IT companies and managed services providers are notorious for thrusting “their solutions” on to a client even in situations that might not be in the best interest of the client. Forcing a square peg into a round hole usually always turns out bad for the company and the result is costly downtime, not to mention needing to eventually rip and replace the hardware and software that was ill-equipped to help the business grow.
The IT company of the future is one in which the IT company truly understands the needs of their clients and then designs a solution that is truly beneficial and scalable for the intended company.
If a company doesn’t need physical servers… then don’t give them physical servers. Just because you’re a Dell partner and you get a screaming deal on hardware that you can subsequently up-sell to the client, doesn’t mean you should actually implement those servers. A modern managed service provider will implement modern solutions in order to achieve a modern office. If they don’t… then run!
When talking to IT service providers, pay close attention to how they talk about their “solutions.” Pay attention to how well they listen and how earnestly they’re seeking to understand your unique situation. Try and determine whether they are a service provider who is focused on “desired outcomes” or whether they are just trying to add nodes to their NOC.
Many IT leaders simply gravitate towards the strategies that come easiest to them. They’re often more comfortable focusing on the technology they’re familiar with at the expense of long-term planning. They may overlook things such as personnel, processes and business cultures. All of it needs to be taken into consideration. You don’t want a technology provider. You want a business partner with an emphasis on technology solutions who doesn’t get hung up by their own ego. You want a provider that has big picture thinking with precise execution and who is committed to the desired outcome.
IT companies of the past have sadly been about tools and band-aid like fixes to “get them by.” But we’ve set out to revolutionize the image of an IT provider. Tech innovations improperly implemented at the expense of the long-term desired outcome of the business can come at a horrific cost. We’ve seen it time and time again…
Understanding the Capabilities and Limitations of Solutions
When selecting a solution for a specific challenge your clients’s business is facing, it’s important to consider its capabilities and its limitations. You’ll only get an idea of where a solution might take you and how close it’ll get you towards a desired outcome when you understand these things. Simply implementing a new type of technology and hoping it’s the silver bullet solution to your problems doesn’t tend to work out well for IT leaders.
Every solution you implement in your workplace has a range of capabilities. Take time to understand what the chosen piece of technology is capable of doing and how it will change the IT infrastructure in place. Doing so will give you a much better idea of what that technology will change and what it’s capable of helping you achieve. A little research and a lot of consideration will be needed in order for you to get this right.
Of course, the capabilities of the solution only make up one side of the coin. It’s just as important to take into account any limitations that are in place too. Every possible solution you can implement has a set of limitations because no solution is perfect and it’s rarely possible to find one that answers all of your problems and sets your business on exactly the right path.
It always makes sense to fully understand the capabilities and limitations of any solution you choose to implement. Full awareness provides you with better insights and the ability to make the right decisions for your business. IT leaders will ultimately find that it makes reaching their desired outcomes much easier.
Understanding the Importance of People, Process and Culture
The people working for a business are just as important as the new technologies that are being implemented there. The technology should serve the people who work in the business. Working on motivating and developing the skills and capabilities of a team is vital work for all leaders in business and IT especially.
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Processes that are reliable and consistent will lead to a more positive workplace in which people really feel like they can work well and productively. For employees, consistency and a common understanding of how things should be done within the IT structure is the key to productivity.
The overall culture of the business or a particular department within the business can have a big impact on how work is completed. People routinely overlook the role that IT plays in the culture of any company. Frustrated, confused, and hindered employees cause more trouble for growing organizations than anything else.
Why A Focus on Desired Outcomes Matters Most
But why should we focus so heavily on outcomes? If you can understand the business goals of your clients in conjunction with their current technological infrastructure, you’ll have much greater insight into how to help that business grow. And that’s usually the outcome we all desire. Growth. Scalable, manageable growth.
So what if we as an industry geared the technological solutions we provide for a client around what they are trying to accomplish instead of what we are trying to accomplish.
Instead, IT leaders and managed service providers often choose what they think works best, even when they haven’t taken the time to understand their client’s desired outcome. They’ll do what’s easiest and what comes most naturally to them without thinking about the destination. It’s a classic tale of how so many companies get lost on the way to their destination. They didn’t have an IT guide to help take them safely there.