Sometimes it’s time to move on. When your business is starting out—choices are made. Choices about… What computers to buy. What printers to buy. What internet provider to go with. And what software to run. As your business matures it’s a good idea to reevaluate those choices. But the reality is this. Most small businesses don’t reevaluate.
This question has come up a few times recently in my travels and so I thought it would make sense to cover in an article. It’s the age old question of… Should I buy or should I rent when it comes to tech? If you’re a modern business that leverages the cloud - you’re already renting the following items.
The good old days of the office server are soon coming to an end.
For some businesses it already came and went.
With cloud technology at its current pace it’s very likely that the need for a server in your office will disappear in as little as five years.
As I work with new clients and existing clients we’re looking at and in certain cases - moving to cloud-based directory services.
So what are cloud-based directory services?
Well, it’s those things your server currently does like centralizing passwords and providing access to different parts of your environment like files, folders, and databases. Managing things like password complexity and other computer policies a proper business network needs.
So yeah, servers are becoming a thing of the past.
There’s a new approach to handling the tech in your business.
Soon the capital expense of purchasing a new server will be washed away and replaced by a service that runs in the cloud.
The service will always be on, always be up-to-date and always be accessible from anywhere in the world.
That black box that sits in a closet at your office will be a thing of the past.
There’s a lot of cool stuff out there.
And it really provides value.
Give your business opportunities for productivity.
Just the feature of always on access from anywhere can really change how you work.
So is the server really dead?
Let’s just say.
It might be time to put it out to pasture.
We are constantly being bombarded with so many things that it can be really easy to just give into the routine.
It can be super easy to be pacified by the distractions.
I've been thinking about how to manage the distractions lately as I've been updating my own planning and tracking system.
So as an exercise, I tracked all of the tasks that I accomplished in one day.
It was pretty impressive list impressive by any stretch of the imagination.
The sheer sheer volume of tasks that were accomplished in one day was pretty cool to see.
But when reviewing the tasks against my overall goals.
The impressive list quickly became not so impressive.
My mind then jumped to a saying I heard Tony Robbin’s say once that - where focus goes, energy flows.
And so as I upgrade some of my own internal systems it brought me back to getting the tech right in your business.
Where focus goes, energy flows.
If you don't pay attention to something it doesn't mean that it's not there.
You vision and goals are still there.
The attraction to distraction has just caught your attention.
With that said, you're likely not thinking about or investing in your company's productivity.
Or maybe you are.
If so, that’s awesome! We should talk.
The tech in your business doesn't require as much attention as you think it does.
But it does require focus.
Where focus goes, energy flows.
A small bucket of time is all it takes to keep your tech on track.
So carve out some time to today to put some brain cells into productivity and improve the tech in your business.
Today I thought I'd walk you through the process of how a tech assessment generally works.
So here goes.
I did a tech assessment for a client yesterday.
By the way, they had a great view overlooking the harbor.
I ran through my usual process of instrument, document, observe and then headed back to my office to process.
On the surface it looks like a typical case of the current IT guy is overwhelmed and dug himself in a little bit over his head.
Once I’m back at the office my next step will be to analyze the data collected and begin building out an assessment deliverable.
When I'm done I'll schedule a time to meet with the client and together we’ll review the findings and recommendations.
At that point the client will have a clear picture of what's broken and a road map of where they need to be with the tech in their business.
It's a pretty good deal.
You hire me and I literally hand you an easy to follow guide to what your next step should be.
All packaged and explained in detail of course.
But the journey doesn’t end there.
You see people can hand you recommendations, provide guidance and answers.
And that won't solve your problems.
You see - Only you can decide what your next steps are.
Doesn't matter if it's your tech, your business or your life.
It’s up to you to decide what your next steps will be.
And if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.
At least that’s what Geddy Lee said.
So now it's up to you.
What happens next?
It's an interesting fact that most businesses don't know how much they spend on tech.
At the same time - business owners are frustrated with how much they have to spend on their tech.
Strange combo isn’t it?
More often than not this frustration is based on spending money when something is broken.
Enter the concept of Lifecycle Management.
So what is Lifecycle Management?
Well, it's managing all of the hardware, software, services, and resources that make up your tech.
All of these items have associated costs.
They have a cost for acquisition.
They have a cost to maintain.
They have a cost to replace.
Understanding these costs and their place on your Profit and Loss Statement is critical to your business.
It’s critical to your growth.
It will help you get your arms around unplanned expenses.
If you can budget for them even better.
So next time you're thinking about your company road map.
Don't forget about the tech in your business.
It needs to grow.
It needs care and feeding.
It needs to be maintained.
It needs to be replaced.
Understanding your tech Lifecycle is key if you want to have a road map.
Need help getting your Lifecycle Management in order?
Shoot me an email.
Pizza by the slice is the greatest thing.
Slice of cheese? You got it.
Need to slice of Pepperoni? You got it.
Slice of veggie? You got it.
Buying tech services by the slice?
Well, this idea is not so hot.
When it comes to the tech in your business you need a holistic approach.
You need a company that's looking at all the pieces.
Lifecycle, Roadmap and Community.
So enjoy your pizza by the slice.
But when you're in the market for IT services get the whole pie.
I was having a conversation with a fellow technology guy and he made an interesting point which was…
The concept of saving for the future.
Often when bringing on a new client there is some form of a project to put the client on the path to getting their tech right.
These projects usually require some sort of purchase to help to bring an environment up to a healthy state. Often the expenditure required can be uncomfortable for the client who has to outlay some cash to get things fixed.
My friend made the point that you're going to have to spend that cash again and again based on the IT life cycle of that device... Why not plant the seed now with the client that you're going to have to spend the money again and again and again. Made sense to me and so here we are.
Consider that idea of putting a little bit of money away each month or each year knowing that eventually you're going to have to replace your gear. Just this one act could make you happier
Seriously. Planned purchases are more fun that unplanned purchases.
I actually have one customer who budgets for his IT every year and pays upfront for all services and projects for the year. I realize for most people or businesses that might not be ideal.
So today I thought I would just plant the seed and ask you to think about saving or budgeting - if you're so inclined - for IT purchases.
Typically smaller companies don't operate on budgets and so the concept of savings might make more sense. If that’s the case. Then decide to save.
If you need help getting your head around this concept or want to figure out what you need drop me an email, let me know what you think.
Make it a great day.