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Don’t shoot the messanger

When we’re working with prospective clients, it often falls to us to be the bearer of bad news. If a company’s equipment is woefully outdated, their network is obstructed, or we see a potential security risk within their systems, it’s our responsibility as professionals to let business owners know. But we don’t take this responsibility lightly. We would never encourage any client to make an upgrade or tweak a process without being certain it was necessary.

Unfortunately, when we, an outside company, come in and start delivering the news, business owners here dollar signs and get frustrated, some of them get defensive. If we point out their failing computers, they tell us, “But we’ve been running everything on these desktops for 10 years!” If we encourage them to upgrade their outdated, finicky server, they’ll protest that “it’s served us so far, so why switch now?”

Business networks are extremely intricate systems. Each of the

components, from the servers to the cabling to the modems and the computers themselves, are completely interdependent on one another to keep the network running at high speed. If a business utilizes a noname “black box” server or a risky old backup solution, they’re asking for problems down the road. No, you don’t always need to employ the most bleeding-edge technology, but there are standards that every business should strive to adhere to in order to remain competitive in today’s rapid, digital marketplace. If a business is having network issues, it is our job to identify potential problem points and provide recommendations.

Every recommendation we make is solely for our clients’ or prospects benefit. The last thing we want to do is come in with a list of equipment our prospective client needs to replace. However, if we don’t highlight problems before they start — or if we let substandard technology slide — it will certainly cost the client more in the long run and reflect poorly on us.

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