Being a business owner is a lot like being the quarterback of a football team and your employees are your teammates. Attaining success on the field of business takes practice, sometimes two-a-days, to make sure that your team is ready for the next opponent. Running routes, calling audibles, and developing new plays are all important characteristics of a well-oiled team.
If you're a football fan, you're probably thinking about your favorite team right now, and just like most of us, you're remembering that fantastic win when everyone on the team was functioning at peak performance. And then we remember those games that were just ugly; blown coverages and missed assignments. We ask ourselves, how could the team have played better? How could they have been more prepared?
This same philosophy applies to managed service providers (MSPs). Football draws many parallels to business because when everything works as it should, you are more likely to win. When just one player misses an assignment, everything can come crashing down. A managed service provider will make sure your team has the right support system in place to succeed. Here’s how:
The defensive coordinator
Defending your business from threats is as imperative as protecting the quarterback. If your defense fails, then the QB gets hit every single time. A good managed service provider gives your business a defensive landscape, helping you call plays on the field to avoid the blitz. With your defensive coordinator watching out for cyberthreats, viruses, and ransomware, you know that your blindside is covered.
First and ten, the ball is on the 25-yard line. Your business is aware of the threats. You read the field and call an audible to sweep right. Success, you've gained 13 yards. 1st down!!
The receiver coach
The receiver coach in this analogy is your technology hardware, such as workstations, printers, and networks. Those crazy lines across the field of play are the network cables delivering the communication to drive the ball down the field further. Ensuring your technology communicates safely and travels along a protected route is a perfect way to complete that pass. Making the right call in the moment to let one of your employees make the completion is a great way to inspire the whole team.
First and ten, the ball is on the 38-yard line. Your defense is ready. Your receiver is ready. The ball is hiked, and you’re in shotgun formation. You spin to avoid that ransomware infected email that your managed service provider flagged for you and throw a beautiful 17-yard pass. The receiver catches the pass (or that lucrative proposal request email) and runs an additional 24 yards. What a big gain and another first down!!
The team doc
Business is brutal, so is football. Maybe that’s backwards, but you get the point. Someone is going to get hurt and break, just like your IT. Your last play gained you 41 yards, but your receiver is down on the field. As the QB, you call the trainers and team doctor over to attend to the injured receiver. With the receiver (computer) down, you pick up the phone and call over to the team doc (your IT Help Desk) for assistance. They rush to the field and help resolve the issue so you can get back to your drive and finish the game out strong. Having a good 'team doc' (IT Help Desk) to fix that broken receiver (computer) is essential to the success of this drive.
The stadium roars, you walk up to the ball on the 21-yard line. Your receiver seems to have recovered from his injury, and you're ready to run the trick play you've had planned for weeks leading up to this game. You hike the ball... oh no!!! Blown coverage and one of your teammates (employees) clicks on an email that infects your computers with ransomware; a.k.a. you just got sacked and lost 10 yards.
The offensive coordinator
Let it be known, a good offense is a great defense. The offensive coordinator (MSP) knows this all too well. If the correct plays are developed with the support of the offensive coordinator, this gives you (the QB) a better playbook to make the plays required for a successful drive. You've got a trick up your sleeve to gain back the 10 yards lost, and you call upon your support team to get you back in the game. With a flip through the playbook, your offensive coordinator gives you a smirk, and you know he's calling the play you want.
You focus your energy and anger following the recent sack (ransomware attack). You nod at your offensive coordinator. Stepping up to the line of scrimmage at the 31-yard line, you set your offensive line as you call the backup recovery play that you have saved for a moment like this. With a quick hike (or push of the restore button), your team moves into action and bounces the opposition line as if they weren't even there. Your running back takes the hand-off and runs right through the center of the pack.
Your running back moves down the field, and it doesn't seem like the recent sack even affects his focus. At the 20-yard line, your running back spins off the safety and heads towards the edge of the field. As the QB, you notice the secondary safety rushing to tackle your running back. You hold your breath as the running back leaps over the attempted tackle and comes down in the endzone... TOUCHDOWN!!!
The head coach
Your offense runs off the field after the score, and they are in high spirits. Meanwhile, the head coach (MSP) pulls you aside and reviews the previous scoring drive. The head coach goes over what went right and wrong, and then adjusts his plan with you to prevent any future sacks or turnovers. Just like your head coach, your managed service provider has a vested interest in seeing you win the big game!
That's a great story, but how does football apply to my business?
Your managed service provider is your support structure. Their IT team is there to give your business every single technological advantage to succeed in any game you play. Your defense is a commercial-grade firewall, anti-virus and anti-malware programs, and robust backup solutions. Your offense is the active monitoring and updating of your workstations, servers, network, and other vital elements to your IT infrastructure.
The head coach is a quarterly business review (QBR) provided by the managed service provider to help your business plan, prepare, and respond to an ever-changing field of play. This ensures that you, as the QB, always have the best information available to make those winning plays. Oh, and the head coach makes sure your team has the best equipment, software, and services to give you the advantage over the other team.
If your business is on the field and they are discombobulated and unorganized, it can get frustrating. Even as the QB, without your support team, you don't have the whole picture, and you are very likely to leave your blindside open every time. Bringing Bit-Wizards in as your Managed IT Service Provider puts a robust coaching and support team at your fingertips. Isn't it time to enjoy the game instead of fighting for every inch?