A rain cloud of opportunity for IT providers

A rain cloud of opportunity for IT providers

The past few years have seen IT managed services providers facing a wind of change, brought about by the cloud.

Traditionally the majority of our revenues have come from the support of client’s IT environments; monitoring, managing and maintaining users, servers and networks, with a slosh of hardware revenue thrown in for good measure.

The cloud and the technological developments that have come about as a result have turned this on its head. The remote management of IT becomes easier when everything is in the cloud, and this is reflected in a lower cost to maintain.

The downside of this for managed service providers is obviously a drop in revenue. Those behind the eight ball have chosen to focus on providing low cost support and cloud implementations. Those up with the play have seen the opportunity through the clouds.

The cloud has revolutionized the way businesses operate internationally, and in New Zealand we benefit from its advantages in more ways than most. Suddenly our remoteness isn’t such a road block, budgets are freed up to dream bigger, and we have seen many clients start to look at the possibilities globally for their companies, maximizing the advantages of the cloud to grow quickly.

From the start we also chose to see the cloud as an opportunity, rather than a threat, and began transforming our company from a managed services provider to a leader in IT strategy, services and support, providing our clients with the IT tools they need to grow internationally. Our global customers can now land in a country and have their IT set up within 24 hours.

And we're taking our own medicine. We’ve set up in the UK, and now have two of our Auckland guys there. The cloud has provided our guys the opportunity to work overseas and remain with Origin, and our customers the opportunity to have genuine 24/7 support.

The cloud has meant our business has changed drastically from a “keep the lights on, me too” kiwi IT support provider, to competing (and winning) with big international companies on most of our new business. Our clients come to us because we deliver the impact of a big company, with a personal, kiwi touch. We now have a number of customers operating in US, UK, Mainland Europe, China and the Pacific Islands.

Opportunity doesn’t always come knocking in clearly labeled packages. In this changing day and age, if you always do as you’ve always done, you won’t even get what you’ve always got, so it’s imperative to innovate to stay ahead of the pack.

Michael Russell is CEO of Origin, supporters of good old kiwi grown companies quickly making tracks internationally like Les Mills International, Better Drinks CO (Charlies), Jucy Rentals, Sealord, Morgan Furniture (La-z-boy) and Onbrand Partners.