One of the new roles that I have taken on at Smart Dolphins includes getting more involved with our growth team. Doing so means that I get to liaise with prospective clients. We meet with a broad variety of businesses in terms of size and industry type, which gives me the opportunity to hear about a diverse range of IT challenges. Partnering with a new client is very rewarding because it presents an opportunity to dramatically help a business achieve success, which is our core purpose.
I often get an inside view of the IT mediocrity that permeates our small business community. Sometimes we will meet with a business leader who doesn’t see our value and then two years or so down the road we inevitably meet again. During that time, they often develop an appreciation and understanding of the importance of ongoing investment in IT.
Having mediocre IT just doesn’t cut it any more. Ten years ago, a security incident would amount to a few annoying pop-ups which could be easily cleaned up with a few tools. Today, a security breach risks exposing your data to the rest of the world or having it encrypted by ransomware all with a single click of the mouse — the damage can be monetary and reputational.
And from a productivity standpoint, the business community relies on technology to get work done increasingly with each passing day. Nothing has highlighted this more than the pandemic. Companies with mediocre IT struggled back in early 2020, and I met with more than a few who were unable to effectively send their employees home due to IT challenges — that had to hurt.
So how does one abolish mediocre IT? It really comes down to a change in perspective. IT must be seen as a strategic function within your business; something worth investing in and not just another operating expense to be minimized.
IT is a process and a challenging one; the bits and bytes don’t matter so much as the process behind them and so the overall approach you choose is going to determine your long-term IT results.
With that in mind, we have our most successful conversations with business leaders who understand the broad impact of IT on an organization. Once that change in perspective happens, the rest really isn’t too difficult. We just need to help leadership figure out a few big levers to pull and then take care of the execution (which includes the bits and bytes). To be clear, you, as our client do not need to worry about the bits and bytes — that’s our thing.
I urge any business leader, who is serious about their overall success, to elevate the importance of IT and get involved in the process at a higher level. This starts by being involved from the beginning when the IT function is being built and key decisions are being made. Decisions that will determine whether you end up with great IT, or mediocre IT. I would like to leave you with one vital piece of advice: do not try to delegate this function any more than you would delegate the building of your sales, finance, or operational functions.
If you would like to discuss your IT challenges, please contact us at: 250.721.2499.