The first step to improve your business productivity is to understand the three illusions executives have about internal IT versus outsourcing. These illusions are reinforced by unsophisticated technology providers, vendors what want you to use their (on-premise) products, and internal IT’s need to stay employed.
The illusion of control
What is the first thing we do when our children misbehave? Put them in their room at home. Why? So we can control what they are doing and where they are. Obviously this can’t last forever and soon they are “released” from their room. This situation has played out over and over with corporate technology departments.
Technology was outsourced and there was an issue, or a cloud service didn’t deliver. The mantra then becomes, “We need to have CONTROL of everything, so we need it all in house.” This is an illusion because once it’s all in house the IT group doesn’t have any more actual control, they just have about 10x more RISK. The saying with great power comes great responsibility is in full effect here.
Controlling technology does not mean it will work better. It means that your business RISK has been increased for no reason. Coca-Cola doesn’t control the majority of it’s bottling operations, why do you need to control your technology?
Oversight is important, control is not. Control is often a justification for more staff to “handle” everything, which is not more cost-effective than outsourcing.
The illusion of fast resolution
This is the number one illusion brought up by executives that have not experienced what a properly managed and supported technology stack is like. They have given up on the pursuit of NOT having the issue in the first place, being PROACTIVE. Instead they are focused on 100% REACTIVE model and doing it quickly.
They are comparing how fast Bob can run over to a desk and “fix it”, versus someone having to come onsite from another location. This is completely the wrong approach. The approach needs to be on ensuring that it doesn’t break in the first place. If the goal is to be proactive and eliminate onsite (deskside) visits, then that will happen.
Instead the local onsite resource becomes a crutch everyone uses to resolve the same issue over and over without a root cause being determined. Let’s not even get into what happens when the onsite resource is on vacation….
Today’s remote support experience is also much faster than Bob! The support request can be handled almost immediately without a wait for anyone to physically show up. This is REALLY important for multi-site and remote workers, as staffing local support typically isn’t cost-effective for smaller offices. Best of all, there is no one sitting at your desk stopping you from performing other tasks while support is happening!
The illusion of security
I want all my data here in the building. I don’t trust the cloud. If these statements are being made in support of increased security, you have a real issue. Business today requires information to be shared, and building a fortress around it will not increase security, it will only LOWER PRODUCTIVITY.
Security delivered correctly will be seamless to the user and not affect productivity. That can only happen if you have the experience and standards in place to properly managed identities, perform positive authentication, and monitor for breaches. The emphasis on security is not to avoid outsourcing, but to embrace it with the right, experienced partners.
100% security is a myth, as the daily news headlines confirm. Security is a constant process of accessing, evaluating, and implementing new process and procedures based on the feedback from large scale technology management, which cannot be replicated by an internal IT team.
These illusions are often perpetuated by internal IT groups, as it aligns with their job security. The role of internal IT should now shift to enhancing the productivity of the business, making sense of data, or other value-added tasks. Building a fortress and moat around your technology is not the answer!