Stealth IT happens when someone in your customers’ organizations implements an IT (information technology) service or platform without first checking in with your IT department. Oops.
Stealth IT happens when departments in your clients’ organizations make end runs around internal IT departments due to incompatibilities in strategy and mindset. Ouch.
That’s when you, as the MSP (managed service provider) and CSP (cloud service provider), get “the call.” How frequently has this been happening lately?
From an IT perspective, the outcome can be disastrous in terms of data loss and security breaches. Determining the root cause of the situation, however, involves more than getting to ground zero of the IT breach itself.
Clashes in culture within your customers’ organizations should be factored in as root causes of stealth IT actions. It is more than a BYOD (bring your own device) phenomenon.
Your customers are finding it difficult to address this conversation. Does their internal IT organization function as a sales, marketing and communications ROI-prevention machine? As internal frustration builds, managers and leaders may opt to make an end run in order to remain competitive.
Certainly there is some history involved. Straight-forward post-mortem discussion and pre-sale conversation about this scenario presents a tremendous opportunity for your MSP and CSP organization.
As an MSP and CSP entity, you’ve probably avoided this topic with your current and prospective customers. You continue to develop business within the confines of departmental mindset and organizational cultural mores.
That scenario showcases your status quo strategy aligning with their status quo culture. There is no innovation in that tack.
You ignore what is obvious during your meetings and demos. The root causes resulting in stealth IT actions are that “something else” you observe beyond features, benefits, specifications and the RFQ (request for quote).
Culture clash is the organizational plate tectonics which can derail your customers’ companies as well as your own.
Why not adapt your business development strategy to include conversation about how well the folks sitting around the business table get along with one another? What you learn impacts how you migrate companies from legacy systems to bimodal platforms, for starters.
Learning how to address this Elephant in the Room provides you with opportunity for growth. Expanding your own skill sets during the business development and sales cycle can help your customers achieve what they struggle with.
That strategy, and those capabilities, yield enduring value to your customers. That strategy differentiates you and your company as being far more than vendors to your clients.
My advice: Take a look at your own house first. Involve a master-facilitated round-table discussion to obtain objective input from your folks. Are your sales reps encouraging stealth IT actions inside your customers’ organizations? Determine the root causes for their selling tactics. You will discover common denominators and identify opportunities.
My advice: The next place to go to is to your customers’ houses. Avoid making your conversation sound like a finger-pointing exercise (they are doing a good enough job internally themselves). Discuss the stealth IT scenarios your group has come up with across your entire customer base. Your insights can provide them with a neutral way of self-discovery, as opposed to a status quo internal witch-hunt.
Partner with them to discover how stealth IT actions uncover opportunities for organizational transition, for starters. Transformation is a down the road destination. That scenario is the future of selling as your MSP and CSP organization traverses the transition from legacy to bimodal IT systems in your customers’ companies.
My advice: Don’t go this alone. Manage your own expectations regarding timeline and skillset acquisition. Your current corporate culture may be all-thumbs, just like your customers’ companies.
Culture clashes are nothing new in corporate organizational behavior. However, the pace of change in the global digital economy won’t wait for you to do nothing or have your own pace of change dictated by your customers’ cultural stalemates.
Your decision is the difference between sustainability and stagnation. Your choice.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a management strategist and team-building leadership coach. She helps teams, startups and businesses who wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Workshops and Playbooks create more productive and profitable teams in healthier organizations. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.