The 80/20 Rule: Balancing Innovation with Operational Execution

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Traditional client satisfaction metrics (CSAT, NPS) provide useful insights into value created by managed services providers (MSP), but they are not the most important metric. Instead, the question that we lead with in our engagement with clients and prospects is: “What percentage of your time is spent managing IT?” In an informal survey at a recent CPA industry event, 53% of IT leaders indicated that they are spending more than 80% of their time managing day-to-day IT operations including keeping the lights on and operational fire-fighting. While necessary, this comes at a significant cost for CPA firms.

In a world where technology is increasingly shaping and enabling new revenue streams and end-user experiences across all industries, IT leaders are also tackling the mandate of accelerating tech intensity. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella describes tech intensity as a “fusion of cultural mindset and business processes that rewards the development and propagation of digital capabilities that create end-to-end digital feedback loops, tear down data silos, and unleash information flows to trigger insights and predictions, automated workflows and intelligent services.”

Simply put, the game has changed. For CPA firms seeking the upper hand, the need to accelerate tech intensity is no longer optional. Forward-leaning CPA firms are already incorporating technology into everything that they do, unlocking an increasingly frictionless experience for their clients and facilitating a highly collaborative remote workspace for a distributed workforce.

In a zero-sum game, most IT leaders are juggling tight budgets, scarcity of talent, a hybrid workforce that is becoming increasingly more dispersed, and an ever-changing threat landscape. To focus on the higher value and more strategic elements and enhancing tech intensity, implies one of two things:

  1. Building the depth and breadth of IT talent internally; or
  2. Finding the right IT partner who can abstract the day-to-day operational complexity while modernizing the underlying IT fabric.

At Netgain, we do just that – partner with (not replace) IT leaders in the CPA space to migrate and modernize their infrastructure leveraging public cloud (Azure, AWS), package key line-of-business applications such as practice management, bookkeeping, tax and audit software as well as productivity/collaboration tools into a seamless cloud desktop and deliver a fully managed and secure cloud-enabled workspace. The result is that clients spend less time worrying about end-user support, IT operations, application updates, or security threats. Instead, they are directing their cycles in accelerating the tech intensity in their firms.

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This post was originally published on the Netgain blog.

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