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Dancing in the spotlight for the right reasons

Let’s be honest for a moment. IT companies only really become visible when there’s a ‘crisis’ and issues need to be resolved as quickly as possible.

I use the term crisis loosely because the loss of email can be a catastrophe for some people – especially if they are in the middle of something or have a deadline for sending documents and data. It’s easy to empathise as it’s happened to the best of us at one time or other and in that split second when we realise our machines won’t do what we want them to and it’s serious, it feels like the world is caving in. But these problems are easy to fix and we get the person up and running again in no time.

At the other end of the scale genuine disaster recovery can be as extreme as getting an organisation operational again within four hours in temporary offices as its HQ is ankle deep in water after a burst pipe.

OK, these are extremes at both ends of the spectrum but IT firms deal with these, and everything else in between, on a daily basis. And as quickly as IT firms are catapulted onto centre stage to resolve problems, they fade back into obscurity when these things are fixed and a company goes on its merry way again.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hankering for some kind of award or public recognition for the lot of IT firms who spend the vast majority of time working behind the scenes to keep things going and occasionally pop up when things go wrong. But what never ceases to amaze me is a general perception that IT people only spring into action when there’s a problem.

I don’t know if you are watching BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing again this year but one of my colleagues who is glued to it every weekend has drawn a comparison between IT firms and the professional dancers who help the celebrities learn new dances for each week’s live show.

Now let’s clear this up right here and now, Brendan Cole I ain’t. But I can kind of see what she’s driving at.

IT is the infrastructure (or in this case the professional dancer) which allows a company (celebrity) to function as they are the ones that are firmly in the spotlight and that are being judged on their performance.

OK so the analogy is a little thin, but there is a ring of truth about it. We do the things that make our clients look good, be it to themselves or to the outside world.

And this was exactly the case in point recently when one of our clients was thrust into the national spotlight for being an innovator in its sector. The great and the good from their industry descended in busloads to see what they did and how the rest of the UK could learn from practices they had developed.

Our client took all the plaudits as the media filmed and took pictures and industry bigwigs pored over some of the displays and demonstrations that the organisation put on to showcase how it had created a blueprint that others want to emulate. And the client was very magnanimous and gave us sizable credit for what they had achieved.

However, the truth is they deserve all the credit they can get because the reason they are where they are is because they had the foresight to look at where they wanted to be and asked us to help them get there.

We have worked with them, much like the professional dancer I suppose, to take their vision and make it a reality. We created the plan for them to work to and along the way have given them the things that have been instrumental to their development such that they are now, as their newly hung plaque on their wall denotes, an innovator and have raised the bar for their industry.

In this case we have been visible in the planning, development, implementation and management of the system, rather than just popping up when something’s gone wrong.

And I can’t deny it’s a great feeling to sit there and bask in the reflective glory of our client’s achievements.

Andy Dent

 

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