If you don't mind, it don't matter.
That's a saying I've heard in sports about how your mental attitude can help you work hard and through pain and/or discomfort.
When it comes to your information technology – network to telephony to AI; I'll twist that to say that “if you don't care, IT won't matter.”
I can often predict how successful a client or potential client will be with their IT use by understanding their view of the information technology infrastructure.
Most business leaders fall into one of two categories:
- Those who think IT is a cost that they have to do
- Those who view IT as an opportunity
Care to guess which viewpoint ends in more productive IT use and better business outcomes?
It's obvious, right? Those who view IT as a chance to improve their businesses.
Information technology can be tedious, annoying, fiddly, and drive you crazy. It's also required to run your business.
You don't have a choice about using IT, you DO have a choice in how you think about it. You may as well shift your mentality to “glass half full” rather than focusing on “IT is annoying and a necessary evil I just have to pay for.”
Smart business leaders realize that IT can be used strategically to grow their business. Others...don't.
The Mindset You Need to Succeed
There's a wealth of resources about the power of visualization and positive thinking as contributors to success. I'm sure you've all seen some variation of “think positive” in your social media feed of choice in the past few days.
Research has shown that's true for business too. How company leaders regard IT – anchor or buoy – can predict how well that company will perform.
The Global SMB IT Confidence Index 2013 (a research report from Symantec) reveals that 83% of top-tier companies focus on using IT strategically. For bottom-tier companies, only 44% think IT is strategically important.
That leads to more market share for the companies that viewed IT as a competitive advantage.
81 percent of the top-tier businesses reported that using computing to strategically drive the business forward was effective at increasing market share, which is a key business goal. By contrast, just 35 percent of bottom-tier companies felt this was an effective tactic.
The research identifies four characteristics top SMBs had in common:
- Instead of only looking at initial expense, they looked at long-term value when purchasing IT products and services.
- IT investments are mapped to business goals. Those goals are identified BEFORE selection technology.
- They at least know about IT trends, such as cloud, mobility, and virtualization.
- They understand the need to protect their data and enact plans to do so.
Stop Taking IT for Granted
As IT has become more user friendly, it's become easy to take for granted and forget the complexity under the surface. Think about how easy apps are to use on your phone – or even on your copier. Immediately accessing information wherever you are is common today.
If you take it for granted or think that IT should be “easy” and “simple” because of the apps on your iPhone and get frustrated when it's not that simple, you're making a mistake. All companies rely on information technology.
When you apply the right technology to the right business need, your office will get more done and even develop a competitive advantage over the competition.
Whether you do this yourself or engage a managed IT partner, don't look at IT as cost – see it as the opportunity to grow your business it is.
If you don't know where to start, consider outsourcing. We've put together a toolkit with everything you need to know to understand managed networks and managed IT. Get your copy by clicking the button below.