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Has Your Company Outgrown Your “IT Guy”

By Ken Presti, Contributing Columnist

It starts with a nagging suspicion that things aren’t in synch, and kind of grows from there.  Symptoms include long response times, an inability to scale, and sometimes just an all-out failure to keep things working.  At one time or another, every company faces the question of whether they have outgrown their IT guy.

The causes can be many, but typically fall into one of two buckets.  The most obvious one is the inability of said IT guy to keep up with the changes of the industry and grow with the job.  In these situations, the answer may be as simple as getting some additional training, as opposed to looking for someone new.  But very often, it’s far more complicated than that.  In some ways, Moore’s Law has now been applied to human resources.  Managers are expected to get more from the people they’ve got, and next quarter they are expected to get more still.  And if you think that’s bad, just wait til the quarter after that.  So very often, it is not a lack of ability or a lack of willingness on the part of the employee, it is simply a matter of trying to get too much done with too few bodies.

When faced with such difficulties with your IT support, there are a couple of different ways you can go.  The least advisable option is to keep bumping along with the situation you’ve got, due to the budget requirements at hand. Unfortunately, a lot of companies go this route, and they do so at substantial risk. The best choice, of course, is heavily dependent upon how much wiggle room there might be for that line item.  For example, you may be able to bring someone onto the team, either as a full-time employee, a part-time employee, or a contractor of some type.  In many cases, you may find channel partners in your area who are ready, willing, and able to either meet your IT needs, or at least add additional resources to the equation without increasing your headcount.

But the important part is that management recognizes the critical role that IT plays in the organization, and is willing to provide the extra support, and least as a defensive maneuver to help protect the company’s ability to deliver on business-level objectives.  In this situation, it may be necessary to make some pretty difficult choices.  But assuming that IT is mission-critical to the company, making such a choice is critical to the bottom line.

The good thing about working with a channel partner is that you can usually find some level of supplementary service that suit’s your company’s budget, whatever that might be. And sometimes the effects of just a little bit of help can far exceed the incremental cost.

Thus, with a little bit of planning, and a little bit of flexibility, you can bring a higher degree of IT efficiency, and oftentimes accomplish that goal while leaving your primary team intact.

Ken Presti has extensive experience in channel program analysis and development.  He is the founder of Presti Research.  His company  focuses on channel and go-to-market programs and strategies in order to help our clients build successful and profitable partnerships with compatible companies.

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Content Marketing: How to Create a Self-Publishing Practice

Many companies are starting to hire journalists, or experienced columnists with domain knowledge, to help them increase the appetite for and influence of their corporate blogs. Without a doubt, your storylines must be of interest to your target audience and contain meaningful substance within your editorial text. Yes, this is a no-brainer. But there are other things you can do to increase your reach if you’re a big company, or get noticed if you’re a small company. Consider guest blogging. Better yet, consider self-publishing on major media sites.

Huh? Guest blogging just means that you plug into an already existing blog on a third-party site. Self-publishing on major media sites is a different animal. The Service Provider Marketing organization at Cisco has been using a hybrid model of offering traditional press releases to editors and self-published content themselves for about a year. “It’s not paid media and it’s not a typical blog post”, says David Deans (@dhdeans), the champion of self publishing in Cisco’s Service Provider Marketing group. Then what is it? Read More »

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Social Media Lessons from Harry Potter’s Deathly Hallows

I saw the new Harry Potter movie, The Deathly Hallows over the Thanksgiving break. I don’t want to spoil the movie for those who haven’t seen it yet or didn’t read the last book so if you are one of those people, be forewarned: just for fun and inspired by the movie, this blog post uncovers some lessons the 3 deathly hallows (ooops, did I just slip up and tell you there were 3?) can teach us, social media practitioners.

Ok, so the outcome for us won’t be as devastating as for the Peverell brothers but in order to continue to evolve in our practices, we should keep in mind the following lessons. 

1. Elder Wand. (a.k.a. Wand of Destiny). “The wand will never fully work for the new user unless he or she directly disarms, stuns or kills (even in Muggle fashion) the previous master. Rowling has stated that the wand is brutal in its choice of master, and that, whilst most wands have some allegiance to their own masters, the Elder Wand only responds to power.” 1  

Let’s look at the significance of the wand more closely and less literally. In order for the wand to keep working, each consecutive owner needs to be  Read More »

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Collaboration Tools for Small Business

Share knowledge and expand your company’s reach with collaboration tools

This article is a follow-up to my last article, The Secrets to Attracting Business Online.  Once again, small business expert Guy Kawasaki has tips for small business owner Ronald Banks, but this time the topic is collaboration tools.

Companies of all sizes increasingly are looking to technology-based business collaboration tools to communicate more efficiently and effectively with co-workers and clients.

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Welcome to Cisco’s New Social Media Blog!

We are very excited to launch our new Social Media blog where we will highlight best practices, case studies and shared learning from across Cisco and beyond. This blog will serve as a platform for social media practitioners around the world both inside and outside Cisco to share their thoughts, insights and experiences connecting with customers via social media. We all know that social media is a two-way conversation and that’s why we’re hoping that you will join the discussion here and also share your experiences with us. We have lots of great insights to share with you but we’re also interested in hearing about specific topics that you’d like to see covered. Please post a comment below and let us know!

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