CIOs and IT leaders have a tough job. They need to deliver results, hire the right talent, make sure they have the right technology in place, and be relevant to the business. The worst thing in the world is when an IT organization has to use key resources and time to deal with a telecom issue that dramatically impacts their business.

Telecom is not perfect. In fact it can be chaotic. Most IT leaders don’t even like dealing with telecom. Unfortunately telecom problems will happen, issues will arise, and your business will be impacted. There are many things in the back of the IT leader’s mind, but some things are more dramatic than others. Let’s take a look at 5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night:

5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #1: Carrier Service Outages

Outages cause major disruption. It impacts customers, results in lost business and may lead to poor reputation. Service outages also result in critical IT resources spending valuable time trying to resolve these issues. Whether they are handling help desk calls or working with the carriers to get the issue resolved quickly, they are not spending time on more important IT initiatives.

As a preventative measure, it is important to have a disaster recovery plan in place or a backup connection. Make sure to do your due diligence to find the right provider who has a proven track record for uptime and getting issues resolved quickly.

5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #2: Lost or Stolen Mobile Devices

The growth of mobility has spurred great opportunity for businesses, but it has also created potential nightmares for IT leaders.  Critical customer data or company data can easily be lost if a mobile device is misplaced or stolen. BYOD has created many risks for companies who allow employees to bring their own mobile device (iPads, iPhones, tablets, etc).

Not having the right security policy or mobile device management platform in place creates risks to your organization, and a nightmare for IT leaders.

5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #3: Fiber or Line Cut

Some things you can control, some things you can’t. When a backhoe goes through your fiber line, the only thing you can do is hope the problem is solved quickly and efficiently with little impact to the business (if that is even possible). Just as a carrier service outage causes a major disruption, so does a fiber line cut. Most companies have a plan in place to deal with this type of situation. Some companies do not, and they pay the price.

5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #4: Data Security Breach

Imagine this scenario. An employee was let go or leaves your company and in the process takes critical company data with them. Whether an employee steals data, your network is attacked by a virus or malware, or someone hacks into your system – the nightmare is made real for the IT leader. Having a secure network and the right platforms/processes in place to protect your company data will mitigate (not eliminate) the risk of your data being breached.

5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #5: Carrier Implementation

So you feel good about that three year contract you just signed with your carrier. You have confidence in their ability to deliver and they tell you time and time again everything will be “fine”. Think again.

Now it’s implementation time. You may feel like you did your due diligence in selecting the right carrier and technology, but if you 1) don’t have the right resources and plan in place to manage the implementation process and; 2) have not identified the risks involved in the implementation, you are setting yourself and your company up for failure.

Let’s face it, dealing with carriers is not fun and implementations do go bad. Having the right plan in place, resources who know how to work with carriers, escalate issues, and have the resources needed to solve problems when they arise will help mitigate implementation nightmares.

Preventative Measures and Expert Partners Help IT Leaders Sleep Soundly

The fallout from these types of real-life nightmares result in lost customers, poor reputations, lost revenues, lost confidence, and sometimes… lost jobs.

But having the right disaster recovery plan in place, the right technology to protect and secure data and mobile devices, and a plan to implement carrier services will help mitigate these risks in the future and more importantly – you will get more sleep at night! Not sure where to start with preventative action? No need to procrastinate. Enlist the help of a trusted partner to get you started in the right direction.

Are there any other telecom nightmares that keep you up at night? Comment below.

As an IT leader, do you remember the first time you had that ‘aha’ moment when you realized that you can’t be all things to all stakeholders because of the pesky, immutable Economic Law of limited resources/unlimited opportunity? If you are like other IT leaders, that moment of enlightenment was probably both liberating and frustrating.  The former because it took the pressure off of trying to do too much with limited money, time and talent; the latter because you still knew there were many un-done or un-initiated projects or solutions that could drive your business forward by leveraging technology correctly.

Well the difference between great IT leaders and those locked into spending approximately two thirds of their budgets on operational needs vs. innovation, are those that do something about this Law of Economics vs. simply accepting it.

Another way to approach the challenge is to ask “What is NOT worth the limited resources you have (Time, Money, Talent), but you always assumed it had to be done by your department”?

Telecom.  Even the word implies out-dated and non-strategic, limited ROI, and frustrating. Important, yes. Strategic, no. A wise use of your time, people, and money to manage wireline and mobility? No.

Here are three key reasons Telecom Management should not compete for your valuable time, people, and resources.

Reason #1 Telecom Management is Not Worth Your IT Time: IT is Strategic. Telecom is Tactical

What would you rather have your star IT talent focus on 1) Transformative IT Technology that will grow your business and keep you at the CEO planning table OR 2) Answer help desk calls on why someone’s mobile phone is not pulling email.

Sound familiar? How about this long list of tactical, talent-wasting activities that have a huge opportunity cost for your IT achievements:

  • Meeting with numerous Carriers that waste valuable time selling their brand of Kool Aid
  • Reviewing Wireline and Mobile Telecom bills and contracts
  • Evaluating Mobile Device Management  platforms and how to manage them
  • Staying current on the best DR strategies and solutions
  • Escalating trouble tickets with non-responsive Carriers

The list can go on and on….it’s all tactical Telecom Management, and it’s all preventing you from being efficient and innovative.

Reason #2 Telecom Management is Not Worth Your IT Time:  Expertise is Unlikely; Mediocrity is Best Case

It is no secret that Carriers have reduced investment in customer service to the Mid Market Enterprise.  This trend has required companies to either accept the frustration and inefficiency that it produces, or expect their IT staff to pick up the slack. Do you want your best IT talent (or any valuable FTE role) investing their training and educational time on learning the latest mobility rate plans, or how to mitigate risks in a SIP environment, or even what is the lowest cost/most reliable DR solution deployed by peers in your industry?

Will these tasks transform your business or create innovation relative to your competitors? Of course not. Your staff knows this as well, and that is precisely why they don’t gain this expertise; namely, there is not a strong ROI to them or you, hence Mid-market firms are destined to experience mediocre Telecom Management outcomes at best, and very wasteful and potentially damaging outcomes at worst.

Reason #3 Telecom Management is Not Worth Your IT Time: Money

Let’s face it, at the end of the day all business decisions are about a return on investment.  However pouring money into developing the people, processes and tools to manage world-class Telecom outcomes is not a good use of finite resources nor will it produce innovation or business growth from technology that your Executive peers demand.

Conversely, ignoring one of your largest operating expenses within your IT budget will surely mean substantial money will be left on the table. In fact, most industry experts put the financial costs overruns that occur when mid-market firms try to take on Telecom Management internally at 20 to 30% or more in terms of Total Cost of Telecom. Therefore, accepting the status quo will guarantee one thing: waste.  And that means less money for IT, and less focus from your IT staff.

Telecom Management: Conclusion

Firms have always sought to fill this inevitable gap between what your internal talent can effectively do, and what is desired to run wireline and mobility outcomes well. Usually this results in viewing Telecom Management as catalyst driven and thus contracting with third party experts on an as needed basis such as contract renewals, expense management, consulting etc.  However that still leaves most firms with managing multiple parties to produce the outcomes desired.

The solution is to view Telecom as a process and not an event.  This thinking then frees up firms to gain all the benefits of solving the three areas highlighted here. Seeking fully outsourced Telecom Management by partnering with a firm that invests in the people, process, and tools to run world-class Telecom Departments is the only sure path to an efficient IT staff focused on strategic initiatives, world-class service to your end users, and substantial savings that can be better invested in technology vs. Telecom.

Like what you hear? Contact Renodis today to learn how Turnkey Telecom Management helps businesses manage all Telecom outcomes in a holistic and integrated fashion while allowing valuable IT staff to focus on strategic transformation not operational chaos.

Our Renodis team had a great time presenting and sponsoring last week at the Mid Market CIO Executive Summit in Minneapolis. We were yet again reminded that IT folks are natural problem solvers, a pivotal piece in the success of business, and fun to chat with!

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