Risk and Reward

Why would multi-billion dollar companies choose a company like ours?  I read an article in Venture Beat that got me thinking.  Why are some large companies willing or unwilling to choose smaller providers?

Our value proposition is sound.  It makes perfect sense.  But after doing software for more than two decades, I know better than to think a rational decision will carry the day.  I have seen companies make illogical choices based on based on a myriad of horrible reasons:

How about the old “technology bias (Java vs. .Net, etc…)”?

I speak Geek.  So let me interpret for you: We here in IT are comfortable.  We don’t want to change, even if there are better tools to help the business grow.  Tell me how any of that really makes good business sense. Sure they might have to hire (or outsource) programmers or new system administration, etc… But seriously???

“We don’t have the man power or expertise.”

Translation: Did I just hear you say your people aren’t smart enough to learn something new or will refuse to do so?  Are you saying that you cannot retool your current assets, be they human or machine?  If there is budget, there is opportunity.

And my all-time favorite, “We are too far down the road (2+ yrs.) on the current upgrade.”

Interpretation: Are you are doing a technology/software upgrade that is more than 2 years in execution???  I am speechless.  OK, not really.  Two years in tech are like dog years.  It’s about 14 years on an evolutionary scale.  I am telling you that “Plan” is going to set your company BACK not carry it forward.

This is business.  The business makes the money and it shouldn’t be held hostage by IT doing what’s best for themselves.  IT should be the problem solvers and deliver value to the company, not the lynch pin that stifles growth and innovation of the business. So we techies need to be flexible.  We shouldn’t be afraid of learning something new.  I don’t want to hear about risk.  IT can mitigate risk through careful planning and execution.  Move on, next excuse please!

I digress.  So why partner with a smaller firm if you are the 800 pound gorilla?  Because smaller and often younger companies are exactly the opposite of traditional IT departments.  We don’t say, “No, we can’t do that.”  We say, “Sure”, let’s figure it out.  That doesn’t mean that off-the-shelf solutions do not fit well.  It means that every project has risk and requires change.  Young companies are willing to tackle that, I would even assert that we expect it.

When companies tell us they need better security, fraud mitigation or data from an AS400, we say “Ok, when do you need it?”  When seasoned companies (nice way of saying old) ask about integrating to their legacy systems we provide options.  Our customers are growing as fast as we are.  Why?  Because they are finding external IT resources who will provide solutions, not problems.  Oh, and it will cost significantly less than the traditional “Big Six” solution.  Better still, unlike a stagnant IT department, we have a vested interest in the success of every project.  We don’t hide in the basement and pretend that we can’t do something because the world is ending (think Coronavirus).  We make bold moves in new ways.

Risk and change are part of starting a new company.  We will take tremendous financial and career risk to create a disruptive force that will drive change.  Funny thing is this…. I love it. We love it.  It’s the norm at my company.  If we aren’t changing, we aren’t growing.  Ask Blockbuster video how not changing worked for them.

Status Quo is often a rut.    A rut is nothing more than a coffin with the ends kicked out.  I don’t know where it leads, but either way you are already six feet under!