Russian businessmen and high technology
Apparently the time did not pass when all business issues were resolved in saunas and taverns. Russian entrepreneurs do not need IT to make money, all the owners are capable of is to implement template solutions to the end without understanding why they need it.
You probably decide that I don’t understand what I'm talking about, this is partly true, but I decided to write this article based on my personal experience, which means I have no doubt that my colleagues are faced with similar problems somewhere. Now, in order, the lion's share of sales are in the oil and gas sector, the second and the second is the banking sector did not go into percentages and order, because these clients have nothing to do with my business.
The thing is who makes decisions in the company, if the organization has a board of shareholders and a wide network of various departments, then the decision is made within the approved budget and, most importantly, it must be spent because it is not insanely bad to spend it in the first place. turn for those who protect him. This is a rather complicated coordination system and it is as close as possible to the ideal for sellers of IT products and services. Because there is the opportunity to participate in the tender not only in terms of cost, but also in the quality of the services and products provided.
Example 1: Board of shareholders or founders.
I will describe the situation from the inside
1. The board of shareholders sets the task of forming the organization’s budget for next year.
2. Responsible units in the person of heads of departments or departments begin to calculate possible problems of their existence. Fuss begins, I can’t call it another way, and each responsible employee has a pronounced desire to “grab” more from the general piggy bank.
3. As a result, the maximum possible budget appears on the desk of the head of the unit.
4. Then follows the stage of editing (reduction) of this budget within the unit, a psychological war begins between employees and management, because any responsible employee in forming needs partially tries to attract investment in himself.
5. In conclusion, the leader has an understanding of what is really needed and what you can do without.
6. With this knowledge, he is now able to describe the risks and possible monetization, having swallowed a sedative, he goes to protect the budget to the head supervising his activities.
7. Further, as a rule, the budget is either simply approved by the council, or if IT is not so important, and for other departments there are excesses of the originally planned amounts, then the amounts for IT are reduced (usually in percent).
8. Here the IT department should be glad that it was possible to get some kind of equipment modernization, training or some other “goodies”.
I greatly reduced the process and maybe a few points are missing, but I tried to reflect the essence.
Example 2: A special case - the decision is made by the owner:
In this example, there may be several initial options. The first one is that someone already was and did something when opening (or later), for example, there is 1C, a server, a storage system, and even some kind of network. The owner can very distantly understand what is really happening and that he needs to spend some money to maintain the infrastructure. Everything works for him and the main problem is to find a system administrator who can fix it all.
There was a case when I heard from the managing director of a very large (family) company that they spent a million rubles on the purchase of new servers, network equipment at all levels, uninterruptible power supplies and even installed 2 air conditioners. It seems to be normal, but not for a network of 89 stores!
Of course, they didn’t go further than the server one, but it’s a pity because the plans were grandiose, but unfortunately the role of an IT adviser was played by the head of technical support of the retail network. Not that there would be doubt about his professional competence, everyone should just do his own thing.
In most cases, for the owner, the IT infrastructure generally remains in the shade, unfortunately they only remember about it when everything stops. Moreover, the reaction of the business owner in most cases has an aggressive connotation and changes only when the stage of despair is reached. Only then does he begin to understand the importance of budget planning and attracting qualified specialists. To do this, the very same experts still have to go through all stages of distrust, suspicion and all kinds of contests. There is even a percentage of unfair customer attitude to the clauses of the contract regarding payment.
So we came up with a dense article, why do Russian businessmen need information technology?
The entrepreneur attracted investments, invited operational management, built business processes and began the process of opening his own organization. We took into account everything, the central office with leather furniture and European-quality repair, rental of premises for shops, rental of warehouses and the most interesting thing was that we took into account the server, namely one server, for the accounting system.
Everyone gathered, with a smart look in the meeting room, they sit and decide to find a system administrator. And how much should he pay? Well, no more than 50 and then probably a lot, the main thing is that the server would launch. And they make a plan for the opening schedule and took into account 5 days to start the server. Absurd? No, unfortunately, no.
Usually this crazy house lasts before the deadline has already been passed and it is necessary to start, but there is no time and planned money, and the system administrator does not understand what they want from him and what he needs to do. In general, no one has an understanding of what is really happening and how to go through this stage, there are several options, someone knows someone and will call now, or can use the Internet and find a system integrator still unknown? In general, a panic begins, and in the owner’s head there is still a checkmark about buying a server, he bought it and what now is needed?
The question is a question and how to deal with these issues as a rule, namely, it is necessary to build a strategy either by an IT consultant, or a project from an integrator company, or in a very bad case, a system administrator who still does not understand what they want from him, because he knows about business that he needs to put products from well-known companies and somehow tie them together. At this stage, specialists have to make a lot of efforts to achieve the line of understanding that the customer needs to go over. Sometimes even threats of responsibility for failure to meet deadlines are heard, but this is a separate story.
How can we explain to the business owner that first you need to study his needs, make a picture of what you have to work with, plan all stages of the project, and only then you can talk about time and money.
No, our Russian people cannot accept such an order; they need at least a rough estimate of the costs. Well how much will it cost? And how many days will it take to launch? And now we’ll tell you everything, but don’t connect our system administrator to speed up the process?
There are many questions, the answer is no.
Another interesting point is that when the amount for the project exceeds the cost of the same server by 5 times, the owner begins to hysteria about saving money and reducing time. And you can change the situation only by earning confidence in your prof. suitability, no other options. Only by creating a tender the owner can be sure of the correct price and the correctness of the proposals, then he decides. A month passes and a specialist receives a call saying that we are ready. And you are in the other end of the country, you have a wonderful project and you have other obligations and agreements. The customer is invited to either wait for the time to appear, or to seek help from competitors. But this is only on condition that you have good prices and high quality work, in other cases you have to settle with the customer.
The client has left. And it is unlikely that he will turn to you in the future, but the only thing that he can be advised is to learn from the mistakes of others, and not to pump up your own bumps.
What is the problem:
1. Lack of understanding among entrepreneurs about the importance of IT.
2. Lack of planning IT costs, they usually come down to obvious things: servers, cash desks, terminals, computers, monitors, printers, etc.
3. Refusal to accept the final cost of the project, comparing the cost of the work of qualified specialists with the salaries of full-time IT employees.
4. Lack of experience in implementing such projects and a strong reluctance to use someone else's.
5. Low awareness of the impact of IT on the competitive advantages of a business.
6. One desire, to save on the necessary and not to listen at all to the sad consequences of such a practice.
That's all I wanted to say, this article is not in a series of pains, just shared my opinion.