IT Takes a Village

Richard Ackerman Blog, Managed Services Leave a Comment

Senior Director of Managed Services, Richard Ackerman

For many organizations, there’s a skilled engineer or a department head – even a president – who goes to sleep every night with a cell phone by the bed, ready to take a call on the latest IT emergency.  That person never takes a vacation, never turns off their phone, and bears the burden of ensuring everything IT is in working order for their company. As the Senior Director of Managed Services, it’s my role to show organizations that it doesn’t have to be that way.

I’ve been the guy on the other end of the phone at 3 a.m., having risen through the ranks as a systems administrator and capacity planner. So I’ve spent time living, breathing and managing the different systems that made business applications go.  For the past 16 years, my career has focused on managed services, from federal accounts to small and medium businesses, as well as large Fortune 500 companies.

What I’ve learned throughout all those experiences, across the mix of people, processes and technologies, is that if you have more than one IT resource to turn to, you are likely to have a much more effective and efficient organization.

What Makes Managed Services So Important?

Managed Services, at its core, can be categorized into reporting, monitoring and management. We take some of the burden off of our clients and offer our expertise, certifications and best practices to them at varying scales.

Both large enterprises and small companies have similar needs, but at different scales. The large company may have a huge IT department, but they’re all focused on the day-to-day needs of a company. In that case, our managed services can create a three to five-year IT roadmap, which includes capacity planning, and applying industry trends to their business and implementation of technology.

On the other side of the coin, smaller organizations may not have much of an IT department, and need our expertise in compliance and regulatory issues that they may not have covered internally. Or, we can help point to efficiencies that can be gained with improvements in IT and digitization to help better enable the business.

CEOs may think that their IT departments can and should handle it all, but that’s simply not effective or smart. There’s too much to worry about, too much changing too quickly to stay on top of it all and manage day-to-day operations without placing an arduous burden on budgets and people.

For example, many organizations are working towards cloud enablement, and may be under the assumption that all cloud products are the same, and more secure than their current set-up. That is not necessarily the case, as there are different control sets, compliance issues and providers. Of an entire IT staff, there may not be anyone who has gone through a cloud enablement effort. Entities like Red River have done their due diligence on those providers, and have gone through this process many times over and know how to help our clients navigate those waters

Similarly, security issues have been around my entire career. But now we’re dealing not with the vulnerabilities of the month, but the vulnerabilities of the day. It’s difficult for any single IT department to manage day-to-day operations and keep abreast of the latest threats and newest defenses.

Managed Services enables our clients to do what they do best — while we do what we do best. It’s not about taking away work from anyone. It’s about everyone working together to achieve the highest efficiency and effectiveness.

You may have already read a few of my blogs on topics like the benefits and challenges of Microsoft Office 365. Moving forward, you can expect to find more of my thoughts on Managed Services and what the IT village looks like — what it is to create processes, utilize best practices, enhance security, track and report metrics, and manage the total IT lifecycle. I’ll focus on how to build a collaborative environment that can work for different sized organizations in different sectors, and what that can look like between internal teams and external entities like Red River that provide Managed Services. Feel free to share your comments regarding subjects you would like to know more about in the comments section below, and check back here for more Managed Services insights coming soon.




As Senior Director of Managed Services, Richard Ackerman leads a team of Red River’s highly certified experts that possess a strong understanding of solutions from hundreds of OEMs.  Ackerman brings deep experience to his new role with Red River.  In his previous position with Glasshouse Technologies, he was director of global delivery in the infrastructure operations service group, where he built and managed a $15 million services delivery organization that served more than 150 global customers.  Prior to that, Ackerman was the director of engineering at Storability/Storagetek, where he designed and developed the services architecture, processes, and procedures for delivery of managed services.



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