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When companies have a problem with their information technology, or just a PC goes haywire, they need support. In large corporations, the telephone number of colleagues from the IT department is quickly at hand. This call is somewhat more difficult for small and medium-sized companies that are dependent on external support. They can choose from a wide range of helpers that sound similar but offer different services. IT system houses are the first choice when it comes to hardware or standard software. They usually act as a kind of middleman, selling individual PCs to their customers, but also develop and install complete solutions for companies. What sounds clearly defined, however, is subject to major changes. Trends such as cloud computing, among other things, are blurring the boundaries between IT consulting, system houses are increasingly offering IT services and vice versa.
- Companies have been increasing their investments in operational IT architecture for many years. Digitalization is the order of the day in all parts of the economy and is causing companies’ budgets to grow. The IT system houses also want to profit from this. But are they still up to date? Weren’t they rather known as hardware suppliers? The boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred. System houses have long since become specialized consulting firms that can also maintain PCs.
- In more and more cases, business processes must be able to be mapped digitally. The high degree of automation and digitalization in the economy makes this necessary. To achieve this, medium-sized businesses need competent consultants and rely on IT system houses that can accompany technological change with modern offerings.
Despite all visions of digitization, business practice often looks different. Silo solutions, outdated software and a lack of process digitization often characterize the picture in medium-sized companies. Transforming IT structures, some of which have grown over decades, into a modern structure that is open to new technologies will be one of the main tasks for IT system houses. However, medium-sized businesses are sceptical and want to retain control of their IT. System houses that can respond to these concerns with the right answers will continue to be in demand as partners in the future.
- The only constant is change. The IT system houses in Munich know this only too well. As mediators between manufacturers of information and communication technology on the one hand and small and medium-sized enterprises on the other, they are in their role on the one hand companions of a rapid technological development and on the other hand must have an eye for the actual requirements and concerns of the companies. They are themselves affected by change and have had to adapt their product and service offerings time and again.
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SYSTEM HOUSES ARE MORE THAN HARDWARE VENDORS
As a result, numerous IT system houses have developed from full-service providers to specialized IT service providers. The focus is no longer on selling hardware with accompanying services, but rather on positioning the company as a competent contact for all questions relating to operational information technology. Because this now looks different from office equipment with PCs and rudimentary network technology, some IT system houses concentrate on a few hardware and software manufacturers in their product range or they develop industry-specific complete solutions.
THE FUTURE LIES IN THE CLOUD
In almost all sectors of the economy, both in the service sector and in the manufacturing industry and even in the skilled trades, work processes are increasingly being automated and digitized. Added to this are collaboratively organized value chains, often even cross-border and international, which create further demands on the operational IT and TC architecture. For example, information-processing processes are increasingly being shifted to the cloud. Although this reduces the amount of hardware needed, it requires more know-how and places different demands on stability, failure protection and data security. IT system houses must also be able to provide answers to these questions.
IT SYSTEM HOUSES SPECIALIZE
This accelerates the change of IT system houses, which must also offer needs-based solutions for such requirements. As a result, not only have the demands on the employees in the system houses changed, but also their processes. While IT service providers often deploy their employees on site in customer projects over a long period of time, the employees and consultants in the system houses were more like a rapid reaction force. Although system integrations also required longer stays in the companies, the core business was service-oriented. Short assignments of only a few days or hours are the rule. For customers, this is easy to calculate and can also be planned at short notice. In return, the system providers must be able to provide suitable professional personnel. By focusing on specific industries or manufacturers, the system houses are able to offer customers a high level of competence. For this reason, too, the boundaries between the classic IT system houses and IT consulting companies are becoming increasingly blurred.
SHORT SYSTEM HOUSE CHECK:
What do IT system houses actually have to and can achieve today? Here are a few answers to the most important questions.
What is an IT system house?
An IT system house plays a role in the market for IT services that has changed significantly in recent years. Originally, the range of services offered mainly comprised the delivery and installation of hardware and software for companies, as well as the subsequent maintenance of the systems and user support. In the course of time, more and more services have been added. Today the transitions between IT system house and IT service provider are fluid.
What does an IT system house do?
An IT system house primarily offers complete solutions for the IT infrastructure of small and medium-sized enterprises. This includes commercially available software products, the associated hardware and implementation. Often these services are supplemented by specific configurations of the software and by services such as maintenance, repair or emergency services. Most IT system houses are located in the same region as their customers. This creates many advantages and is particularly appreciated by medium-sized companies.
What makes a good IT system house?
You can recognize a good IT system house by its own professional presentation on the Internet. Rigid HTML and a look like in the early days of the commercial Internet, indicate a missed technology change. Today, good system houses are characterized by a modern service portfolio, which should definitely include managed services and cloud services. Depending on the industry, it makes sense to contact a specialized IT system house. These companies have consultants who are familiar with the special challenges in a particular industry.
Does my company need an IT maintenance contract?
Medium-sized companies without an IT department of their own should in any case arrange a maintenance contract with an IT system house. IT disruptions quickly lead to more complex interruptions of business processes. Maintenance contracts not only guarantee fast help in an emergency, but also offer greater security in advance and help to avoid breakdowns.
How does a maintenance contract work?
A maintenance contract defines certain services related to the IT infrastructure. The fixed cost rate for the agreed service guarantees companies planning security and a permanent contact person whose assignments do not cause additional costs. Maintenance contracts create the framework within which IT service staff can access the company's IT, some of which is critical. This is necessary to perform data backups, install software updates or close security gaps.
What does a maintenance contract cost?
IT system houses usually offer different models for their maintenance contracts. These can include some simple work in the low-cost version and a complete package in the premium versions. The prices usually depend on the scope of the agreed activity and the size of the company, or the existing IT. In most cases, maintenance contracts for a fiscal year are cheaper than individual contracts for problems. For example, there are no additional travel costs or service flat rates.
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