Imagine you wanted to run a marathon in six months’ time. You might sign up for a gym membership, giving you access to the equipment and facilities to help you reach your goal. The problem, however, is that the membership only solves a specific need – by giving you access to high-tech treadmills, for example. Yes, the treadmill has cool features, but does the membership in and of itself accelerate you towards your goal of running a marathon? In a word, no.
That’s because working up to running 42km on the treadmill is not the most efficient (or exciting) way to reach your goal. You’ll get there eventually, but there are smarter, faster ways to do it.
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Elite athletes know that they need a comprehensive approach to fitness. So, they don’t just run on the treadmill. They hire a nutritionist to ensure they’re fuelling their body with the right food. They hire a personal trainer to show them how to use weights and equipment correctly to strengthen their core and legs. They join yoga classes to improve their flexibility, breathing and focus.
Yet most people join a gym, pay the exorbitant fees and do the same exercises every day, wondering why they do not see results fast. Didn’t Einstein say this was the definition of insanity?
And yet, this is how integrated and managed services have operated for years. Systems integrators sell products and subscriptions to businesses – such as firewalls, e-mail services or wireless connectivity – that might solve a specific IT problem but do little to accelerate the company towards a desired goal or outcome.
If it feels like a grudge purchase, it probably is
If your systems integrator is selling you solutions that only solve individual IT needs and don’t enable your business strategy, it’s time to start asking why. Why are you paying for a service month after month that keeps delivering the same result and not a specific business outcome?
Sure, your firewall improves your business security, your Wi-Fi solution provides connectivity, and your e-mail service blocks spam. But are any of these accelerating your business strategy, or are they just solving IT problems?
For example, your provider might be offering you e-mail security, but are they overlaying data analytics and metrics that can determine the success of certain e-mail campaigns, provide geolocation information about where your clients are e-mailing from or any other statistical or analytical information that can provide information and improve your business.
Business acceleration as a service
Systems integration needs to move from focusing on IT services, products, vendors or solutions to understanding how to drive business outcomes from your entire technological landscape.
Three6five takes a different approach to systems integration that melds business analysis and technology to provide an integrated solution that gives you meaningful data and measurable outcomes.
We don’t engage with our clients only from a technological standpoint but also from a strategic one. Our analysts, intelligence specialists and development managers start with understanding your strategy – or helping you create one – and translate your goals into technical outcomes.
We don’t just solve IT problems. We use IT to help your business. And we deliver tangible results that get you where you want to go, faster. That’s not to say that technology isn’t important – it absolutely is. But the wrong technology could hinder your business. The difference is that we assist you to use technology in remarkable ways to achieve a defined outcome.
Our approach is to demonstrate value before you sign up. That starts by either understanding and validating your existing business strategy or by helping you create one (hint: reducing costs and improving efficiencies is not a strategy – it’s a result). Then, we look at what you already have and how you can use it in new and different ways.
A line in the sand
Three6five is not your traditional systems integrator.
Traditional systems integrators rarely commit to a specific business outcome. As long as their services work, they believe they’re doing their jobs – and so do their customers.
At three6five, we aren’t afraid to draw a line in the sand. Everything we do is translated into a measurable outcome against which you can benchmark our performance.
So, ask yourself, do your technology services only solve technical problems, or do they measurably accelerate your business and strategy? And if not, it might be time to get off the treadmill and switch to a technology partner who’s committed to your success.
Three6five is a leading digital business infrastructure operations (DBIO) solutions provider. Founded by engineers in 2006, three6five understands how to apply digital technologies and build and manage digital networks that work best for businesses. It helps clients identify and seize in-the-moment, business-defining outcomes, helping them create, deploy and support the forward-thinking infrastructure they need to translate digital technology into business success. Three6five is a proud B-BBEE level-2 contributor. For more information, contact three6five today.
- The author, Adam White, is chief technology officer at three6five
- This promoted content was paid for by the party concerned