The moment you switch on the engine, you already understand how your car works.
You know how to steer the wheel to move left or right. When you need to change lanes and ease back - or press the accelerator to push on forward. Sitting comfortably in the driver’s seat - two hands on the wheel – it’s fair to say that you have mastered this technology, and have control over the road ahead.
Suddenly, a foreign ticking sound appears. ‘That’s new’, you think. You push the pedal to find the car isn’t accelerating as it ought to be. And then, to make matters more complicated, there is building pressure from those behind you to go faster. Other drivers begin to overtake and we fall back.
Like any technology that behaves beyond our understanding, the necessary thing to do is to consult an expert. An engineer or technician with years of professional experience. As with your IT, your well-maintained car is treated and repaired. You pay the mechanic, and go on driving – only to find that the familiar ticking noise repeats in a week. What do you do from here?
You might ask the mechanic to ensure it doesn’t happen again. In response, they might ask you what you would like done. They could suggest an expensive extra (perhaps new and shiny parts) – but without proper guidance or willingness to commit to your problem, you can’t be sure they’re doing everything in their powers to get the car working properly.
You pick your suppliers because you want the best for your technology, so that you can continue to overtake the competition. You want to make sure that whenever a problem arises, it is quickly diagnosed.
Picking the right mechanic – like choosing the best supplier for your IT – is about trust. In a blink of an eye, everything that was so well managed before can fall apart, and you could find yourself depending on suppliers with ulterior, financial motives – or a lack of courage to firmly recommend options. What is objectively the best decision from here?
At Architechs, we take our clients’ challenges seriously. Like any technology, there are choices that can be made to continually adjust and advance. We believe that the following three principles indicate a supplier that is actively leading customers with solutions – not merely managing them:
Any supplier worth their salt understands that consulting is not just about ‘fixing problems’. Suggesting solutions, implementing them, and making sure the problem doesn’t repeat is a sign of a supplier that truly wants the best for their customer. It can take considerable courage, toeing the line in your relationship and asking for your confidence and trust to let the supplier handle the situation as they see best. But it brings results.
You want the big, and small, decisions to be backed up by data. Too often, experts offer solutions without analytics. As your supplier, we’re trusted to lead – but a part of that is understanding how numbers can have an effect on your margins. Otherwise it can be like driving through a fog without headlights. At Architechs we switch the lights back on, showing you how we’ve come to various conclusions and being transparent in what it could cost your company.
Without proper communication, colourful and exciting ideas for your IT can feel flat. A mechanic might prefer explaining solutions with you in terms of nuts-and-bolts, but this has no benefit to your understanding of your car – and problems may arise later on. When it comes to IT, miscommunication can be easy. We prefer to side-step the jargon and speak with you plainly, while getting across the pros and cons of our advice. Whether it is repairing, refurbishing, or remodelling your IT systems, our intention is to clearly communicate how various decisions affect your budget and suit business objectives.
Sounds productive, doesn’t it? … Productive not only for your business, but also for the supplier. From our experience, these three points have cut the time spent on decisions in our field of competence, and propelled our clients’ IT.
To get your hypothetical car back on the road (and in the fast lane) – your supplier ought to act more like breakdown cover than a mechanic; for you to trust them anytime of the day to get your machine functioning correctly, in whatever situation and make, objectively, the best decisions.
The same kind of trust built by being honest about which margins can be made on which options, and how those different options can play out. At Architechs, we understand this completely. When working alongside our clients, we’re grateful to have been trusted with their IT systems, and have embraced them as if they were own – all while being transparent about costs.