Normally, MSPs use CIO (chief information officer) meetings as an opportunity to up sell. Some meetings waste time and money with no real important agenda, other than to create the appearance of company unity. Many MSPs, however, are missing a golden opportunity to use these opportunities to inoculate their clients from competitors.
Awareness of New Technology
Any company meeting should have a necessary agenda, as opposed to throwing a meeting for the sake of business tradition. It’s important to note that competing IT providers often exploit the fact that MSPs usually take their customers for granted when it comes to rolling out new technology. Making assumptions about new technology always carries a risk factor that is commonly overlooked. Risks include tune-out, confusion and disagreement if you do not take the time to unveil new technology in a descriptive and thorough manner.
Sometimes complacency sets in that a company is the best of its class and cannot do wrong, regardless of what the competition is doing. But the most savvy business leaders guard against this attitude and stay on top of the broader market as much as possible. The most effective company meetings about technology allow for a certain degree of interactive participation from attendees, which can introduce questions and answers that, otherwise, might be overlooked.
It’s often impossible for even top IT experts to know about every new technology available on the market. The other issue about new technology is that it often accompanies new jargon that even seasoned professionals do not understand. That’s why presenters must define new terms carefully, so that more participants leave with a clear vision of new products and what they do.
Why CIO Meetings Matter
It’s a good idea to make sure you are using meetings to educate your clients about the new, state-of-the-art technology like cloud computing or cloud desktops. Remember that the cloud is still relatively new for many businesses, especially those that have been resisting to replace old hardware and software due to tight budgets or digital anxiety. Here are other worthwhile topics that can enhance meetings:
• IT economics
• Internet of Things
• smart technology
• workforce talent
• digital risks and latest security
• industry ethics
According to Forbes, on its CIO Summit Group website, CIOs have only recently become information leaders. Furthermore, it goes on to say that in the past, too much emphasis was placed on infrastructure, when the focus is now shifting toward synthesizing valuable data. Forbes issues annual awards to companies that use technology to drive real revenue growth.
Meetings should end with recaps and participants should be delivered minutes that they can review for future use. That way every main point counts and has a chance to be remembered. Otherwise, it might be like watching sandcastles get washed away on a beach.
Influencing Clients to Embrace New Technology
Many businesses, even MSPs, resist adopting new technology for various reasons. Often, IT marketers grow into a comfort zone with technology they’ve come to understand. But one of the key factors that connects technology and clients is innovative solutions that give a company an edge over competitors. Essential variables that keep the most innovative companies ahead of the competition are:
• time and cost efficiency
• collaborative quality
The more you can emphasize technology that enhances these competitive factors, the more you can take credit for improving business cultures for clients. Searching for or creating new applications that can easily and quickly be deployed with existing infrastructure has monumental importance for improving competitive positioning in the market.
By showcasing your expertise in competitive technology, you have the opportunity to convince clients to pay attention to you rather than drifting toward other choices. One of the most serious topics these days is cyber security, since we continue to read reports in the news how even the government gets hacked regularly by WikiLeaks and other not so famous entities.
Another issue that gives your chief information officer a chance to share authoritative information that clients already want to learn more about is backup and disaster recovery. If you aren’t talking about this hot issue then there’s a chance your clients are already looking for better solutions. It’s not a finite topic that has been exhausted yet, as there is still plenty of room for refinement and more advanced solutions.
If CIO meetings are done properly it will effectively inoculate your clients from competitors’ marketing attempts to educate them about new technology — as you have already done that! Since you are in the technology business, act like it by staying on top of new technology so that both team members and clients regard you as a reliable and trustworthy expert on the cutting edge.
Aligned Technology Solutions
About the Author
Gar Whaley is Principal and Founder of Aligned Technology Solutions, providing NOVA IT services since 2009. Gar’s broad range of experience provides him with a valuable perspective on leveraging technology to help organizations lower costs, grow and enable innovation. He leads ATS with a passion and commitment to providing clients with phenomenal customer service combined with sound technology guidance. Prior to co-founding ATS, Gar spent several years in franchise restaurant ownership before the lure of the dot-com boom enticed him to the technology sector.