IT Buyers Say “We are OK.” Are you Sure? Part 1

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After 15 years of running a consultancy for the world’s most powerful firms, there is one thing that still irks me. Every day we propose ways to make the lives of people we work with better and give them the tools data and methodology to make their companies more efficient. But whether it’s reduced cost, improved performance, or more flexibility, someone in the peanut gallery says:

“No, thanks. I’m okay. We’ve already got that covered. All good.” Bleh!

How good were you when half your staff was laid off because the VC didn’t deliver your next tranche? How good were you when your CFO had to explain that you missed earnings targets because of IT challenges and cost overruns? How good were you when you missed your kid’s recital or were pulled out of bed in the middle of the night because your provider fell over… again. Is it possible that, as good as you are at negotiating IT services deals every three years, there might be someone who’s better or has an edge because they do it 50 to 100 times every year with the wind at their back and data from the last 200 deals?

This first part of a 3-part series is about needing help, and not wanting to get help. It’s a weird blind spot for many IT and sourcing executives; a self-defeating and problematic approach — and so easy to fix. But you have to be open to change before you get the help you need. This is the funny type of article we don’t expect to get any “likes” from. We are just nudging change.

IT problems are hidden time bombs — excess cost, insufficient resiliency, scale limitations. But even when they’re glaringly obvious — outages, budget overruns, lagging performance, vendors that act like they’re the boss — IT managers will often say they’re okay. Why?

I always say in response, “I’m so glad you’re okay. How do you measure okay? Are you great? Could you do better faster or cheaper?” Do you all the offerings in the market?

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