So you're ready to start building an IT security practice? That's great! Now what?
If you’re not exactly sure what to do next, this handy checklist can help point you in the right direction and provide some practical “next steps” to building your practice.
What's your focus?
When building your practice, you need to ask yourself how deep you want to go. Do you want to sell IT security products or provide IT security services, or both?
If you want to provide IT security products to customers, you’ll have to determine which security solutions are the best, and which ones make the most sense for your business. Obviously, if you already have a relationship with a vendor who also provides security solutions, you’d want to start there. But, if not, you may need to do some research and find out which IT security solutions align with your existing portfolio.
Maybe you want to provide IT security services to your customers? If so, you’d want to find out which vendors to partner with and what certifications or training is required to bring your engineers up to speed.
If you decide to both sell IT security products and provide services, then you’ll obviously need to combine these steps. Either way, choosing the right vendor partner for security needs to be your first priority.
What's your target vertical market?
Many solution providers who sell security want to be everything to everyone. We get it. But the most successful IT security solution providers are the ones who find their niche and stick to it. Develop an expertise in one vertical and then slowly add more as you go. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew before you’ve really taken the time to understand the unique challenges of that particular vertical. In the long run, you’ll be glad you took the time to develop your expertise in healthcare, for example, before trying to move on to another vertical with its own unique customer pain points.
What's your sweet spot?
What’s your geographic territory? Where are the borders of your reach and how will your onsite engagements be impacted in terms of distance and travel time? It’s really important not to overextend your reach, especially early on in the process. Your ability to serve your customers could be negatively impacted if you widen your net too far. Choose a conservative area to focus your attention on and then move outward as you grow your business and expand your resources to match the need.
Who's managing the work?
If you have any hope of over-delivering on what you’ve under promised to customers, you’ll need someone to manage your projects—maybe more than one person—who understands the scope of the work and the limitations of your team.
What's the cost?
Like any new endeavor, you’ll need to take into account the cost.
- What’s the desired ROI?
- What’s an acceptable margin for your products or services?
- What business partners might you need to get started?
- Does this fit into your core competency?
- Do you need to add to your head count?
- What’s your plan to increase your level of expertise and stay competitive?
How do you plan to launch?
If you build it, they still won’t come if you don’t invest time and money into marketing your new security practice. One idea to get the word out about your new offering is to host a sponsored event—preferably cohosted with your IT security vendor. Of course, old-fashioned marketing and advertising work, too. Don’t skimp on this step. Remember: Having the best IT security practice in the nation isn’t enough. People have to know about it, and you’re the only one who can tell them.
Need more help?
You’re in luck. Ingram Micro has an entire group of people who are dedicated to performing security-related activities to help you grow your practice. Contact your Ingram Micro Professional Services Team or Irma.Garcia@ingrammicro.com to learn more.