Things don’t always go as planned. In terms of IT projects and initiatives, that can be disastrous. At the very least, it can result in unexpected and excessive costs, delays, downtime, and unhappy end users and customers. That’s why IT agility — and agility in general — is so important.
On both the service provider side and the customer side, being able to quickly respond to and/or adapt to changes is essential. That’s true whether it’s in regard to a specific project or in terms of what’s going on in the market and the industry.
Change is hard
Unfortunately, many companies struggle with a change in direction. They’re often resistant, perhaps out of fear of potential costs or delays, or have to scramble to make the necessary adjustments because they weren’t prepared. The latter is something most companies have experienced to some extent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Therein lies the problem. Agility requires companies to not only be open to change but also ready to act. The rise of agile software development throughout the first decade of this century has helped to an extent. More companies are starting to integrate the basic tenets of agile into various aspects of their business operations, along with approaches like design thinking.
But there are still too many companies that refuse too deviate to far from “business as usual.” It’s one of the reasons so many struggle when a natural or manmade disaster strikes. They didn’t have a disaster recovery or business continuity plan in place. Or they did, but it was never tested and didn’t perform as expected when needed. In both scenarios, the failure typically resulted from resistance to making a change in priorities.
That same kind of resistance is also why some organizations cling to on-premise IT infrastructure rather than taking advantage of all the benefits of the cloud. A cloud migration would require significant change at many levels throughout the organization. There’s also fear of the unknown, of letting go of control of IT infrastructure, and of potential staff losses.
The upside of agility
There are no set guidelines for how to make agility a regular way of doing business. We can say, at least for US Signal, embracing agility can be instrumental to success. A look at US Signal’s evolution over the last 20 years demonstrates it. By listening to our customers and being responsive to changing market needs and trends, we’ve become a valuable IT solutions provider and trusted partner for companies doing business in the Midwest.
However, agility isn’t just a matter of responding to market and industry changes. It’s also about being able to handle the unexpected as referenced at the beginning of this blog. Successfully handling change is what solves problems, earns customer loyalty, and opens doors to new opportunities.
Agility in action
Case in point: a city-level government entity wanted to get out of the on-premise data center business and move everything to the cloud. Things typically move slowly at any level of government, so getting to this point was already a major accomplishment for the organization. US Signal worked with the customer to architect the solution, and things were moving ahead.
Then there was a change in the project leadership on the client side. New information emerged that drastically changed the scope of the project and what would be required to execute it. Not everything was going to able to be moved to the cloud. Deadlines still needed to be met.
Things could have easily come to a standstill or moved ahead without consideration of the changes. Either scenario would have been disastrous.
Instead, US Signal and the customer worked together to quickly reassess the business requirements and objectives and consider new options. Fortunately, US Signal offers a broad portfolio of customizable products and services, along with flexible terms. That made developing and implementing an optimal solution easier.
The project was completed within the required timeframe. It not only accommodated the change in scope. It delivers IT agility that will enable the customer to accommodate future changes. It’s also providing numerous other benefits — not the least of which is peace of mind for the customer.
In a world in which change is more the norm than not, agility is important for business success. To learn how US Signal’s flexible approach — and equally flexible products and services — can benefit your organization, contact us. Call 866.2. SIGNAL or email us at: [email protected].