TECH INTELLIGENCE: Do not spend more

Instead, leverage what you already have

Carl Mazzanti//January 30, 2023//

TECH INTELLIGENCE: Do not spend more

Instead, leverage what you already have

Carl Mazzanti//January 30, 2023//

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The recently concluded 2023 Consumer Electronics Show showcased a wide array of gadgets and electronics — from personal health and entertainment to “smart” home energy-saving devices. The theme at CES may have been “shiny, exciting, and easy to buy,” but for many businesses in 2023 – struggling with rising prices and supply chain challenges – the theme could perhaps be described as, “do more with what you have already got.”

We see this trend in conversations with clients who look to their managed IT support provider to help them do more with their existing assets. Often, the initiative can start with helping companies to use features that their software already offers. For example, Windows 11 – a major release of Microsoft’s operating system first offered in October 2021 – is a free, powerful upgrade that is available for any Windows 10 device that meets certain system requirements. But many users still have not taken advantage of the upgrade.

Additionally, many businesses – of all sizes – subscribe to Microsoft 365 but have yet to explore the many collaborative, planning, scheduling and other apps included with their subscription. Why not investigate and use them?

This issue, making more of the IT assets that businesses already have, should not be seen as an isolated concern. Instead, from the vantage point of an IT support services organization, we see a correlation between an asset-oriented viewpoint shortfall and the inclination of many business owners – who are normally creative, entrepreneurial and visionary – to sometimes suffer from tunnel vision.

This tendency appears to be particularly pronounced now, when the airways are filled with gloom-and-doom forecasts about everything from the economic outlook and the possibility of a “hard landing” recession, to big layoffs at certain tech companies. Entrepreneurs should always be aware of what’s going on in the wider ecosystem and should be ready to respond appropriately, but it is also too easy to get overwhelmed and overreact. For example, the gyrational swings of large tech and other companies do not always correlate with the experience of smaller, more nimble businesses. Even as Amazon plans to cut a record-breaking 18,000 jobs, many smaller businesses report healthy returns, and they are trying to fill positions instead of slashing them.

The danger is that just as business owners who ignore the potential of their existing software may incur unnecessary expenses and potentially curb their revenue growth, entrepreneurs who “feed the negative beast” may focus on shortfalls instead of opportunities and could shortchange their future.

Pursuing a growth path, instead of stagnating or retreating, starts with a certain mindset: like an outlook that acknowledges such challenges as rising prices and supply chain unease without being defined by or limited by them. Instead, entrepreneurs with a vision will channel their energy productively, taking inventory of their assets and then exploring ways to deploy them efficiently, maximizing their positive impact.

In the IT segment, for example, this process can mean reaching out to vendors and discussing ways to exploit the capabilities of an organization’s existing software instead of buying up to the next level of shiny things. In our experience, an expertly configured “OK” product will beat an inefficiently configured premium product out of the gate each time.

A client-oriented managed IT services provider, for example, may maintain an internal customer improvement program where each software engineer is encouraged to devote up to 20% of their time every week to focusing on ways to help customers do more with what they have, developing tweaks and improvements that will deliver enhanced results while communicating these forward-looking modifications to clients so they can realize maximum leverage. Just as many IT users do not recognize the full potential of their Windows systems, a professional IT support services organization can help clients realize the full potential of their existing IT assets.

Carl Mazzanti

Features like automated bots (autonomous programs on the internet or other networks that can interact with systems or users), artificial intelligence, or DNS configurations (Domain Name System, which translates human-readable domain names like www.amazon.com to machine-readable IP addresses) can leverage a businesses’ capabilities, enabling it to accomplish more without spending more.

To paraphrase poet Robert Browning, a person’s reach should exceed their grasp — and business owners who work with their dedicated IT service providers will be able to enhance their reach while staying within their budget.

Carl Mazzanti is president of eMazzanti Technologies in Hoboken.