From Tech to Business Intelligence: Getting the Most from your IT Company
By Russ Levanway, CEO
Asset or Liability?
Once upon a time, people came to IT companies like us to do two basic things: 1) take care of their computers and 2) upgrade their equipment. IT was essentially an expense line to buy and maintain hardware and software. In other words, a liability.
As times have changed, technology has evolved into a “component” of business rather than a mere cost of doing business. It’s indispensable now: a business enabler rather than just a tool. The right tech implemented the right way can achieve a business goal, in and of itself. By totally integrating specific technology and software into a company, the cost for that technology is outsized by the benefit and financial performance gained. As such, IT is now an asset, rather than a liability.
Proof is in the Numbers
At TekTegrity we have the data to support this role reversal; for example, we’ve saved our healthcare clients hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last few years. In some cases, cost savings and increased revenue resulted in healthcare practices saving more than twice the amount they spent on our IT services.
Today, it’s reasonable to expect an IT company to help their clients use technology in a way that yields higher profits, but this hasn’t always been the case. Historically IT has operated solely within a support and infrastructure role. IT professionals weren’t consultants who helped their clients figure out their own business processes; we were the company that clients called to ask for computer maintenance and tech support.
Rubber Meets the Road
IT is in in the midst of an industry-wide changeover, and we’ve been retooling our company to fit this new reality. We’re investing more in understanding business processes. Internet of Things (IoT) systems help us do that by monitoring activity and reporting back to dashboards that measure performance indicators company-wide. IoT systems provide much greater business intelligence than was ever possible before, and deploying them for our clients requires a more critical and valuable relationship than one of mere support.
Candidly, I’ll say that for us, deploying a consultative approach to IT is a work in progress. We’ve developed our expertise one vertical at a time, in specific industries like healthcare and professional services. We have more work to do but are committed to not only our own success as a company but in evolving to be the type of IT company our clients need us to be.
Do you still consider your IT provider a cost or line-item expense – a liability? Or do you benefit from their expertise as an asset that boosts both your business intelligence and your bottom line?