The Leaders We’re Grooming

The Leaders We’re Grooming And Changing Technology

We see a growing phenomenon in our long-time clients and some of our newer clients, and we’re pretty excited about it. There’s an openness to technology solutions that hasn’t been there before. Don’t get me wrong—everyone seems to like the latest cell phone, bigger screens, and cars with cruise control that also keeps a set distance from the car in front of you. I actually watched Larry drive in traffic for quite a while without touching the break or gas pedal; not my cup of tea, but he was pretty thrilled with the technology, and I have to admit, it’s impressive.

On the other hand, we’ve often been anywhere between sad and frightened by the lack of some clients’ willingness to embrace the technology we’ve recommended. In our efforts to keep our clients’ data and equipment safe, we’ve made our best case to get rid of those XP and Windows 7 machines (really?); offer creative ways to use strong passwords everywhere; send firewall service renewal quotes; recommend extended warranties on older servers; encourage backups for important data and email; recommend automated patch services; and many more! Sometimes these seem to fall on deaf ears, but we are determined never to give up; there’s just too much at stake!

So what are we excited about? We see a maturing generation joining our clients’ companies in key roles. In some cases, this is the next generation of a family business; in others, there are key people being groomed for leadership roles. This next group of leaders also loves the latest personal gadgets, but their expectations for how computers should contribute to meet the business’s needs for efficiency are quite high, and rightfully so. We’re participating in new conversations about the pro’s and con’s of new services, equipment, software, cloud solutions, security, and what’s available.

And while this group of new and/or future leaders is looking to technology, the IT industry has really made the next shift as well. The kaleidoscope of cloud and cloud-related offerings is becoming a beautiful picture that many can now see and appreciate. We are truly amazed at what is available right now for us and our clients, and the very affordable and productive options.

As this trend takes the IT industry by storm, we’re also coming across some poor infrastructures and poor solutions. They have the right names and components, but they are woefully designed, creating frustration where there should be joy! It’s as if some IT firms and IT departments have decided that if they use something with the name ‘cloud’ in it, or something with ‘Azure’ in it, they’re experts and are using ‘current’ technology. A beautiful home is not just how it looks on the outside — it’s the flow of the rooms; the location of the light switches; hallways where two people can comfortably pass; natural light in key rooms; a hot water pump so you don’t have to run the shower for 15 minutes at 5 a.m. to have hot water! Having ‘Azure’ on the outside of a hosted server doesn’t make it well designed or well provisioned; that takes knowledge, research, and a commitment to making sure the person using the system has an excellent experience, and that is TOP on our minds.

If your season in business is more late-fall or early-winter, you don’t have to fully understand or even agree with some of the technology changes; that’s a tall order. Are you willing to hear these opportunities out? Are you willing to consider that there might be some technology options that have ‘come of age’? Are you willing to trust your emerging leadership teams?

Let me ask you—do you drive a stick shift? How old is your car? Do you have a door ringer/camera and check it on your phone? Do you order cigars, wine, groceries, gadgets, and other things online? Do you subscribe to a service to watch your favorite shows or movies on demand? Do you use that automated cruise control feature, maybe even a little hands free just to check it out? These are all good things and make our personal lives more enjoyable.

Time to let your business join the technology changes, from the exciting offerings to the security recommendations, and everything in between. Hey, my son is that next emerging generation, and I can tell you, it’s been quite a (rollercoaster) ride. I can’t WAIT for what’s next! – CMW