Drowning in IT problems?
Often, we get called in after a business has been having an IT problem for some time or when a software project is failing or has failed. Of course, we are happy to assist in getting your project back on track. We have the Recovery service for that very situation, but we would prefer to be introduced earlier and under better circumstances.
An experienced pair of hands can not only help you resolve such issues, but can prevent them from happening in the first place. It happens over and over again. In discussion with my associates they have found the same thing. There are serious costs involved too, and not just monetary ones.
So why don’t companies ask for help earlier?
I have some thoughts here…
1. Fear (of not knowing and of additional cost)
You are specialist in your area of business and can easily work on the strategy for that. IT, Software and other technologies are just tools for you to get the job done. You may not understand what makes it tick, but feel you should. Many don’t want their lack of understanding to be on show in this age of technology.
If you are fearful of opening up and not asking the right questions of the supplier, that’s when the problems start. Don’t let the IT company lead, you must own the process. For the best outcomes, I’m afraid you need to spend time early on defining your underlying needs, not just the top-level wants.
I think fear of incurring additional costs is also present in these situations. However, the longer you leave problems like these, the more expensive it can be to resolve. If you think your project is drifting, seek advice sooner rather than later.
2. Don’t know who to ask
“What’s the difference between these IT providers? They’re all the same to me.” Information Technology is a very wide and diverse field. IT companies specialise in small sub-sets of this. A particular firm may be able to provide a solution using their chosen technology platform, but that does not mean it will be the best fit for your business or give the best return on investment (ROI) over time.
In larger companies Business Analysts, IT Managers, IT Directors, CIOs (Chief Information Officers) and CTOs (Chief Technology Officers) define the requirements and know where to look and can source the appropriate vendors. Who does this in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)? Typically, it rests with Managing Directors and Finance Directors, whose expertise lies elsewhere. An independent consultant or advisor is required.
3. The dreaded “C” word
No, not Christmas. Consultant! <shiver>
“Consultants are expensive.” “How do we find a decent consultant who can address our problem?”
When I set-up Analysis Logic, I wanted to tackle this problem from another direction. I knew the problems existed in SMEs, but that most such companies couldn’t afford to hire an in-house IT Manager or Director to resolve. At the same time, I observed SMEs have little inclination to use or perceive sufficient value from consultants “swanning in” to help.
So, my solution was to create a Virtual IT Director service. To build long term relationships with small and medium sized companies to help them with their technology needs cost effectively. To use only when they needed the input. I called this the Virtual CIO or Virtual CTO service, which I found means little to most people, so you can call it whatever you want .
4. Your Turn
Am I close with these? What would you add? I am seriously looking for your input on this. What can we do to help you avoid IT / ICT / Software / Technology problems?
On top of our normal technical analysis and advisory services, we created the Discovery service to offer a light touch introduction to ways to improve your technology strategy. Latterly in collaboration with our associate Company Connecting, there is the Define – Search – Match service to help you better define your requirements and select the most appropriate technology vendor.
Is this enough? Could they address your problems? Would you engage with a provider offering these services? If not, why not? What can we do to ensure you get the best out of technology in your business?
I may regret this later, but go on, tell us your tales of woe. I think it is important that these stories are heard to raise awareness of the issues that come up.
You really are not alone!