There isn't an Executive on the planet that isn't immune to the stress caused by the negative impact I.T. often has on their business.
I.T. is often the funnel line report that business leaders and owners don't truly understand that frustratingly consumes so much of their day simply keeping the lid on it - dealing with users moaning about how their tech is stopping them from selling, cleaning up the mess after that major 3 day system outage, challenging unbudgeted spend on I.T. stuff your I.T. guys say you need now or the sky will fall in, supressing those doubts that your current I.T. team (internal or external) is not up to the job and the list goes on!
To save yourself from the kind of stress that makes you sick and generally miserable when the topic of I.T. comes up at the next Board meeting, avoid these 3 common triggers.
Outgrowing Your IT Partner As your business changes and grows, you sometimes find the support agreement you originally entered into with your existing IT partner is inadequate. Your confidence in that I.T. partner has hit rock bottom because it takes too long to fix issues, downtime is unacceptable and they are not on the ball as much as they used to be.
The more enlightened quickly realise when they've outgrown their IT provider and understand they need to act decisively but many feel a sense of misplaced loyalty to the partner that helped them in the early days through tough times as you grew together.
Colin Webster, CFO at FISER Group stated "When we first started out we were with a much smaller IT outsourcer who we picked because they were recommended to us and they were cheap and a good place to start. Ultimately we moved because they couldn't provide a fully hosted solution. Although they said they could host everything for us we found ourselves having servers on-site to run software they couldn't accommodate.”
Colin added "eventually the decision was made to pay a bit more money to get a much better service."
Lack of Reliable Global Systems Many CxO's stated that one of the top things holding back their growth and profitability was down to the struggle they face getting stable global systems rolled across their international business.
Stuart Elliott CEO at Elliott Scott stated "our problem was we did not have a reliable global CRM system rolled out across our international business. For us it didn't matter that we had the best, we just needed one that was consistently used across our 5 international offices."
Stuart added "The issue I had was my managers could not look at their stats and see that the job number were correct or that we were facing a dip in business in one of the regions. Without a single global system it was difficult for me and my management team to make the right business decisions quickly."
Piece Meal Outsourcing Many CxO's complain about problems managing multiple IT providers.
One CFO from a successful high end fashion retailer stated "I have been forced into becoming a bit of a techy, attempting to isolate problems and then escalating it to one of our 3 IT partners be it the one we have for general PC service desk, our hosting partner or broadband provider". It consumes so much of my time which is hugely stressful becomes we are growing quickly and running 100 times faster than we were this time last year so I.T. is the last thing I need to be dealing with!"
Adding "Ideally I need to have just one partner that looks after the day to day issues as well as proactively look at where we need to be going with I.T. - we seem to have slept walk into a frustrating situation."