Seeing the Wood and the Trees

Seeing the Wood and the Trees

The IT business is one that very often concentrates on details and specialities. You look for an expert with 10 years of experience using Windows 8! You want to find a specialist in Bespoke Application version 11b because that’s exactly what you use. You are looking for that person who can jump in to your business environment and hit the ground running. Whilst looking for experts that have used the same systems as you already have is an admirable starting point it doesn’t really provide the best long term solution for your business. Here are a few reasons:

  1. Hiring a specialist to jump straight in will inevitably result in looking at the trees and not the wood. Focussing on the details of application specificity and detailed knowledge may well keep you doing what you are doing in the short term, but it won’t help you to move on or consider other options. The temptation will be to always work  within the existing environment because that is what your specialist has experience of. The ability to innovate will be constrained by the vision of the specialist.
  2. Hiring a specialist may well not provide you with the best expert in the application you are using. Very often product specialists learn the product and not the environment. As such they often do not possess an understanding of IT in general or of the underlying hardware, software, logic that goes into the computing environment.
  3. It is more important to hire someone who has a good grasp of IT, and the ability to learn. Do you really expect to be using exactly the same suite of products in 5 years’ time? Software and hardware and the entire IT ecosystem are still changing so rapidly that whatever product specialities your staff or consultants have now, they will most likely be redundant in a matter of years, even if the product is still on the market it will have changed markedly from what it is now.

Find someone who can see the wood and the trees

Whatever your IT requirements, or your plans, or even your ‘right now’ need for an expert. Don’t forget that the trees make up the wood and that before diving into the detail you need to know the size, scope, nature of the wood. You need to understand how it will grow, and how that will affect your business. If that is something that you as a business owner can’t do for yourself, look for an IT partner that can see the big picture as well as handling the details. It’s much easier for an IT ‘natural’ to pick up the specifics of your bespoke app than it is for a specialist to break out of his vertical perspective to see the entire wood.