Hiring a network support company makes sense doesn't it? Most small businesses are not experts in networking. So, one would think this is a logical thing to outsource.
A company that describes itself as supporting networks takes what some have termed an "ingredients" approach. Rather than focusing on the end results, which in this case are productivity, return on capital investment, risk and profitibility in the business, they are focusing on one piece of the infrastructure.
What happens if the network is performing fantastically, but sales people cannot enter orders, customer service people cannot send e-mails to the field, and there is no technology strategy? Companies who focus on one piece of the infrastructure will say that they have met their Service Level Agreements, but it is the business owner who is left holding the bag when multiple vendors are pointing fingers.
Are there other options besides hiring a network support company? Of course! Here are some steps:
- Assess where your overall technology process is today as it relates to the business
- Determine how important it is to eliminate any pain resulting from your current process both in terms of money and changing the process
- Engage with experts who can take a broad view across your business, rather than a slice (or ingredient)
According to Psychology Dictionary (psychologydictionary.org), a preconception is "a belief or expectation corresponding to some outlook item which is held prior to significant data about the item being attained." By this definition, I would estimate that 90% of the small business community have strong preconceptions about small business IT services. Having experienced many ingredient providers over the years, they think that most are the same and believe that they know what they do. Holding on to these preconceptions will prevent you from completing the steps above. This in turn will not illuminate the blind spots you have as it relates to costs that you cannot see on an income statement, but truly affect the business.
- The way a company describes itself is a strong indicator as to how it does business and measures success
- Focusing on an "ingredient" rather than the finished product can lead to poorer overall outcomes, like improved employee productivity
- Eliminating preconceptions about IT services is key in driving business results