IT Leaders turn to Centers of Excellence to Boost the Delivery of Technology Initiatives

By Doug Stevens, VP, Managed Services for Aspire Technology Partners

Today’s business landscape is placing increasing demands on IT. CEOs now view technology as a critical enabler of business strategy, and core to how their organization plans to grow and transform. This thinking is driving CIOs to maximize IT’s impact on the business by aligning technology initiatives to outcomes that deliver competitive advantage.

In the mid-market or small enterprise space, for example, it is difficult for many companies to recruit and retain the skills and IT resources needed to meet the demands of the business. IT budgets typically allow for limited year-over-year increases. While investments in digital capabilities and technology innovation have grown, the corresponding expansion of IT’s capacity to support them has not. Gartner’s research shows that 37% of IT budgets of midsized companies are comprised of salaries and benefits. Therefore, from the CIO’s perspective, time and people are precious commodities.

To meet this challenge, IT leaders are re-thinking how they look at their organizations. They’re creating “Centers of Excellence” to enhance both IT and organizational productivity with tighter alignment to business priorities. Their charter is to boost speed and efficiency in the execution of projects that directly affect the quality of services and produce outcomes that “move the needle.”

One critical element of this transformation is the need to redirect resources. In many organizations, IT teams spend a disproportionate chunk of their workday performing non-strategic operational tasks. IT leaders are looking for ways to maximize the return on investments in personnel. With limited resources, the daunting task is how to manage day-to-day IT operations while maintaining focus on initiatives that drive growth for the business.

A True Partnership

This is where a partnership with a managed services provider (MSP) like Aspire plays an important role. Working as an extension of your IT team, our experienced analysts and engineers leverage the latest technologies to ensure the availability, performance, and security of your IT infrastructure. CIOs see us as an integrated strategic asset for their organization, providing technical expertise, operational consistency, and scale. We take over the ongoing management and operational tasks – freeing their IT resources to focus on value-driven strategic initiatives.

From our New Jersey-based 24x7x365 network and security operations center (NSOC), Aspire’s highly trained systems administrators, analysts, and technical resources monitor our clients’ infrastructures and respond in real-time as issues arise. If an event occurs within a client’s environment, it triggers an alert to our NSOC, where a managed services team member is “eyes on it” to troubleshoot the issue and quickly resolve it. We take it one step further, providing a high-touch, consultative approach that delivers more meaningful and actionable insights into the events that we see – not simply an automated email notification. The managed services offer flexibility to meet your specific needs. We can provide context that allows your team to take corrective action, or if you prefer, we can take necessary steps on your behalf to restore normal operations.

MSP Force Multiplier

Where we see clients embracing this type of partnership model, the results can be a real game-changer. IT teams spend less time “putting out fires” that distract them from important tasks. There is less staff burn-out resulting from constantly opening tickets with service providers after business hours to resolve circuit issues. Increased productivity allows IT to meet project milestones and deliver consistent SLAs to their internal customers (employees). With resources more closely aligned to the business, IT is no longer viewed as a cost center. It evolves into a more critical, strategic enabler to the long-term growth of the company. All of this creates more meaningful work for the IT staff, with opportunities to be challenged and new skills to be developed. Companies are able to retain talented people while achieving their goals.

Our most successful relationships are formed from clients who view our managed services team – not as an external entity – but as an extension of their IT operations. The common denominator is a trusted partnership rooted in mutual success. They offload the end-to-end management of their technology environments to us. This allows their internal team to focus on strategic initiatives – safe in the knowledge that the right people and processes are in place to meet their operational goals. A dedicated Customer Success Manager (the customer advocate) schedules regular touchpoints to provide service-related data, elicit feedback, and ensure we deliver on what we promise. Our clients gain from the optimization of internal IT resources, able to focus on the projects that are most impactful to the business.

If you would like to learn more about Aspire’s Managed Services, please contact me directly: Doug Stevens (

Aspire’s team can work with your business to determine the best support options and assistance for your company, so you can get back to focusing on larger strategic outcomes. You can also visit for more information.

Aspire Technology Partners is a Cisco Gold Certified Partner engrained in solution pillars that set us apart as a true Cisco solutions provider. We are committed to the continuous improvement of expertise and skillsets around Cisco initiatives that enable us to help and guide customers in the adoption and management of technology architectures designed to transform their organization. We hold Cisco Master Specializations in Collaboration, Security, Cloud & Managed Services and is one of only 25 partners in the US to receive the Cisco Advanced Customer Experience Specialization.

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