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Having trouble reaching your business goals? Trying giving technology a chance…

Tearing down artificial walls is one of the keys to growing a successful business. One longstanding wall for many companies is the separation between business process and technology. In fact, the line dividing these two critical functions should have blurred completely. If the divide hasn’t disappeared for your company, then you are doing something very wrong: technology is a major driver of business expansion as well as innovation. Yet many executives look at technology as its own separate fiefdom that should be walled off. There are four common ways that companies sell themselves short when it comes to leveraging technology to propel their business forward.

1.)    Many companies have never had an IT Audit or Assessment performed

This is just as important as getting a second opinion before opting for a serious medical procedure or having someone audit your business finances. Most successful people elicit at least three opinions from mentors or trusted sources before making an important decision. Most ask for multiple recommendations for other professional services, but this does not happen as often with IT. Any executive should face the question: why not validate what your IT vendor or support staff are doing? The stakes are high if you’re not on top of this. There is one statistic that has been floating around that provides context for how important getting the right IT provider is: 75% of businesses that go through a critical event that exceeds their recovery point and recovery time objectives, never recover and eventually go out of business. Executives shouldn’t rely on one IT person or firm as the single source of truth. A second opinion will allow you to discover that your vendor or staff were operating properly in the first place, or they get to demonstrate whether they can remediate any issues uncovered. This is standard operating procedure, so go for it!

2.)    Most don’t budget enough for technology

Problems with technology can be extremely expensive – not just in cost of the hardware and software, but in internal cost of productivity and time. Tech providers use metrics like MTTD (mean time to detection), MTTR (mean time to resolution), RPO (recovery point objective), and RTO (recovery time objective). These may sound esoteric, but they shouldn’t be. Essentially, every moment that your employees are held up from working because of tech issues, costs you real money in terms of sales and professional relationships. For many companies, the two biggest budget items are salaries and real estate costs (whether you own your building or lease), shouldn’t the technology that literally runs your business and the vast majority of the daily productivity tasks associated with your work, be a close third?

3.)    A surprising number of executives don’t have a true partner or trusted resource to shepherd them through technology planning and decision making

Who do you turn to when you want to find out what DevOps or the other trendy tech speak is all about? Or whether you should implement that new productivity app everyone in your industry is using? How about when you have real issues or failures? Do you have a trusted advisor that you can talk to in order to assess the risk and find out what others have done in similar situations? Do you have someone that can provide that kind of peace of mind? You likely have business relationships with lawyers and accountants that you trust, what about someone for the technology questions that are just as important to your business? These are questions every executive should ask. It doesn’t mean that you need to hire a Chief Technology Officer, but you should have a trusted outside advisor who can cut through the jargon and explain the potential benefits of new technology.

4.)    They have no plan to get to the cloud

Cloud computing has gotten a bad rap. In reality, it is presents a significant cost-savings in the near and long term for companies.  Most amazingly perhaps, is that it represents a much more secure environment for your company. Don’t believe me? Who’s invested more money into security; you or Amazon, Microsoft and Google? Amazon AWS is addressing and solving challenges of time to market, cost and scalability for leading companies in every vertical. It’s no surprise that so many hot start-ups and established household name companies have jumped on board in the last few years. For SMEs, the cloud is a no-brainer. If you perform a quick Total Cost of Ownership analysis, you will undoubtedly find that on-premise is not cheaper.  No one moves to the cloud in one fell swoop, most do it piecemeal over time with minimal disruption to business operations and taking costs into account.  It’s critical for most companies to start planning this move. Cloud is an inevitability and the sooner your business has a plan for how to get there, the better for all the reasons mentioned above.

Companies need to take the benefits of technology seriously. A good place to start is having an IT consultant perform an audit or assessment of your current-state IT environment. As part of that exercise ask them to write out a TCO for on-premise vs. cloud, and to provide a future state environment recommendation and what it would cost them to implement and support it. Your company needs a true IT partner to get to the next level of productivity.

If you would like to discuss the above items in more detail or have any other questions, please email: alex@p20inc.com

-Alex Rayter|Phoenix 2.0, Inc.|www.p20inc.com|Direct: (415) 595-2703

~IT without the drama~