We have been working in this sector for a bit now. Long enough to remember the ‘you will never get fired for buying “___”. Years later, many were.
In telecom, the same thing is true. Many people take comfort in ‘conformity’ and when things don’t work out there does not seem to be any real measurement or accountability.
You sometimes hear the expression ‘If It Ain’t Broke …. Leave It Alone’? Works until management walks around asking for 20% across the board cost reductions. Ever notice that IT is usually exempt or unavailable for that conversation? Likely reason? They are going to tell you no, and they will remind you that they, in fact, need to increase their spend exponentially – it is usually easier to just not ask.
You have also heard the expression ‘If it Ain’t Broke…Break It’. This was made popular by author Robert Kriegel… same guy who authored Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers. Others rallied – sometimes you just need to create change with people and the organizations that they keep (vendors). It calls for proactive thinking not reactive, leading not following, playing to win as opposed to playing not to lose.
We thought we would have some fun with our Office Survivor Comic (a little parody that a few of us thought would be a good idea):
My favorite email:
“Thanks for your interest, but our infrastructure and communication needs are adequately in place.”
Of course they are.
They have to be how else would debit and credit payments be processed, how would calls be placed to the branches or retails sites? I think that there is a point that we want to make though. A few in fact:
There is a better way, a new way
What worked yesterday does not work as well as what we do today – and that’s ok
We talk about the 20% rule often. Fact is, we can always save 20%, it is easy. This is the message that we deliver to CEO’s and CFO’s daily. They respond back ‘cautiously enthusiastic’. Remember, their caution is not so much around our ability to do what we say, it is more so management’s ability to successfully navigate the IT ego of conformity, complacency and fear of change management.
Seems a bit gloomy. We are not really in a bad mood so why are we attacking our friend’s in IT?
It just seems smart for us to really attack a simple reality out there. There are those who we talk to who embrace change, or the discussion around finding ‘the better way’, and there are the others who ‘just don’t have the time, energy or direction’ to do so. It is more fun, more rewarding and far more lucrative to represent the first tent.
Imagine a workplace environment where executive management walks around recognizing ‘value’ in the IT spend and people. Think about the ‘access’ to additional capital for projects and staffing when you can actually ‘harvest’ your own budget.
And, think about the following:
Five (5) year old routers should be replaced, and need to be replaced at some point
Old communications links have old modems and terminations – why not update them
There are new speeds and feeds available for your locations, often at the same or lower costs – why not review them
And before you say ‘our needs are adequately taken care of with the current bandwidth’ think about ‘eliminating your spend on telephone systems, phone lines, porting costs, long distance costs, alarm circuits, fax lines etc. etc. It adds up.
- Our favorite – it is all easier to support, meaning you need less staff.
So, next time someone calls and says ‘hey buddy, you can save 20%, increase speed and simplify the *&^% out of your Wide Area Network and Voice infrastructure…. why not have an open mind?