The IT Support Learning Hub
The most educational business technology blog for Southern California executives, featuring insider tips, articles, and videos on how to get the best IT results.
Derek Woolf, Chief Operating Officer at Accent Computer Solutions, has been selected to be on the Advisory Board for the Customer Experience Certificate Program at the University of California-Irvine, Division of Continuing Education. As COO of Accent, Derek directs Operations, HR and Finance. He believes that customer service should be at the core of everything a company does, so that it becomes not just a practice but part of the culture.
I spend most of my time with business owners and executives discussing where they want to go and how they are supposed to get there. I relate easily to these conversations, and I like to challenge the executives with ideas that will help them reach the goals they have outlined. From a quick chat and a few details, I can step right into their shoes and we are off running toward a plan.
Optimize your business's IT function, understand proper - and cost effective - IT staffing, and learn from the mistakes others have made.
May is normally one of the more forgettable time periods of the year. The rush of the new year is over, tax season is behind business owners, and summer is coming but not quite here. Typically when executives reach out to me, they’re nonspecific about what they need. They say they “just want IT to work,” or that they “don’t want to think about IT at all.” Those calls usually result in a meeting with the executives where we discuss the specifics of IT and how it can help advance the company if managed well. The calls this month were much different.
Think about a time when your significant other asked you to clean the house. You woke up early with a mission, but as the morning wore on, you found yourself outside mowing the lawn. You weren’t neglecting work – in fact, you were doing lots of work – you just had a different idea of what needed to be done. By the end of the day, your yard looked great, but the laundry wasn’t folded and the dishes were still dirty, leaving your significant other frustrated that their request hadn’t been fulfilled.
Can you believe how quickly February has passed? It certainly flew by for me. We've had a lot going on this month and I thought I'd share a bit from behind the scenes. Here is a quick update on what we have been focusing on this month:
Threats from malware, complicated projects, and out-of-date equipment are front and center in executive conversations with Information Technology (IT) support firms right now. This past month, demand for my consulting time has been at an all-time high. As I advise business leaders and managers who are trying to get better results from IT, the first part of the discussion usually consists of defining exactly what IT is.
Our country may be going through some interesting times, but the economy is doing well. And when the economy is strong, businesses seem to be more open to hiring. That can put a company like ours in an interesting position. You see, Accent Computer Solutions is a provider of outsourced IT services. If a strong economy means companies are hiring again, you’d think that outsourcers would be in trouble. Luckily, that’s not the case. Not only are we seeing job growth in our business, our clients are expanding as well.
Over the course of my business career, I've been lucky enough to meet and consult with a wide range of different leaders, and leadership styles. I'm thankful that I get to be the person that these leaders trust and confide in when they have business performance or employee-related issues. It seems like there are 7 areas all business leaders find themselves dealing with at one time or another. I thought this month I'd share those situations, and how these items could indicate it's time for a change.
The Cloud is awesome! Specifically, cloud storage is amazing. Think about it - we can store our files, reports, pictures, and just about anything we want "in the cloud." The manufacturers and cloud storage providers make it SO easy. You just upload/copy the data to whichever cloud storage provider you want, and you can access it from your phone, computer, laptop, or tablet from almost anywhere with an Internet connection.
This month, I’ve consulted with four different business executives in varying industries that all share the same frustration. They want better IT results, but after about 90 days of trying, they give up on the people and try something else.