Swept away by IT concerns? Here’s how to keep things focused on business

Just about every professional services firm seeks to provide a more mobile and responsive workplace. Continually reducing operating expenses, fixed overheads, staffing complexities and redundant assets on the balance sheet are a concern for most operators in the legal, accounting, funds management, and engineering industries – am I right?

Everyone is looking for the right digital solution that will fulfil a strategic need. Professional services firms are looking to improve their billable hours, staff retention and service offerings, just like everyone else. However, it can be daunting to know which path to take next given the perceived complexity of the technology options. Thus, navigating the plethora of choice out there is both draining and expensive.

The landscape is littered with firms that are still waiting for the benefits they anticipated when they made their last IT investment. There are latency issues and performance problems. It’s all too hard, too expensive and too slow. Just not worth the risk of not getting it right.

That’s why identifying the right cloud-based solution is not just an option, it’s imperative. The right provider won’t “just” remove the need to manage software or abundant hardware, and provide users with access to the resources they need from anywhere and any device – they’ll make it easy for you in the process.

Your firm can then engage expert staff from anywhere in the world, facilitate those that need to work long hours day and night and attract those seeking more flexible arrangements to work from home. Collaboration in temporary teams is better facilitated without the need for people to travel to office facilities every day. Work can take place while traveling, in teams, at home after hours, or in the proximity of client facilities.

The key solution that enables all this in a mobile and agile office environment is Desktop-as-a-Service, or DaaS as it is commonly known. DaaS puts your desktop operating environment and all that is connected to it (servers, data, security and more) into the cloud for accessibility anywhere and anytime staff.

For the last  12 years, I have worked with a funds management company dedicated exclusively to wholesale and institutional investors. The firm manages both single account mandates and pooled investment vehicles totalling in excess of $3.5 billion in real estate assets, as well as a debt vehicle designed to fund building environmental upgrades. Its assets include a broad spectrum of investments in the office, retail, industrial and hotel sectors.

As you can imagine, this firm’s clients are big. Whether superannuation funds or major institutions, the typical minimum investment is in the order of $10 million. Successful engagement with such clients demands expertise, exceptional service, a high degree of professionalism – and a well-supported IT infrastructure. Thus, the company needed to establish a business with institutional-grade services to attract institutional clients, through seeking a high quality, robust IT infrastructure.

Initially the company looked at the idea of purchasing its own hardware and software, but to provide this would have been very costly and would require a full-time IT person. Alternatively, they could have outsourced management of the system, becoming a small client for a huge IT services business.

Their worry was what happens if they end up being one of 500 clients to an outsourced provider and if they need a problem addressed urgently.” As the leader of the firm explained “Do I want to deal with an IT business whose sideline is to keep my infrastructure running, or do I want someone who’s lifeblood is in it?” The company needed someone steady, an experienced specialist with ‘skin in the game’.

Every professional services leader deserves the right to remain focused on business rather than be distracted by IT concerns. Today, most firms are keeping a closer eye on finding the right cloud-based desktop service provider, someone that fulfils their organisational outcomes and helps them function optimally.

To discuss this article or gain more information on how OBT’s Hosted IT Solutions can reduce IT headaches in your organisation, contact me a


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