In 1992, Michael Oh, a freshman at MIT, started Tech Superpowers (TSP) in a dorm room. His aim was simple: help companies in the Boston area solve technology problems. In the 25+ years since, Michael and TSP have delivered IT consulting in Boston for hundreds of area organizations, including some of the biggest companies in the city, like Novartis, Bose, John Hancock, and the Boston Celtics.
Along the way, TSP has learned a thing or two about how companies use outsourced IT support to create business success. If you are a Boston-area company with 200 or fewer employees, here are four key lessons from our decades of experience can help you make better decisions about technology for your business.
Lesson 1: IT consulting requires a systems-based process, not simply a “fix”
Most IT consulting vendors simply try to fix problems as they come up; others claim to be “proactive,” which means they’re trying to keep ahead of expected problems. But very few vendors actually try to get the root of recurring issues and create future solutions that eliminate them.
Informed by his training as an aerospace engineer, Michael understands that IT solutions are complex; that systems are interdependent and what solves one problem could trigger another; that an IT provider that’s just a fixer of problems is almost as bad as having no IT provider at all. The worst part? Most Boston IT consulting vendors persuade you to pay them a fee just to keep things running, and without an alternative, you’re resigned to spending that money with no real strategic benefit. At TSP, we take a different approach.
TSP’s systems-based process provides significantly better business results with a significant return on investment in the following ways:
- Reducing employee downtime
- Leveraging new cloud-based systems to allow people to work from anywhere
- Implementing security solutions that help fend off cyberattacks
- Installing video conference solutions to increase collaboration even at great distances
- Helping decision makers understand the impact of technology to move their business forward, not just to keep them from sliding back.
Ask your current provider how they’re going to get the bottom of your IT issues, especially those that you see causing regular disruption to your business. Contact TSP to learn more about our startup IT services.
Lesson 2: Robust IT requires a design-led approach
In July 2018, the Boston Celtics opened the new Auerbach Practice Center to help their team bring home its 18th championship banner. Even with the choice of any IT shop in the city, the VP of the Celtics chose TSP to design and support a network to accommodate the terabytes of data players, coaches, and the press will be moving in this multi-million dollar facility.
Why would they choose us? Because TSP specializes in designing complex systems that perform under the most strenuous circumstances.
You may not be the Boston Celtics and your next year may not bring an NBA Championship banner, but perhaps it’s time to consider an IT consulting firm in Boston that can design—even at a small scale—robust and future-proof systems for your business.
Ask your current IT consulting firm how they select the solutions that they put in place for you.
Is it based on experience and a thoughtfully designed approach, or are they just applying a quick fix until the same problems come back the next week?
Lesson 3: IT consulting is a destination, not a journey
Your company’s IT is not like a cross-country adventure, where each day brings new experiences that enrich your life. You need to get somewhere: a place where technology is working for you, not against you.
The TSP Process takes you from point A to B. From day one, we measure your progress to “technical alignment” —our term that describes when a company meets our stringent criteria for having robust, secure, and smooth-running technology.
You might think that once alignment is reached, our job is done. Not so. Stable, robust technology is the precondition for how we create lasting value for our clients. Once you’re aligned with our standards, we can start to dig deeper: asking questions about how better use of technology tools can create more business value. Then we work hand in hand with your leadership team to implement important technology initiatives. Our TSP process delivers not only smooth technology, strategic impact, as well as an excellent IT help desk.
Ask your current provider to give you a technology roadmap:
An idea of where they’re taking you and how far along you are. Their response might well be that this sort of documentation costs extra.
Lesson 4: IT requires diversity of skills and experience
TSP’s team has a skill set unlike any other small business IT support firm in the city. Starting with our founder, an MIT graduate with degrees in aerospace and electrical engineering, we recruit individuals with an exceptional work ethic, integrity, and the ability to bring the joy of technology to others. We have hired people who worked for the US government, Harvard, Sonos, and Apple Support. They have worked in technology, music production, construction, and interior design. One has an MBA. Another is a published author. Our diversity creates a deeper understanding of what makes businesses succeed. We are more than just technologists. We design, engineer, plan, and manage long term business impact.
Ask your current IT consultant about the backgrounds of their team. They may list certifications on Windows troubleshooting, but do they really have the depth of experience and diversity to understand your business and lead your own teams to truly engage with and enjoy technology?
If your current Boston IT consulting provider or managed services provider can’t satisfy these questions, find out more about our process.
In our next article in the series, we’ll discuss how the TSP Process delivers better results.