This is Jason and Joe from Byte Ideas and Solutions and we will be posting a blog on technology every Wednesday. Feel free to offer your comments below and come check us out at www.byteideasit.com
Many of us can recall the older business mindset of filing paperwork in a special room lined with cabinets that were designed for the purpose of simply holding onto information that was waiting to be tossed in a box and forgotten on a shelf in an indistinct location. This turned out to be a severely cumbersome process for many businesses that led to failures in the system and ultimately, a room full of unneeded and forgotten documents. This time frame also relied on couriers for quick delivery of important documents and telephones as the main source of communication.
Fast-forward 20 years. Whether it’s the stock exchange businessman or our preteen children, we are seeing that cellular devices and text messages have become the new standard for all communication. The implementation of cellular and video conferencing in business has created an almost instantaneous mindset in the completion of business deals and product sales. With this kind of development and movement in the communications industry, why would we still try and use an outdated filing system in our businesses. The naked truth to this is, that there are still some businesses that are doing this, and many of them are failing.
Most businesses realize this, yet still the IT department in many smaller to mid-size companies is minimal to non-existent. This is indicative of the current mindset of IT in our industry today. Many businesses see IT as a money pit and almost look down on the “nerds” that drive the industry when the fact of the matter is that these “nerds” are the very same people that keep your business viable in your industry today. Computers that handle your pricing and e-mail through those that handle your marketing and finances must all be able to talk to each other and share information together. Just imagine the amount of paperwork that would still be needed if managers required that hard copies of reports still be placed on their desk instead of simply running the report off of the server.
We are seeing IT become more important on a daily basis yet somehow businesses choose to maintain ten-plus year old computers and choose to disregard any disaster recovery solutions and regular maintenance plan. These people that make these business technology choices wouldn’t drive their cars past three thousand miles without an oil change, but neglect the importance of maintaining the engine that drives their businesses.
We in the IT industry are calling for a change in the overall mindset of most businesses. We want people to start realizing the importance of having those all-important files stored on a proper device. This does not mean that Mr. Smith buys a new desktop and uses his old computer as the company’s new server, but that Mr. Smith buys a real server, created for power and data redundancy and uses an off-site backup plan. In the event of a natural disaster like a flood or fire, many businesses would lose everything. Insurance will cover all of the physical aspects of the business, but if you lose all of your files, invoices, contacts, and other data housed in your building, the issues can go beyond the obvious and move into legal problems.
Finally, by changing the way that we as business owners and operators view the IT in our businesses we can achieve higher levels of functionality. This would allow us a little more peace of mind in our workplace, as well as an added level of security for our data. There is also an unspoken point here that when the proper equipment is utilized by the correct people, your business will see a surge in the speed and efficiency of communication allowing owners and others in the company to focus on the parts of the job that should be focused on instead of running that annoying report or having to hand-carry a certain document to an office across the building. Some places have just accepted this as commonplace, but as IT professionals, we see this as wasted time and potential. Stop wasting time and potential and lay claim to your business again.