The Goldilocks Effect – Getting IT Support that’s ‘Just Right’

by | Feb 6, 2012 | jahlberg

I frequently encounter business leaders for organizations of 100+ people who share a common complaint – how do I find IT that’s just right for my business?  They are experiencing what I call “the Goldilocks Effect.”  You know the children’s story where Goldi takes three tries with the porridge, chair and bed to get it just right?  These executives are experiencing a similar situation, finding it hard to get the right technology support – great coverage at a reasonable price. If they hire all the support they need, it costs way too much.  If they manage to a reasonable technology budget, they get inadequate support, lurching from crisis to crisis and never planning for the future. The chair is either too hard or too soft – never just right. 

What these executives need

  • I need to have some IT people onsite
  • I need support across different business systems
  • My network needs to be managed and supported
  • I need responsive day-to-day technology help for my users
  • I need strategic guidance to ensure the business is using technology effectively
  • And I don’t want to overspend! 

The chair is too soft and the porridge is too hot

Some companies staff up to get all the support they need. I need a help desk guy. Check.  I need a network expert. Done.  Now I need someone to manage these people.  OK.  Custom software?  Need another person.  It costs a ton of dough to have all these people on payroll, and it can be painful to manage the department.  Here’s the final kicker:  some of these people may be underutilized, and yet you are still missing pockets of expertise. 

Oh, and did I mention that nothing is being documented and you need to worry about turnover and having to figure it out all over again? 

The chair is too hard and the porridge is too cold

I’ve seen other companies go the lean route.  They hire an IT employee or two and maybe use a consultant to fill the gaps. Now everything is a fire drill and it seems that nothing ever gets done quickly. Planning?  It’s a luxury that never seems to get done.  Sure, this executive is spending less financially, but the reactive mode is taking a toll on productivity for the larger organization.  The new reality is that one or two people cannot act as an entire IT team because technology needs have become too complex.  No one can effectively act as a helpdesk tech, network admin, software specialist, and strategic counselor. 

Oh, and did I mention that nothing is being documented and you need to worry about turnover and having to figure it out all over again? 

Just right

Let’s try a different approach.  Instead of owning the IT employees, the executive taps into an expert team like Waident that delivers the necessary breadth of support without the costs of full-time resources.  One or two of those team members sit on-site and they are a part of a larger, virtual service team. How does this model stack up to the checklist of needs from above: 

 I need to have some IT people onsite – You have people there, but not the headaches of hiring, training, providing benefits for or managing them.
 I need support across different business systems – Your virtual team has not only helpdesk expertise but also network and other system support experience gained from a broad client base. You get big company best practices as a small to mid-sized company.
 My network needs to be managed and supported – Ditto.
 I need responsive day-to-day technology help for my users – While you have a person on-site, often a call or email to the helpdesk will be seamlessly handled by somebody off-site, helping to manage surges in support requests, tapping into broader expertise, and eliminating your reliance on one person (who could leave tomorrow).
I need strategic guidance to ensure the business is using technology effectively – Again, the wisdom gained across dozens of clients comes in handy.  Expect quarterly strategic meetings to discuss your business needs and how technology can enable greater efficiencies.   Look for a partner that doesn’t sell, but can connect you to the right resources.
And I don’t want to overspend! – Right.  No paying for full-time resources when you have part-time needs.  And now you can afford to have proactive management to avoid costly issues down the road.
 Documentation (OK, executives don’t always know to ask for this – but they should!) – Everything is documented – it has to be since everyone works in teams. 

So pick the “just right” bed and get a good night’s sleep for a change.  It’s what Goldi would want. Contact me if you want to learn more about the Just Right approach for your business.

 

John Ahlberg, CEO, Waident Technology Solutions

John Ahlberg
CEO, Waident

CIO in the corporate world and now for Waident clients. John injects order and technology into business process to keep employees productive, enterprises running, and data safe.

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