In business, you have to look forward in order to grow. Just because what you have now is selling well doesn’t mean the fast shifts in technology and demand won’t make you tomorrow’s dodo bird. And this is something I’ve been blogging about for years but it’s finally being noticed by IT shops out there in the SMB:
In a way, selling IT services during late 00’s and this decade has been simple mostly due to the demographics: People starting and managing companies were older, had previous jobs and careers in larger corporations that were consumed by standards, licensed software and IT departments. It was easy to sell them a PC, it was cake to get them on Windows and Office and for the most part the job security was guaranteed by your ability to be cheaper than IT staff and be able to keep it from going down.
No previous career.
No allegiance to Microsoft, apart from what they were forced to learn in school and would be shocked to know the cost of where an entire generation was raised on “things that just work” and “cost less than a few bucks, if at all.”
No fondness to “solutions” that don’t hook into their already established suite of services where all contacts, documents and data can be pulled into and out of.
They aren’t cheap – but unfortunately for the industry that specialized on selling and pushing their “supported” solution – they aren’t stupid either.
The Growth Challenge
The challenge for the MSP/VAR/ITSP folks, many of whom are significantly outside the new generation, is to figure out a way to embrace the world of services and mobile applications with the grownup (or old way) world of laws, regulations, restrictions, standardization and change management.
To a millennial, BYOD isn’t an acronym that makes sense – their entire professional life has existed in their pocket. They don’t think about “the cloud” – and judging by the people that come in for job interviews in our office looking to work for a cloud company – many don’t even know what it is. You can imagine the disillusionment that comes with compliance requests, document holds and data loss.
It’s clear that “I’m a Microsoft ______” is no longer a winning strategy (yeah, you might get the crumbs in the meantime while they figure out “mobile first, cloud first” deal but in the long run Microsoft and cheaper trunk slammers will crush you) and it hasn’t been for many for a really, really, really, really long time.
So what do you do and how do you grow in a world where the new business opportunities are coming from folks who manage their entire accounts and billing from their iPhone? I have no idea, I’m still happily cashing in on you geezers that think selling someone M$ Surface and hosted Exchange is a great way to get off a server.
But what I can tell you, and what I would love to share with you, is how my partners are able to get into this brave new world with the services and solutions we offer. If you currently work with ExchangeDefender, please join me for an hour long webinar next Thursday and if you don’t then maybe you should be.