Emphasizing the “I” in IT

Often when technology professionals communicate with small business owners and other non-technical professionals, it may seem as if they are speaking an entirely foreign language. Curtailing the tech talk and relating the customer’s needs to technology solutions should be a priority for information technology experts.  If he or she does not provide the right information in the right language, it is likely the business owner will not take the necessary steps to implement sound solutions that will improve data infrastructures and computing systems.  

Where the average technology professional may get thrilled talking about bilateral closed user groups and sub-network access protocols, your average small business owner is lost or doesn’t care. The average small and medium business owner is focused on two things: “How can I generate more revenue?” and “How can I cut costs?”  To the SMB owner, technology is frequently an annoying cost center with little discernible value.  This can be frustrating to IT staff that revel in the technology and want to go into massive detail about the bits and bytes. The key is separating the Information from the Technology.

Simplifying IT for Small Businesses

In many cases, small businesses without dedicated information technology personnel are going to be working with an outsourced IT provider. Leadership does not want to invest any time to learn the varied terminologies and diction of a different industry, especially one as complex as information technology. It is better to learn the clients’ business and needs, instead of touting your expertise by talking over their heads. Positioning yourself as a partner is more valuable to a business than reeling off the expanses of your knowledge.

As an outsourced IT provider, it is our job to understand the customers’ business drivers.  Not just to simplify a business’ data management and computing systems, but also to point out where technology can contribute to the top line revenue activities or help save on the bottom line.

Choose a Bilingual IT Expert

The ability to speak multiple languages has its benefits. By understanding your customer’s business, you can explain clearly why a certain solution is preferable to another.  Providing customers with information on business technology that they can relate to in their everyday lives goes much farther than centering on hardware specs and capabilities.

As key business partners and enablers, we know that it is not about communicating the “How it Works,” but “How it helps the Business.”  By doing this, we can move more quickly towards the implementation of optimized technologies for small businesses instead of wasting time trying to bridge a communication gap.