This is the time of year where many businesses are looking ahead to 2021. While it is crunch time to get budget numbers finalized; technology is one of those areas that can be a challenge to measure cost and performance. Technology costs are illusive at best as there are plenty of hidden costs to make even the most scrupulous budget planners give up and just input vague calculated figures for the sake of having a number. The biggest misconception is that technology costs are mainly budget line items such as fees that you pay to a vendor or a software subscription cost.
This is an overly simplified method that does not account for situations that eat up costs such as managers quarterbacking trouble tickets between software vendors and IT or the extra 5 minutes it takes to complete a workaround for an out of date printer that never seems to work correctly. To make matters worse some IT vendors further complicate matters by creating models of support that contribute to runaway costs (good for them, not for you) and make it a burden for you to understand what you’re paying and getting in return. Some prospective clients we’ve met with avoid doing due diligence and comparing their IT vendor services because they are subject to the most overly complicated billing structure imaginable to the degree that it takes an accounting whiz more than a week to dig through old invoices to tally up costs.
Transparency builds trust, simplicity enables communication, and accountability keeps trust.
In many cases if you’ve hired a vendor and cannot reasonably ballpark in your head what you pay for and get for your IT, it’s estimated that your technology service delivery/billing model is overly complicated and it's likely that you have no control over your long term IT costs. Attitudes in the IT consumer market have now shifted as more executives no longer demand the lowest line item cost at the expense of services rendered with transparency, simplicity, and accountability. Hardware or project purchases are now signed off once executives receive solid business use cases and not purely based off a vendor’s recommendation.
Well-executed IT strategies have turned into major business advantages especially when outside forces such as (CV-19) impacts businesses on every level. If your business cannot quickly adapt to these changes with the right response, then you may incur large costs.
Transparency builds trust, simplicity enables communication, and accountability keeps trust. Have you ever faced highly technical challenges and the people you have hired to help you navigate these challenges either talk in “geek speak” or discuss things that do not matter to you or the business? You are not alone. We have encountered many business owners who shut down IT conversations immediately because they feel that they lack the confidence to speak in such matters. Technical challenges must be translated into business impact by those responsible for supporting the technology of the business. A trusted technology advisor should be able to simplify these challenges into what matters most to the executives. Advisers want and need input from all sides, even the end users who are impacted the most by technology changes. IT is one giant feedback loop where technology influences business decisions and business decisions further impact technology.
Most businesses want far more than for IT to just work, they want greater assurance that their technology will work today and into the future. How can they be assured that if another 2020 happens, changes can be made without breaking things? How are cost kept from spiraling out of control? All these questions or doubts can be met with assurance if whoever handles technology is able to show that they are accountable to results above everything else. If you are looking to a relationship with an advisor that gets results, contact us and we will be glad to help you evaluate your IT strategy into 2021 and beyond.