sector. It was always inevitable but now it’s here. We’re living and working in the truly online world at last.

The issues are beginning to emerge, starting with network connections and the shortcomings of residential, consumer broadband. Tales of impossible connections for video calls are thick on the ground. Working at home often means sharing a connection with the rest of the family who’re streaming box sets and playing endless shoot ‘em up challenges. We’re discovering the implications of on-line dependency.

For those of us in the business of delivering services online, more customers is always good especially when they depend on us because that’s when we know we’re doing something valuable. Well, it’s good while it’s all working but, as with broadband, more throughput brings performance issues and there are always glitches and outages, and customers expect service and dependability – performance and resilience. Customer service means that we have to deliver what they expect, whenever they expect it.

Coronavirus has brought us the customers and now we’ve got to deliver to their expectations. It’s up to us. The strain of loading must be matched by performance, and the always-on expectation must be met by resilience. For us on the supply side of tech, there are no excuses to hide behind, and all this is 24x7x365.

Tech enabled businesses are now central and essential as never before, and now they must deliver. Greater scale, volume and speed call for systems that are up to the task, and this usually brings cost issues, as well as design challenges, that require expertise to support the business demands and ambitions. Resilience requires that expertise to be always on, just like customers’ expectations of the service.

The legacy approach was to do as much in-house as possible, and buy in the extra where you had to. This doesn’t meet the challenges for businesses now having to move at speed and deliver to customers 24×7, and it isn’t cost effective either. Dev teams are distracted by all the routine management of systems and architecture that’s required for service quality and performance. Round the clock support cover delivered from payroll is expensive, unpleasant and usually compromised by being only on-call not always on. Support from Big Tech Cloud providers is an unacceptable slog unless you’re an equally big brand name enterprise. Resellers and MSPs charging a day rate for help is cumbersome and often prohibitively expensive.

Scaling up service and delivery means scaling up capabilities, and building in the flexibility to be responsive. Something better is called for, a different cost effective support model designed for this Post Virus world where customers expect performance online 24×7.

Flexiion pioneered a new approach in 2019 specifically designed to deliver support for tech businesses in the Cloud world of always on performance at speed, 24x7x365. A full team of specialists works round the clock to support whatever infrastructure their customers need, and is priced like the Cloud to scale with the customer. No day rates here, and no hurdles to getting support when it’s needed. No fixed list of providers either, and so the services can come from wherever is best for each customer: all the major public Cloud brands, specialist providers, private hosting/private cloud. Whatever mix is required to power the customer for speed and cost effectiveness.

Like everyone else, Flexiion was thinking about the future of online services and what tech enabled businesses would need to be able to deliver to their customers. That anticipation led to early action and the launch of Flexiion MSP in December. It would be nice to be able to say that the pandemic was also anticipated, but it wasn’t. Flexiion MSP was designed and launched just a few short weeks before the world changed, and Coronavirus caused tomorrow’s online demand to happen today. Tomorrow’s customers are here today, accelerated by Covid-19, and they expect service, performance and resilience that can’t be delivered by yesterday’s legacy approach to IT support, flexibility and cost effectiveness. This world is very different, and that calls for a different approach to support for IT that gives decision-makers flexibility and choice, and delivers performance, resilience and cost effectiveness.

Flexiion MSP builds & supports Cloud infrastructure for best cost, performance and flexibility in the Covid-19 world.

Peter Osborn is chairman of Flexiion and has a number of other business interests. (c) 2020, Peter Osborn

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