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External Expert - Is It Time to Get a Second Opinion on Your Business IT?

Posted by Graham Shimmin on Jul 16, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Could IT inertia be holding your business back? Get a second opinion from a digital doctor.

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Insurance policies, phone tariffs, fleet costs… your business is almost certainly on top of them, because you know that sticking with the same product year in year out isn’t always the best way to do things. Can you honestly say the same about your IT systems?

If you were to start from scratch today and ask an expert to assess your systems and services, would they recommend the same products and providers?

Getting an external expert to review your IT can be a smart move, especially if you’ve been using the same systems for some time. It doesn’t necessarily mean switching providers - the suppliers you already use may well be the best around, and if they are then any expert worth their salt should tell you so.

The benefits of getting a second opinion on your IT

The most obvious difference is financial. There are all kinds of places where IT inertia can lead to unnecessary costs. For example you may be paying to license software you don’t use, don’t need or could easily replace with something better, cheaper, and with lower training and support costs.

You might be paying to maintain and support hardware that should have been boiled for glue years ago. Or you might be paying top whack for technology that has long since been superseded by more cost-effective options.

Which takes us to cloud computing: in almost all cases it costs less and removes the headache of maintaining expensive hardware that is not necessarily required. It’s also flexible and scalable - you only pay for the computing you need and use and it’s accessible anywhere.

Improvements in mobile technology such as 4G and access to applications whilst on the move are another good example of how your business can improve productivity and effectiveness through improved IT connectivity and mobility.

There’s much more to this than money

IT costs aren’t the only reason to get a second opinion. The business IT market is huge, with many players, and it’s quite possible that the advice you’ve been given and products you’ve been told about have been based on one organisation’s relationship with a small number of partners and experience in a limited number of industries.

That means you may have been choosing from a menu based on what that organisation wanted to provide, rather than what’s most appropriate for your business.

There are other reasons for getting a second opinion. Your current provider might be recommending an expensive upgrade, and you might want to be sure that the ROI will be better than with  alternative solutions. You might feel that your chosen services aren’t as reliable or as flexible as they could be, or that you’re not getting the full benefits of the latest technologies.

You may also want to embrace new ways of working, as cloud computing and mobile working open up the potential of the ‘always on’ business that never sleeps. Or you might just feel that your time and your employees’ time would be better spent delighting clients and prospects instead of dealing with desktops. A second opinion can help you in all of these areas.

Takeaways:

  • A second opinion doesn’t necessarily mean changing suppliers
  • You may be paying for software and services your business doesn’t need
  • New technologies can transform your business and cut costs too

Are you spending too much on IT?