It was a crisp morning, the kind where every breath feels rejuvenating. The local coffee shop, its windows fogging up from the steam of brewing coffee and the smell of old books on the shelves, welcomed customers with an aroma that promised warmth and comfort. Bret Taylor, the CEO of Onset Solutions, settled into a corner booth, waiting for his old friend, a fellow entrepreneur who had built his own business from scratch. Their meetings were a little less frequent than either of them would have liked, but every conversation tended to be a mixture of shared memories and keen insights into their respective world of business.
As the two friends settled into their seats, their coffees steaming in front of them, they began to reminisce about their early days of their businesses, the challenges they faced, and the lessons they had learned. But as often happens in such conversations between entrepreneurs, the topic eventually shifted to the current challenges and opportunities in their respective industries.
“We’ve been growing, Bret.” the friend began, his tone a mixture of pride and concern, “But with growth comes new challenges. We have this guy who helps out with our IT after hours. As far as we know, he’s capable and generally reliable, albeit with a wait, but I often feel like we’re always playing catch-up. We handle IT issues as they come, always reactive, never really proactive. It’s worked for us so far, but I wonder if we’re temping fate?”
Bret, understanding the nuance of his friend’s concern, leaned forward, his fingers wrapped around his coffee mug for warmth. “Think of implementing proactive IT solutions as being similar to your health,” Bret began, his voice gentle but persuasive. “Knowing you, I don’t envision that you’d wait for a major health issue to pop-up before seeing a doctor. Instead, you willingly go in for regular check-ups, right? Similarly, being proactive with your IT infrastructure is like those check-ups – proactive maintenance, regular monitoring, optimizing performance. It’s not unlike the yearly recommendation you receive to get more exercise and eat better. You know, the things you tell me you keep aspiring for, but rarely get around to actually doing.” he said with a playful smirk. “The joy in what we do, is that our clients don’t have to do the hard work. All they have to do is show up for some decision making from time to time and allocate some funds for us to work with.”
Pausing to take a sip from his coffee, Bret looked out of the window, lost in thought. “One of our new clients,” he continued, “used to constantly be bogged down with piecemeal IT fixes. Their entire operation seemed to come to a standstill every other week. When they joined us and adopted our strategy of focusing on proactive IT solutions, not only did the number of day-to-day support requests decrease, but we could then focus our efforts on leveraging their IT infrastructure to support their business and the people they serve. For us, it’s fun and gratifying when we’re able to make such an impact.”
The friend, intrigued, leaned in, prompting Bret to delve deeper. “Once we had resolved most of the initial challenges they were experiencing,” Bret explained, “our attention shifted to recommending and then implementing proactive IT solutions that heavily focused on business continuity. This wasn’t just about backups; it was a comprehensive strategy that included having the right equipment, being prepared for disasters, addressing cybersecurity, reviewing product lifecycles, and making sure that the client had the right technology at their fingertips to be successful. While being able to recover from hard stop business outages is what most people think about, the real focus should be in proactively preventing those issues in the first place.”
The conversation flowed for a while longer, meandering through various facets of business, life, and everything in between. But as the two entrepreneurs got up to leave, it was clear that this chat had left a deep impact. As they walked through the door onto the sidewalk, Bret’s friend had a thoughtful expression. He carried with him more than just the aftertaste of his latte. It was a renewed perspective on IT, a realization of its potential impact on his business, and the understanding that in the ever-evolving world of technology, being proactive is not just a choice but a necessity.