Breaking Out of the IT Box

Written by Heidi Alert
Corporate Manager Sales & Marketing Strategies, Teleios Systems Limited

You don’t have to live long in the Technology Provider space before you hear the mantra “Add value!”  The Cloud has brought about a revolution in the way consumers buy and use technology.  No longer are decisions made solely through infrastructure and major platform purchases – business users with intimate knowledge of their needs are able to purchase solutions based on their business line budgets. 

A recent report that Microsoft commissioned through IDC reveals the stunning statistic that over 60% of technology projects will be sponsored through business funds.  Even more than that, 81% of technology project investments will involve business users. 

In many ways, these statistics represent a world of opportunity that should excite the sales teams and owners of technology firms both large and small. 

The challenge?  If you ask the average sales person at technology firm, over 90%, if not all, of their contacts are in the IT Group.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I have great respect for IT (I work in a firm of brilliant engineers), and I also believe that IT can be a great partner in helping business users to maximize technology to accomplish their work.  But when over 80% of technology project investments will involve business users, one simply cannot live in the box of IT.

The same IDC report discusses the emerging opportunities created by digital transformation.  “There has been a big shift in attitudes toward technology. We expect great user experiences and powerful capabilities from technology in both our personal and work lives. … We can see this in the emergence of disruptive business models from companies like Uber, Netflix, and AirBnB. The success of these services is a consequence of our social desires and huge leaps in technology.  Digital transformation is not just a trend, nor is it a localized phenomenon contained by the media industry. It is at the core of business strategies spanning all industry segments and markets. This trend is unsettling for many stable, static businesses, and it is a very big opportunity for others.”

If given the choice, I’m sure everyone would prefer to be riding the opportunity wave, versus fighting to hold on to a declining business.  Opportunity is certainly the lens I choose to look through.  To capture this opportunity, we must all embrace a different way of doing things.  

I’m reminded of the quote found in many cubicles and pasted on business walls the world over, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  Sight of the opportunity is the start.  The next step is to try something new, starting talking to some different people, and bring value to the business users.

Heidi Alert heads the Sales & Marketing Strategy for Teleios Systems.  Teleios QuikWorx is a platform to help technology providers to easily create solutions for Office 365 and offer to customers “as-a-Service”.  More information can be found at