The role of IT in your business

I’ve just watched the BBC iPlayer recording of Evan Davis’ Bottom Line on the subjects of organic company growth and the role of IT within business.

Great program generally, thoroughly recommended. The first half of this particular episode was very interesting – pros and cons of organic versus acquisition growth. The thoughts on organic growth being for the long term stability giving me confidence in what we’re achieving here at Hilltops IT.

What I found more pertinent to my business was the second half discussion around the role of information technology ‘experts’ within business. How interesting that Luke Johnson (Chairman of Risk Capital Partners) shared the same frustrations as (potential) new business clients I meet on a week-to-week basis, and that Jacqueline de Rojas (UK and Ireland Vice President of McAfee) seemed defensive and managed the challenges in a very similar way. The third panelist, Vincent de Rivaz (Chief Executive of EDF Energy), come from the angle of having their own internal IT resource.

The business leaders I meet week-to-week run far smaller organisations than Risk Capital, McAfee or EDF (but we’ll get there!!! 😉 ) and I meet exactly the same challenges. So why does ‘IT’ still get such a bad rap???

Is it because we underestimate budgets and timescales? Or the client doesn’t specify their requirements clearly?
Is it because we’re overpriced compared to off-shore resource? Or do you get what you pay for?
Is it because there are few barriers to entry to IT and so many low-cost IT service providers out there? Or is it because clients are looking to cut costs in difficult times thinking that it will be cost-effective going forward?

Experienced consultants have seen it go wrong before and should be in a position to advise (and challenge) their new clients on how to approach new projects.

Key for me in moving our clients and our own business forward is communication. And that needs to go both ways.

Without going into a long sales spiel, I think that we’re getting it right here. Certainly our customers stay with us. But the point here is that I’d be fascinated to hear from YOU, business leaders and IT consultants alike: what makes your IT business support systems ‘right’? And what are your frustrations when they go ‘wrong’?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts,