Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Failed IT Strategies: The All-or-Nothing Approach

Information technology is a crucial competitive weapon for your business if you play it right. If you don't play it right, IT can be a horrible roadblock to success. A poor IT strategy can be a dreadful bottleneck that impedes your ability to work.

Speed-of-thought access to crucial reporting data can mean the difference between a great decision and a catastrophic one. Fine-tuned computers that work properly eliminate stress, maximize productivity and enable knowledge workers.

The problem traditionally has been the approach used by technology workers. Some IT personnel favor the All-or-Nothing approach where everyone gets the same tools regardless of need. This is the equivalent of giving everyone a hammer, whether they need it or not. This approach leads to:
  • Overbuying equipment because more resources are required to sustain workers.
  • Excessive spending on software because of multiple user licenses
  • Wasted capacity because many workers many not even use the tools.
  • Diluted training because why should I learn something I never use?
A great example of this approach is how email is handled. Chances are everyone has email at your company. Email is cheap and easy to maintain (especially if you let Zoho handle it!). However, how many of your workers really need email? How many actually use it? Do warehouse workers need email? What about delivery drivers?
I think you get the point. Since email is cheap, it isn't a huge problem. But what happens when you are buying software licenses for a $10,000 per user accounting program?
Sadly, the upside of this method is purely for the IT worker. It offers a uniform set of tools to everyone so it reduces his workload. It means he doesn't need to spend time studying and understanding your business to help reduce costs. This is the old-fashioned mindset where IT operated on its own little island and never interracted with anyone else.
Over the next few weeks I will examine other failed IT strategies. I will discuss the pros and cons of each ideology so you can make your own decision. As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask in the Comments section. If you are too embarassed, you can always email me: louis (at) r2computing.com
The ideal IT strategy reduces costs, surgically targets technology where it will do the most good and enables your business to annihilate the competition. That is what the R-Squared Method is all about. More on that later too!

Louis Rosas-Guyon's FREE 5-week e-Course for Eliminating Tech Costs
R-Squared Computing - Business Technology Coaches