When you think of your IT decisions, you probably think of features, functions, cost, operations, and, hopefully, how well your IT decisions support your business goals and objectives.
Have you, however, ever considered if your IT decisions impact your ability to hire the best talent? Just like your reputation as an employer, office space, and benefits package make an impression on prospective employees, so does your IT.
Case in Point: Blackberry. As recently as two years ago, most companies picked a carrier, a few models of phones, and provided them to employees. Blackberry was on top. With the rapid expansion of smartphone capabilities, a growing number of employees chose to opt-out of the company option and use their personal device. Businesses obliged and “Bring Your Own Device” is becoming the norm (as are Android and IOS devices). After all, why limit your employees to a lesser solution that makes them less productive?
Why would a potential employee want to work at a company where the technology is a step backward?
With the adoption rate of cloud computing solutions, such as Google Apps, at universities, high schools, and even grade and middle schools exploding, your future employees are already used to working in an IT environment that enables communication and collaboration in ways traditional in-house systems cannot.
The people you want to hire already …
- Use on-line and real-time collaboration.
- Expect secure access to information from any device they choose, wherever they are working, without the headaches and challenges of VPNs and remote desktop solutions.
- Take advantage of integrated communication services.
- Expect constant improvements in the IT services they use.
So when the people you want to hire walk into your business, what do they see? Do they see the dynamic, responsive, IT infrastructure that they know and love? Or, do they see reliance on centralized information silos, collaboration via email attachments, limited access to information and their peers, and an environment that only sees improvements every three to five years?
As you plan your next round of IT upgrades and changes, avoid inertia and look beyond the next version of the status quo. Look at IT solutions that can fundamentally change and improve the ability of your knowledge workers to communicate and collaborate — to use their knowledge. Look at IT solutions that scale as your business evolves. Look at IT solutions that give your business the power of continuous innovation.
Look at Cloud Computing. Look at Google Apps.