The relationship between a business and its IT management is a real hot button for me. There is no choice but to have computers and other forms of Information Technology in today’s competitive markets. Tech is a must-do, just like lights on every day and heat in the winter. But I ask all of you: do you ever hesitate to call up your electric provider or your gas provider if you have a question or an issue? I doubt it. But I hear stories often from business owners about their fears and their frustrations when they need to question their IT management company. That is just not right. Information Technology should be your partner, not your jailer.
A Service Company Is A Partner In Your Success, Not Some “Man Behind The Curtain”
Information Technology is not, has never been, any form of smoke and mirrors. It is not some Wizard of Oz, cranking wheels and cracking thunder from behind a curtain somewhere. Computers can be magical, but they are not magic. They are math and engineering. IT is a playground that has given power and status to all the nerdy kids who could not hit a baseball back in the day but always aced the science classes. Their tech skills do not make a business owner less capable; IT managers provide goods and services to that owner just as that owner provides goods and services to his customers.
“Give Me All My Passwords, Please”
This is a valid request you can make to your IT management company. You should not be fearful; they should not hesitate to provide what you have asked for. It is your information. It belongs to you. All the keys to the back of your network house were created specifically for what you have and what you do. You do not have to explain why you want your information. Aptica believes it is Best Practices for you to have that critical information on file in some secure location. It is always painfully embarrassing to me to hear that a business owner fears that, by asking for his passwords, he might have to say why he wants them and it might anger his IT manager. What? No, and hell, no.
Accountability Also Applies To Information Technology
Your landlord holds you accountable for space rent. Your banker holds you accountable for keeping money in his bank. You hold your employees accountable for their performance and their contributions to your business’ success. You hold your vendors accountable for the quality of goods or services they deliver. Your IT management company is accountable to you for the efficiency of your daily workflow through the technology they design and monitor for you. There is no question you cannot ask them about the resources they have assembled for your use. You have invested in your IT network and you can ask to be shown the ROI on your trust in their abilities. It is a business thing, just like rent, utilities, insurance, legal counsel, banking, personnel, etc.
If you are hearing from your employees that your computer system is not helping them keep up with their tasks, you should get another opinion about what technology you need to stay competitive in your industry. Another company should be able to assess what you have and either reassure you that all is well or offer suggestions as to how your network could better serve you. It is not personal. It is a factor in success. A good IT management company will not be threatened to learn that you are getting a second opinion.
Aptica offers free assessments. We come into every new business association as a partner for overall growth and development. If you win, we win also. And we will tell you exactly what is it that we do and how that contributes to your business goals. If that sounds like a practice you would enjoy, please give us a call.
Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 19 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.