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RECOMMENDING AND USING IT AUDITS IN YOUR MANAGED SERVICES PROGRAM?

Recommending and Using IT Audits in Your Managed Services Program?

If not, from an advisory-services perspective including an IT audit as part of a managed services client package is an often-missed opportunity to add value to your clients.

These audit needs to be conducted independently of any managed service provider or web hosting provider. The audit may be annually or as frequently as the client requires, making this a great discussion to have with your clients. Your clients may have governance and compliance requirements, but more importantly their clients may require all vendors perform specific audits. While talking with clients about their managed service’s or web hosting needs, be sure to ask about audit needs.

Although there are many types of audits available, here are seven to consider as part of a managed services or web hosting package.

Client/Server, Intranets, and Extranets Audit

An audit to verify that telecommunications controls are in place on the client (computer receiving services), server, and on the network connecting the clients and servers.

General Controls Audit

An audit to review the generally accepted controls across all information systems implementation. This might involve systems development, systems operation, maintenance of systems and application security. It might also include a general control review of operating systems, a security software tool, data center security review and policies and procedures compliance.

Information Security Audit

An audit to assess how the organization’s security policy is employed. It is part of the on-going process of defining and maintaining effective security policies. Security audits provide a fair and measurable way to examine how secure a site really is.

Systems and Applications Audit

An audit to verify that systems and applications are appropriate, are efficient, and are adequately controlled to ensure valid, reliable, timely, and secure input, processing, and output at all levels of a system’s activity.

Information Processing Audit

An audit to verify that the processing facility is controlled to ensure timely, accurate, and efficient processing of applications under normal and potentially disruptive conditions.

Systems Development Audit

An audit to verify that the systems under development meet the objectives of the organization, and to ensure that the systems are developed in accordance with generally accepted standards for systems development.

Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Audit

An audit to evaluate documented processes and procedures for information systems’ disaster preparedness, resilience and compliance and to evaluate the continuance of key business functions in the event of a disruption. Assessment of controls in place to verify that a disaster recovery plan exists and is properly filed.

Contact Madeline Parisi for more information.

Madeline Parisi & Associates LLC (MPA), is a Women Owned Business (WBE) located in Barrington, Illinois. Our Mission Statement is simple – To help organizations identify and recognize missed opportunities or pain points, and to provide business training solutions that help the organizations’ individuals and teams improve performance, and ultimately increase ROI. 

 

 

How to Get Clients & Build Your List from Every Talk You Give

You’ve heard it many times… Give talks and you’ll get clients.

And it’s true that speaking is one of the fastest (and cheapest) ways to build your list and get amazing clients that you’ll love working with.

But the sad truth most coaches experience when they give talks is… they give a talk and don’t get the results they want.

Not many people sign up on their list.  And even less become clients.

There’s a reason for this.  And it’s not what you think.

It has nothing to do with you, the presenter.

It has nothing to do with your outfit.

Or your shoes…

It has EVERYTHING to do with your talk structure!

So today Alysa Rushton, international presentation skills coach and creator of the Get Clients With Speaking System is sharing some key tips to structure your talk so you can BUILD your list and GET clients – with every talk you give.

Tip 1:  Start with your offer

Having an offer is the basis for your talk.  Without an offer, your talk will fall flat.  People are coming to your talk to solve a problem so your offer should solve a main problem for your audience and your talk should be structured around your offer.

There are a few types of offers you can try, in order from easiest to hardest…

Free Gift Offer:  The free gift offer solves a main pain point for your audience and is typically a piece of digital content; a pdf, mp3 or video.  I recommend giving this gift an actual price and let people know what the price is. Then give it away. That way people see and feel the value.

Strategy Session Offer:  This is where you invite people into a strategy session and then upsell them to a program of some sort.  You can offer a paid or a free strategy session. This is great for beginners but is also such a wonderful technique that master-level coaches still use it.

Easy Yes Offer:  The easy yes offer is a lower priced offer (usually under $297.00) that you make when you’re in front of a live group or on a webinar.  It’s called an easy yes because it’s priced in such a way that people find it easy to say yes to.

Pro Tip: Over at Get Clients With Speaking HQ, we recommend having two offers on your order form at all times, one free and one paid. The free offer will build your list and the paid offer will get you clients and make you some money!

Tip 2:  Follow the 7 Step Signature Talk Formula

Having a structure for your talk is crucial because it will help you lead your audience somewhere – to your offer.   Most talks fail to convert into clients because the presenter is overwhelming their audience with way too much information.   And that leaves the audience overwhelmed and unable to move forward with you.  You can solve that feeling for your audience by following this super simple talk formula.   

The 7 Step Signature Talk Formula:

  1. Meet and greet
  2. Powerful opening
  3. Your story
  4. The content
  5. The gift
  6. The offer
  7. The wrap-up

To see exactly what to do at each step, download the full 7 Step Signature Talk Formula here.

Tip 3: Set your energy to be of service

When you have a great offer and follow the 7 step signature talk formula the only thing left to do is make sure you set your energy to be in service.  You do this by intending to come from the heart and deliver value to your audience.  The audience will feel your energy!  You’ll get more clients, more leads, more invitations to speak, more partnering & JV opportunities when you set your intention to show up and serve from the heart.

My travels along the way …Millennials, take the Initiative!

So much has changed …good? Bad? Neither, just different? I was talking with a neighbor the other day who mentioned planning a trip to Hilton Head, SC. I always smile and chuckle when I think of my trip to Hilton Head. My one and only trip there and although I loved it, there has just been no time or opportunity to go back.

It was my first business meeting. I was maybe 24 or 25 (ah, yes!) and living in Chicago. Getting to Hilton Head is not that easy – then or now. Fly into Charleston and then decide if it’s a puddle jumper to the island, rent a car and drive the bridge, or sign up for a (dreaded) shuttle service. Remember, this is pre-Uber.

My company trusted me to go to this meeting and represent them with all the other BIG players in our industry. I wasn’t going to whine about transportation, or ask for someone to layout a plan for me. It was part of my responsibility to figure it out. Actually, it never occurred to me to have someone else figure it out. Decide …puddle jumper? Car rental? Or, the shuttle? Done.

On the plane I noticed the man next to me and another across the aisle reading the agenda and material for the very same meeting. With that, I introduced myself and we all began talking about the meeting, who we knew, the value of the meeting, and next thing I knew, I was invited to drive with them to the Island. Although I had a plan, I cancelled it (pre-cell phone), and took this one as it allowed two people to get to know me before walking into the meeting. The meeting started that night with a social reception, and now I had people with whom I could talk when I arrived, and they could introduce me to others in the group.

The second reason I smile when thinking of this meeting is that I was the ONLY woman at the meeting – the only woman representing a member company, and it remained that way for several years. I am pleased to say that I cut my chops on my own initiative and wish that was instilled in more people today. There’s a real sense of satisfaction on reflecting back and saying I figured it out and it was all good. And even when it wasn’t all good, I still figured it out.

I read a lot of stories about millennial in the workplace and their wants and expectations. There is very little talk of individual initiative. Teams are great in problem solving. They create an environment for group-thought, especially when they are diverse and everyone brings a different problem-solving skillset and style to the table. Yet, the reward and self-satisfaction of a job completed using your own initiative can’t be beat.

“Oh No!!! They just made me a project manager!” Here’s what to do…

A lot of very successful project managers started their careers by being thrown into the role just as everything falls apart on the project.  Usually, projects falling apart is the first observable sign, to the casual observer, that a project manager is needed to lead a project. It means your first foray into project management begins with project recovery.  Oh… how nice it would be to have been to be there at the beginning.  Too bad, so sad, maybe next time.  Let’s wipe that look of being a deer in the headlights off your face.  Here are some first steps for taking on this new role.

Educate Yourself: 

Find at least three project management books that are short or very easy to flip through to find guidance on Work Breakdown Structures (WBS), creating plans, and risk management.  There are hundreds of project management books, the mother of all of them is the PMI’s PMBOK® (A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge).  It won’t be much help at this very moment but if you’re going to be doing this for a while it’s a must have reference book.  Join online project management groups and ask questions.

Define the Basics:

The Team: There will be a team of some sort identified. Establish who is either doing, or directly managing those who are doing, the work. This is your core team. The others are there for status updates; they are a kind of extended team for now. Immediately split this group up or you may never get anything done. Nothing personal, just two different objectives. My first team on one large scale project recovery had 27 members. NIGHTMARE!!!! Publish a schedule of the core team meetings and if necessary the extended team updates. With luck you can eliminate the second team with a reliable status report.

The Problem: This is a bit trickier. The problem sometimes appears to be that the project is late, because it’s not meeting milestones. This is a symptom, not the problem. Find the document outlining the plan, if there isn’t one, that’s a problem. Determine if the right resources are accountable for what needs to be done, it’s a part of the plan, again, if there isn’t a link to the resources needed, that’s a problem. Ok, you get it, most often the problem is that there isn’t an integrated plan outlining what the product of the project is, the work that has to be done, and the resources (the team members, the budget, and any facilities) needed to get the project done.

The Constraints and Requirements: What has to be done and by when. Now, as a PM you must ask “Why?” You have to understand the purpose of the project and its alignment to the final product (or service or process). Sometimes deadlines exist for very important reasons, sometimes they are targets. Understand what is negotiable, and what absolutely is not – know why.

Work with an expert:

Find a PM mentor in your company, one that will facilitate some initial meetings for you so that you can hit the ground running. If there isn’t a real expert in project management, go find one. Here is a quick test.  Ask them what is in a project plan.  If the answer describes a schedule, they’re not an expert.  It is part of it, but it certainly isn’t all of it. You will need to have planning sessions to understand the work to be done by the people who do that work. This is a larger group than your core team. You will identify and create response strategies to the risks they identify and differentiate them from the issues you are currently dealing with. Know the difference. For a small project these meeting might take around three to four hours.  For larger programs it could be up to four days.  There’s no time to develop the expertise – get an experienced project manager to facilitate, then learn as you go for next time… Yes, I’m afraid there will be a next time… and another…

There are a lot more things to be done of course, this is just a start – good luck.