Banish Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) from Your IT Strategy

For small businesses, communication technologies like business email or voice over internet telephony (VoIP) are critical tools that drive productivity, while midsized businesses are deploying entire suites of productivity tools (point of sale tools, customer relationship management (CRM), and cloud tools) to achieve more with less effort.

What’s been consistent across our decades of experience managing IT is that these tools aren’t really understood by the businesses that use them, and that’s fine. They don’t need to be understood; businesses need technology that just works!

However, you need someone supporting your company who does understand the tools.

Who you select to manage your technology is an important decision that grows more critical with each passing year. It’s not just about hiring a geek or computer nerd who understands technology; truly, it’s not. Understanding how a PC or the latest gadget works is not what makes great technology support.

You need a company that understands business and how to apply the right technologies to the problems your team is facing.

One of my favorite questions to ask is: “What PROBLEM is this trying to solve?” And so many times I get blank stares or silence, followed by a lot of techno babble (if I’m talking to technical people).

When that happens, I immediately doubt there is even a clear understanding of the problem, or there’s a serious disconnect between the people planning the technology and the people using the technology to work.

Every piece of technology in your business should solve a problem for the business. Antivirus software solves security problems and protects your data. Data backups protect the business from natural disaster and catastrophe. Wireless devices allow staff to be mobile within their office and reduce infrastructure cabling costs.

There are so many proponents of every technology today that it can be mind boggling. Every one of them seems to be absolutely mission-critical for your business success. That often sounds something like the following:

“If you are not in the cloud, then your business will fail.”

“You must implement this full suite of cybersecurity tools, or else you will be devastated by hackers.”

Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) are powerful selling tools. However, they are not good for making technical decisions. Everything should go back to my earlier statement, “What PROBLEM is this solving?”, if you cannot answer that, make a hard pass on the technology. And if the company selling you those tools can’t articulate this for you and make it specific for YOUR business, then definitely take a hard pass!

That standard should be the guiding principle behind your technology investments, but it should also help you select someone to support your business. Do they really understand your problems? If not, then that’s a serious problem.