Published 18 June 2015
Bridging the Gap between IT and Business Owners
Over the last 23 years I’ve met many IT technicians and business owners which as a result has enabled me to establish a difference between the two.
Business owners focus on profit, growth, competition, staffing, customer service and maintaining the quality of services to keep their business running. They’ve probably invested some of their own money into the company or had to borrow in order to keep ahead of expansion. In addition, personal pensions may be based on the resale value of their business and assets. Needless to say, business owners have a lot at stake and to consider carefully when making decisions.
IT technicians on the other hand love computers and technology. The ones I’ve met graduated from their own bedrooms writing games and websites to obtain jobs with technology service providers so they could live the dream. Most are trained to adopt a technical thought process of analysing problems, breaking them down into smaller components and then dismissing what’s irrelevant. The latter, although works for problem solving, doesn’t take into account a balanced overall view of a business’ needs.
Bridging the gap
When using a technology service provider, it’s important to select one that not only possesses the required skill set but also understands the nature of your business and how it operates.
If your business relies heavily on IT to function, the technology service provider should identify clearly with the business owner what could potentially be catastrophic if the IT systems were to fail and how to prevent that from occurring. Likewise the business owner should communicate with their service provider what is required to happen on a daily basis within their company to ensure that they receive the level of service the business needs.
It is always useful to know what experience IT professionals have with similar companies to your own. Some technicians will openly provide you with examples of past problems they have encountered and the steps they put in place to fix them as well as an idea of the time it takes. It is important to set realistic time frames for both parties to work towards so that expectations are met considerately.
When something goes wrong or temporarily stops working within a companies’ IT infrastructure, it not only costs money to fix the problem, it could also cost the business significantly in downtime. Time is of the essence when resolving problems, especially large scale. If emails or phone lines are down for example this could prevent orders from being received, which means the business is at a standstill and not making money.
For nearly every potential problem, there is always something that can be planned and implemented or a procedure that can be followed to virtually zero out downtime. Internet failures can be detrimental for businesses particularly as the Cloud now takes a bigger role in data storage. Having backup and disaster recovery solutions in place is imperative for businesses. Even established companies such as Amazon have been known to make fatal errors. In 2011 their ‘’Cloud crash disaster permanently destroyed many customers data” because they weren’t regularly testing if their recovery system was working. These types of mistakes could tarnish the reputation of a smaller company, if not put it out of business completely.
Communication is key
If you feel like there is a gap between your management systems and IT infrastructure seek to build on the quality of those relationships. If this isn’t something that can be achieved with your current service provider shop around in your local area, failing that online. Perhaps consider upgrading to a more adhering and responsive IT Company that is focussed on maintaining a close professional relationship. Communication is key in business, this not only applies in client facing scenarios but also with the mechanics behind the scenes.