Don’t Rely on your IT Guy

IT Guy

My heading might appear to be a strange statement to make considering I run an IT company.  But I stand by it.  Let me explain:  Many small businesses I come across are initially hesitant to meet with me or my staff.  “But we already have an IT guy”, they declare.  And indeed they do;  It’s the owner’s son-in-law, or the guy from the computer shop across the road, or an employee’s brother who is studying IT at university, or the guy they called once from the yellow-pages.

In any case, they’re making the assumption that my company wants to become their “IT guy” when in fact that’s not our intention at all.  We aren’t the “IT guy”.  The IT guy is the guy they call when a computer breaks, or when email isn’t working, or when they want to know how to stop those damn pop-ups.   But I’m here to tell you that the IT Guy is a dying breed.

As technology becomes more and more ubiquitous and it penetrates deeper within core and critical systems and processes throughout small businesses, you don’t want to be relying on your IT guy.  He’s usually a whiz on computers, but he’s not necessarily full bottle when it comes to business consulting.

You see, the line between technology consulting and management consulting is becoming increasingly blurred.  Technology underpins and provides the tools for so many critical business functions that companies like mine employ business experts to provide true ongoing business solutions and services that fundamentally improve our customer’s businesses.   And small businesses really must engage in a long term partnership with a technology company that understands their business , first and foremost, if they truly want to maintain a competitive edge and be innovative.

If you don’t have a partnership with a technology company that understands business you’re likely to be left behind in the wake of your competitors.   IT companies are changing their business models to a more consultative partnering approach, and most are dropping the old fashioned adhoc break/fix type support altogether.  So if you rely on your IT guy there will inevitably be one day soon he’s not available to assist you when you need urgent support, and you might just find yourself up a familiar creek with-out a paddle because you don’t have a strong partnership with an IT company.  I believe the number of IT companies willing to answer your call to provide adhoc support will reduce as their business models shift to managed services with long term clients who look to them for business improvement, not just IT support.

So if you only have an IT Guy, do yourself a favour and make a committment to have a meeting with an IT company (Microsoft Certified Partners are generally a safe bet) and be sure to talk to them with an open mind about how they can help you be a better business.

You want your PC fixed ‘cause it’s broken? – call the It guy.  You want to make an ongoing and long term improvement to the way you do business?  – call your technology partner.

Clayton Moulynox – Evolve IT Australia
We fix business problems, not computer problems –  Develop, Solve, Evolve.

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Comments
10 Responses to “Don’t Rely on your IT Guy”
  1. Kevin Landry says:

    Being a Major Account Representative in a small market, I hear the “Our IT guy takes care of me” multiple times daily. More and more small businesses are, in fact, taking on a partnership mentality and not having any regrets.

    -Kevin Landry, Major Account Executive, Ricoh Business Solutions, Lafayette, LA

  2. Eric Pharr says:

    This is so true! The old break/fix mentality is old school. Its more of a preventive approach to the customers.

    I think a lot of guys think there is no money with that approach. But, if you can position it right. It’s good for the customer, and there is money to be made!

  3. smallbizexperts says:

    Hi Kevin, Eric. Thanks for the comments. Interesting point you make about the thoughts there’s no money to be made. I think that’s the naive perspective applied by “IT Guys” because they’re so used to making money when things aren’t going well for their clients. It’s true that businesses like mine with more of a preventative or managed approach with clients generate less revenue from fixing things and even full on disasters. But being able to show the client how much more successful they are because things aren’t breaking, not to mention using all that extra time proactively developing solutions for them to run their business better, well our customers will happily pay for that. Again and again and again.

    Clayton @ Evolve IT

  4. gamboa says:

    This is promising. I am a small business enthusiast and I admit I am one of those that seem to get away with IT guys knowing that their fees are so high, at least now I know better. Thanks a lot for clarifying.

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