More often than not, technology is not a “set it and forget it” affair; it needs to be taken care of. Just like your smart phone and your vehicle, problems arise. You either know how to take care of it or you just get by. Eventually you will replace it. During a device’s life it has probably slowed down, run out of space, or has behaved in a way that it previously didn’t. You may have even reached out to technical support or opened a warranty case to have something fixed.

You’ve probably never compared your phone or computers in your business to your vehicle. Any mechanic will let you know when your next oil change is due. A good mechanic will fix the minor issues and be able to fix the major issues. A great mechanic will form a relationship with you and your vehicle. They will ensure the vehicle runs smoothly and keep you informed of wear and tear items, taking care of them before they become a major problem. Of course, emergencies occur; things just break. A great mechanic will take care of those problems and work with you to ensure the job is done properly, with a minimum of interruption.

Technology in a business, however, is seldom treated the same way that a great mechanic treats a vehicle. Companies buy a computer, install a few programs, and just let it run. Their brother may have installed it and their assistant’s sister-in-law’s cousin upgraded it. The intern who knows some stuff probably removed some malware and ran some tools on it that he heard will make it run better. The problem that often occurs in these situations is that they don’t really fix anything unless you tell them that you think something is wrong. Your computers and servers, along with networking equipment, firewalls and storage devices are not being proactively monitored. Yes, your person will drop what they’re doing, when they can, and fix it to the best of their knowledge. Chances are that it seems like the problem has been fixed. Quite often, nothing more than the immediate problem at hand has been considered. Eventually someone in your company realizes that they keep having the same problem. That same problem may have happened to everyone at one stage or another. Seeing there is no documentation, and no one is proactively monitoring downtime and technology issues, no one noticed that the problem could have been fixed the first time, for everyone.

Stop and consider how you treat your technology.  You may realize that it is not running efficiently nor is it being used efficiently. You may also consider what else has been missed. Just like with a vehicle and its trusted mechanic, it wouldn’t be wise to go ahead with a major repair without considering alternatives. Would another mechanic charge a similar amount? Is their diagnosis of the problem the same? What will it cost to replace it rather than repair it? A second opinion rarely ever hurts. A third will safely set your mind at ease.

If you want to improve the relationship between your company and its technology, find someone who will give you an honest opinion. It’s worth having a second opinion, even if you find out that things are running well. If you let them build a relationship with you, they’ll take care of your technology every step of the way and let you get back to running your business.

Let someone be your technology’s mechanic. Let them build a relationship with you and your technology. They’ll perform the maintenance items without hesitation and keep you informed of wear and tear items. They’ll keep an eye on your technology vehicle and help you plan for future expenses. As you involve them in your business, they’ll help you stay profitable and efficient.

Justin Rabnott
BCT South Operations Manager