Focus on Business, Not on Technology

A business CEO sent me a report on their hardware and technology done by a consultant from another state. A quick scan of the proposals in the consulting report told me that there was virtually nothing in the infrastructure and hardware that the consultant didn’t recommend replacing. Everything from the cabling in the walls to the servers and the backup needed replacement, according to the report. The total cost was well above $100,000 (the cable alone was about $10,000 to $15,000).

“Could I ask you a few questions?” I asked.

“Sure,” he said.

“How many employees do you have?” Nineteen.

“What are your business goals for the next year or so?” I asked. Better service. More efficiency. Better ability to use our resources.

“So you’re trying to make your system more efficient in order to re-purpose staff to do more customer service and customer contact?”

“Yes,” he said.

“Tell me a little bit about the issues you’ve been having with your system,” I said.

He referred me to another employee who, “had a long list of things that were going wrong.” He said that the list was mostly little irritations. Things that went wrong over and over.

“Suppose that you did all of these suggestions. Spent all of the money. And suppose that spending the money solved all of the issues that you’re having. Would this move you closer to your goals? Would it automatically let you give better customer service?” I asked.

He was quiet.

Hardware and infrastructure are like a car (automobile). Software is the gas. A drivers license means you have the training you need to operate the car. Without gas and a driver’s license, the car does you little good.

Too many IT folk forget that the reason for technology in the first place is to make businesses more profitable. At Data Guidance Group, we specialize in business technology and business software. We know enough about business to make sure that you invest in technology that drives your business goals.