I have been hearing the same line for several years. At first, I felt sorry for them. They obviously see the future, want to help build a progressive business, and yet are held back by dinosaurs in the boardroom. I have met many board members from small companies through to large enterprises and across most verticals, the idea of a dusty old person sat in a smoky director's office using quill and ink is a myth. They just don't exist anymore.
I accept some people are less informed therefore are nervous about technology but rarely do I meet someone having made it to the top who is not open to change. By definition, if you are running a successful business, you have learned to adapt as both customers and company evolve. Over time, ways of thinking becomes habit so in reality, senior individuals are often the most open to new ideas.
If this is true, the board are not holding back. Individuals in business either have prejudices regarding new technologies or are scared of upsetting a few colleagues. When I met people who say "The business won't accept change", I reply differently - don't assume colleagues will reject the idea. If you really believe it will improve the business, you need to be the catalyst. Do not be afraid to challenge the status-quo. Push your vision. Some people may grumble by measurably demonstrating how it will benefit the business is rightfully persuasive. Most people are logical and will adapt.
Below are a few key technologies I hear being dismissed and reasons why.
I will cover cloud computing first as it is the big one. I met three IT directors from separate SME businesses who all felt their data was safer remaining in their on-site servers than with cloud computing. I enquired about their server estates. To challenge, I simply asked if they have the same protection as modern cloud solutions and this includes:
I could go on but I think I have made my point. Most businesses cannot justify the cost or upheaval required that comes close to the security and resilience delivered by good cloud services. I have worked in both small companies and huge data centres. I fully understand anyone can suffer downtime. No system is perfect. However, I understand and know from experience most reputable cloud providers come closer to perfect than any solution your business can try building on premise. In short, your data is probably safer with a cloud computing provider (but check which one).
People like what they can see. They think if they can touch a tape they know it is real. However, you need to ask yourself:
Data backup is made simple with a solid disk-to-disk backup solution that transfers off-site. It is of worth to understand when you analyse the true cost of running tape backup it is usually a similar cost.
The problem is not an issue of trust nor competency. It is about skills, availability and cost. Outsourcing a task or function does not automatically make people redundant. You may have a great team. Does that make them experts in every technology under the sun? The direction of your business should not be limited by the knowledge of your IT staff. If you need support then do not be afraid to look externally.
Having an IT expert come in who can help your team implement a new system will mean the project completion time will be faster. Your staff will benefit from professional IT services, learning valuable knowledge and receive the on-going support they need.
Challenging a decision not to do something is as important as challenging a decision to do something. If you find yourself wanting to make a change but believe it will not be accepted, ask yourself “is this going to help the business and its employees?”. If the answer is yes, make it happen. Research the topic, get support if you need it, present a business case, explain the reason and become known as the person in the office who makes it happen.
These are key questions facing business owners and directors. You would not contemplate running a bu