DIY; I hate it. I have a vision in my mind of how the process will run, but when I lift the screwdriver or hammer, what ‘actually’ happens is far removed from my plan and usually results in a bodge-job. It sort of works, but not how I’d like and only I know how to press this, to release that to open the other.
Interestingly, there are many business owners that take a similar approach when it comes to IT and have a vision in their head of how they want it to work. Blessed with great business instinct, but no IT skills, they find themselves in an office with IT that sort of works but only they know how to get email, open the database or print documents due to the way it was setup… as it’s a little [coughs] ‘non-standard’
I recently met a new prospect who had IT in their office which was similar to this situation. The story is, to my ears anyway, shockingly familiar. They had ‘Cloud Storage’ for files, they had email on their phones / laptops and they had the ability to work from home. But all of these were, in my opinion, a little disjointed and not setup in a standard way.
Take for example the Cloud Storage. It was using a system that, when they pressed Save on the PC for a large graphical file, it was taking up to 10mins to appear for anyone else to use. Think of all the time wasted by the business waiting for shared files, and the effect on business.
Also, the email system they had was POP Mail and so it downloaded email to the phone but also the same email to the Laptop. Neither talked to each other and so after a day of managing your email on the phone you would return to the same email’s on the Laptop that needed sorting too!
The Light-bulb Moment
The key was that the client understood getting this all sorted and saving their management time was important to their business success. So after some discussions on what they needed and how we could help them achieve the goal, a plan was agreed. Interestingly the ‘killer moment’ was when I said we had a solution that allowed a sync’d version of Outlook to be on the phone and they realised that Calendar appointments would show on both the phone and Laptop. It’s interesting isn’t it that sometimes just the smallest thing can tip a discussion.
All of this was 6 weeks ago and after some careful planning and deployment the client has the same email account on the phone and laptop so everything they read, reply and delete on the phone during the day is matched on the Laptop when they return; a different Cloud Based file storage solution that’s instant and does not take 10mins to sync; enhanced security and an audit trail on documents. Most importantly they spend zero time on the IT in their business and trust us to carry out anything requested.
Well, the moral of the story is clear. Last month I looked out at my front driveway and the small overgrown rock garden in the corner and thought “that needs sorting”. However, although I had a vision of what I wanted it to look like, I got a local gardener to pop round and the result was exactly what I had in my head. Perhaps next time you have some thoughts on what you want your IT to be like, you might consider ‘getting a man (or woman) in’?