They say history repeats itself, so in honor of President’s Day this month, we’ve collected a few tidbits of wit and wisdom from our founding fathers and applied it to navigating the challenging world of small business IT.
"It is by a thorough knowledge of the whole subject that [people] are enabled to judge correctly of the past and to give a proper direction to the future." - James Monroe
It’s hard to know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been, or even where you are for that matter. That’s why having “A Plan” for IT always starts with a thorough assessment of your company’s network infrastructure.
Managed IT providers, and their team of experienced professionals assess, stabilize, and secure, so leaders can focus on more important things like running their business. These days, no one expects a leader to know it all, but having the humility to call on the right resources is even better.
"Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.” - Abraham Lincoln
Translation: be proactive, especially in the world of IT. Stop thinking you have tomorrow to address the problem you know you already have. If your network is slow, why is it slow? Are you constantly searching for lost files? Are your printers always down?
Take action and get the resources you need — waiting for fires to start is no way to run a successful business; you’re simply fanning the flames. Shifting your mindset from reactive to proactive will not only save you time, but may even help improve your bottom line. Don’t wait, take control.
"It's amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry S. Truman
If you are the kind of leader who believes that things only get right when done yourself, this one might be a hard one to swallow. The reality is, we are a society driven by the praise of our peers. But waiting for a pat on the back can also slow you down.
Strategic planning and implementation takes hard work and discipline. Not everyone is cut out for that kind of focus. Keep your eye on the ball and remember that one good decision after another, including knowing when it makes sense to seek a third party provider, will ultimately lead to success. You know it, and everyone else will too one day.
"Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error." - Andrew Jackson
The one truth about business technology is that no one person can know everything. From hardware procurement, software licensing and HelpDesk support, to application development, security, and data backup, the responsibilities are endless. Sometimes there’s just not enough time in the day, and organizations without a plan play priority ping pong with their IT department — exhausting any strategic potential they may have had to begin with. The key is knowing when to seek the help of someone who might know more than you, and to be open to working together to achieve strategic goals.
"99% of failures come from people who make excuses." - George Washington
If you’re not constantly supporting the development of your in-house IT professionals, and you still think they have you covered, think again. Cybersecurity touches every facet of your business — from accounting and sales to marketing and human resources. If you have a dedicated, in-house IT department, how are you continuing to develop their skill sets?
Certifications are expensive, but necessary to keeping your teams on top of the latest technology trends and threats. If you’re making excuses as to why you can’t afford to train your teams, it might be time to call on a managed provider with the collective resources to keep the IT professionals you need, when you need them.
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” - John Adams
We’ve talked recently about the importance of stakeholders and how powerful they can be in the success of any technology deployment. No matter how strong of a leader you are, failure to include a stakeholder can cause a project to implode.
Leaders hold the key to understanding and guiding the people within their organizations. If you are not open and honest with them, why would you expect them to do the same with you? Projects, no matter how big or small, cannot be developed in a vacuum. Do the work, make a plan, and make it clear to everyone how they fit in.