Technology projects are expensive. Really expensive. A hardware refresh can run anywhere from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands for a whole new system. Such a major capital investment requires a lot of diligent research and you need to make sure that you choose the right partner to execute that project on your behalf. But which one? While getting proposals for the project that you need might be the way you have approached this in the past, we think that you should throw those proposals out. Sounds a little crazy right? After all the back and forth, the conversations, the communication of needs, of pain points … Why would you ever throw all that energy away? Shouldn’t someone review these documents? Yes and yes. But before you go vetting out a project for a single server refresh or workstation replacement – you might want to consider going another route entirely. Here’s a few reasons we think that you should throw out your IT project proposals – and what you can do instead.
They don’t really address your needs.
Let’s look at what happened that made you initiate your request for a proposal to begin with. Let me guess: something broke, right? Something is no longer working properly for you and you need it replaced with something else so you can get back to work and be productive. So you went on Google and you found some IT companies and you requested proposals for “a new server” or “new workstations”. You answered a few questions – the number of people you’re supporting, how you access information, what your infrastructure looks like now – and maybe a few other questions. A few hours later – you got proposals. And now you’re looking at them and you have no idea what they mean. You think they’re offering up a solution to your issues, since you communicated the issues you were having – but the problem is that they don’t account for the aged software application that’s bogging down your users, or the fact that your salespeople can’t access the appropriate files on the road. They only fix the fact that you need a new server.
They force you to focus on the one thing that you should never focus on.
When it comes to these types of things, money is always an issue. You need to make sure you spend the least amount that you have to spend to keep your technology functioning properly so that your organization can run efficiently and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. But what happens when you focus on price? Really, though – let’s say it together: you get what you paid for. So stop looking at numbers on “apples to apples” proposals and start looking at the thing that matters the most – your business.
They don’t account for your future.
Why focus on your business? Because all of a sudden, your business has grown. You have more employees and more work and the workflows that were so perfect when you were a small organization just aren’t working anymore. The technology that you once used is slowing you down. It’s dated. And you need to change it. But when you change out a server or “refresh some workstations” – your proposals aren’t accommodating for how you’ve grown and how your technology can support that growth. You need something that serves you now and in the future. Perhaps a cloud move would be great for you, perhaps you should look into new line of business applications, perhaps a custom software solution and business automation is something you need. The point is – that if you just go asking for proposals for a project or a new server you’ll never evolve into the business that you want to be with technology that services your needs now and in the future.
So, what’s the solution? Now that I’ve convinced you to throw out your project proposals – how do you fix your problem? Start a relationship. Bring on a consultant or a Managed Services Provider with a strategy manager that can help you break down your businesses processes, find bottlenecks, assess your line of business application and address your needs. Perhaps you’ll find along the way that the proposals you were getting weren’t what you needed – maybe you needed the cloud, or a new application, or a different internet service provider – a combination of many different things. Fixing things is great, because when things break they need to be replaced or repaired. But taking a comprehensive approach and bringing in a partner that can truly exact changes in your organization with business technology is always the best investment.