IT Departments across America are under attack from a variety of threats, and unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Not long ago, IT was considered to be a non-revenue generating department that was there to support the business from the basement or the suburbs (whichever office space was cheaper). These lonely squires have now turned into shining knights, tasked with everything from improving customer experience to creating efficiency within every facet of the organization. The problem is that these knights are expensive. Then came SaaS (Software as a Service) to the rescue; why invest on the ground when you can have a castle in the “cloud”?
This is where I see many businesses getting themselves in trouble, and quickly. The age of outsourcing your intellectual talent oscillates like a fan in the room, depending more upon the CEO/CIO comfort level and vision. Here are two specific reasons why I think IT leaders should be cautious when it comes to outsourcing IT resources in the cloud.
- Salesforce isn’t just a CRM, it is a platform that you can build upon. Keeping highly trained individuals employed within your organization that truly understand your business challenges is paramount because they are invested in understanding your business challenges explicitly. Nevertheless, outsourcing is a key ingredient to keeping costs down and getting access to short term talent you need to solve your problems of today. What about the problems for tomorrow, however? Many issues you face today will look similar in the future. Creating the internal bench to tackle these problems is costly, but once the footprint is established, the benefits are felt throughout the firm. Not just from increased usage and adoption of Salesforce, but it unleashes its potential to be the game changer that Salesforce can be.
- IT needs to communicate with Sales and Marketing like never before if they want to compete in the marketplace. Once upon a time these two departments (Sales & Marketing) were in silos, but to fully maximize and shorten the sales cycle these units have become one. That means that IT has to adapt and send people that can communicate like never before, and that only comes with being part of cultural fabric of a company. Having a Business Analyst or Project Manager in a different time zone is detrimental, hence near shoring has started and will become the new norm. Being able to hire a consultant to fix/develop/lead a specific project on premise will save your firm money in the long run without the headaches and improve your ability to make changes when necessary with a flip of a switch.
Technology is the great equalizer of the 21st Century, but executing on your strategy is another. It has been preached in countless CEO/CIO seminars that “time is your biggest competitor.” If that is the case, what is the opportunity cost of doing ”nothing?” Is your firm better off today than it was six months ago? Salesforce can be the medium that transforms your business, but only if it becomes less a “C-suite conversation” and more of executable initiative.