Since before the introduction of the telephone, businesses have been shaped by technology. Technology has the ability to streamline processes, reduce man-hours and improve service quality. Today, with ubiquitous and inexpensive broadband, companies have been able to adopt more and more technology at a faster pace. SaaS solutions for every problem are just a few clicks away, and leaving problems unsolved is an easy way for your competition to differentiate themselves.
In addition, "Over the Top" offerings are coming out all the time to replace something you used to get from the local telephone or cable company. Hosted VoIP and SIP Trunks replace legacy, expensive PRI and POTS lines, saving money while providing more flexibility. Streaming video replaces legacy cable plans, and streaming audio replaces an expensive Muzak satellite. All of this is driven by having a single, simple connection between your business and anyone else with an Internet connection.
Unfortunately, provisioning enough bandwidth for your needs and ensuring stability and reliability is no longer a nice-to-have. Navigating the ins and outs of selecting and implementing the right solution can be daunting, and sticking to a budget can be even harder. If you're ready to talk about the connectivity challenges facing your business, contact us today for a free consultation.
Let's talk about Shadow IT. It's a phrase those of us in the IT Industry have been throwing around for over four years as a way to blame users for implementing their own technology to solve real business problems. The problem isn't that those folks didn't know the rules; they didn't see IT as a team there to help them accomplish their business goals. They saw IT as a team there to enforce controls and squeeze every penny they can out of IT budgets and replace their keyboard when it fails. We aren't keeping up. We owe the businesses we work for better.
The future of IT Teams means learning that we can't be subject-matter experts in all areas of the business. We need to have open and honest dialogue with the various stakeholders in the company, and we need to take the insight we learn from that dialogue, along with our perspective and big-picture thinking to build a cohesive vision about where the business is going and what technology can not only support that, but that can be a catalyst or differentiator.
That means IT teams will need to venture outside of their comfort zone and work with products, services and systems they aren't familiar with, possibly in a subject area they have no knowledge of. We also have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to solutions to problems. For every use-case there are dozens or hundreds of services that may meet our initial requirements. We need to take the time to understand the user's needs, take their input on possible solutions and align that with our long-term plans and vision to see if it's something that's already included in a bigger initiative (or something that should be added to that), if it's something already covered by our current solution stack, or if it's something we truly do need to add as a point solution.
But, we can no longer hold back the organizations we support. That's a sure fire way to be left behind.
CSO Online: Shadow IT - It's Not What You Think
CIO: 7 Ways to Embrace Shadow IT and Win
5 Shadow IT Statistics to Make You Reconsider Your Life
Cisco: What Is Shadow IT?