Grumbles, we all have them. Sometimes we just need a little space to purge, to voice what everyone's thinking but no one's saying. Because everyone needs a bit of empathy now and again.
We’ve all been there: business is motoring along, processes are developing, the boss is happy. Then out of the blue an invoice arrives that cites some random update done “in the cloud”, who knows how long ago (two months, if we want to be precise). Ah, yes– it’s that security update which finally got pushed through, but why has it taken so long for this invoice to reach my desk?
Aside from the frustration of having to deal with a bill that should have been managed weeks ago, I now need to chat with the boss to explain why this is only coming out of the budget now, and chase the finance guy, and get in touch with the cloud to find out when the next big update is happening, to try and preempt this from happening again next time.
Grumble 01: Invoices Gone Wild
Grumble 02:Mind the Communication Gap
You would think that in this day and age, communication would be easier, increasingly transparent and streamlined, not more complicated, with random stretches of radio silence. You send an email, ask for a quote, or have a query, and it all goes into this black hole of communication– with the added layer of irony that they are supposed to be your “managed service provider.”
Then when you finally hear something the proposed timeline is so extended that you’ll likely need another upgrade or have some other system to implement (GDPR, anyone?) by the time this one is done, so the cycle starts all over again. Why can’t your time be seen as valuable, and why can’t things happen at the same rate as the rest of the world?
Account management should be pretty self-explanatory. Someone has your account, and they manage it, right? Yet for some reason your account seems to be managed in every way but in actual action, not to mention communication. There is no dialogue, no proactive communication from their end (do they know your name?), no one who seems like they care about what is being delivered.
I mean, it all looks good from a numbers point of view, so no complaints there, but a little relationality and some TLC wouldn’t hurt, right? Bureaucracy has its place, but not with my account, I want something a bit more personal.
Grumble 03: Account manager? Didn’t know I had one.
Grumble 04: The Never-ending Quote
At the rate technology is developing, it feels like new ways of enhancing data security and optimising cloud-based workflows are always being rolled out and pushed for us to adopt. All well and good, but why is the process to actually get these new updates in place so drawn out? Quotes are essential for accuracy and customisation, but they seem to take forever.
This new technology is encased in an antiquated processing system that is slow, comfortable and worked ten years ago, but is not fit for today’s demands or pace. And the ripple effect of a never-ending quote is that it slows everything else down, causing delays and awkward conversations with bosses about why such and such hasn’t happened yet.
Remember when phone plans undertook that transformative change where you could suddenly pay as you go, customising your plan with the allowance to adapt it as your needs changed? What a day for celebration that was, and now it is just the expectation, it’s the new normal.
So why are other contracts still so restrictive? Particularly where data and IT is concerned, with the rate of change this should be one of the most flexible and versatile services out there. Yet MSPs either provide the bare bones or expect you to buy the whole package hook, line and sinker when all you really need is the bait. Or, they present a contract that is perfectly suited until you accidentally go over some restriction and get slapped with an outrageous bill for extending that little bit over your agreement (but it was in the fine print!)
Grumble 05: Contracts: Pick Your Poison
Grumble 06: Delivery: When the Tortoise Shouldn’t Win
Some things are designed to be slow. Snails, they’re sedately paced; the same with sloths, they take their time and no one expects anything otherwise. Technology, on the other hand, is the opposite of sluggish, and is continuing to speed up while expecting you to keep up. So why are the systems that are supposed to manage and deliver it still going at the pace of a tortoise? All the steps involved, from getting things booked and scoping sessions, to having your project rolled out based on restrictive timelines is all bogged down in laborious administration and protocols that result in one thing: slow delivery.
And, when things move at such a pace it seems there is no end in sight. The sprint becomes a marathon and the joyride becomes the never-ending road trip, complete with horrible soundtrack of the call-waiting on the phone line. Pure purgatory.