By John W. Hey, CBCP
Chief Operating Officer
Trivalent Group, Inc.
When trying to write blogs that are neutral in their content, I almost feel like I have a conflict of interest in writing about why you should use an IT professional—almost. The fact is what I am suggesting in the words to come is good advice—I would give it to anyone—even if I were in a different line of work.
We have long based this discussion on a few key points that seem to resonate with businesses we talk to. First, what is your business in existence to do? What is core to your business? Unless your business exists to implement IT, IT is not core to what you do.
If you are a dentistry practice, for example, then providing dental care is core to your business, and the technology that supports your tools, x-ray machines, and billing software are contextual to that. If you are going to build and be the best dental practice in the marketplace, can you really achieve that if you are spending your time and focus on configuring your Internet router? Uniformly, I would argue that no, you cannot.
Secondly, and supporting the first point, do you really have the expertise to dabble in IT? Granted, technology has become more usable and less complex. I will also grant you that, as our society has become more tech-centric, our overall comfort level has increased, and our vernacular has widened to the point that, when I say “cloud,” you aren’t 100% certain I’m talking about something in the sky.
As dangerous as it is, I compare such dabbling to working on my own car. I can change the oil in my car myself. I did it years ago. It’s essentially the same. There is still an oil filter and a drain plug to let the old oil out. Fundamentally, it’s the same old task from days gone by. But you know that if you get into the engine compartment and underpinnings, there are more wires and plugs now that I don’t recognize, things that need to be detached, etc. And the air filter—where is that thing even stored nowadays anyway?
It’s much the same trying to configure your own Internet router (or any other aspect of your IT infrastructure). These days, an unchecked checkbox, a misconfigured setting, an incorrect address by one digit—they can all become something between a vulnerability and a costly needle-in-the-haystack problem to solve.
You call lawyers for legal advice. Plumbers for plumbing needs. CPAs for tax consulting. Look at an IT professional the same way.
Finally, ask yourself: Is this the highest and best use of my time? What am I not focusing or spending time on because I’m trying to be an IT person? What is going to make me the most money? Save me the most time? Be the most beneficial to my business? Give me more time with my family?
If playing with your technology is the answer to those things—by all means continue. And please send me your resume—we’re hiring! If it’s no, then you’ve just answered the question of this blog! Make it a great day!